How much does downtime cost your business? Unplanned downtime can cost you thousands of dollars or more each day if you use heavy construction equipment, and it can throw your project farther behind schedule. This will almost certainly have a cascade effect on your productivity. Serious delays can have a negative impact on your employees, contractors, and other businesses on your job site that rely on you to finish the job on time.
Your job is to do everything possible to avoid equipment downtime or to make strategies to minimize its influence on your business and project outcomes.
Of course, equipment damage cannot always be predicted. Still, with preparation and foresight, you can keep all of your machinery in good, safe running order, allowing your firm to be more productive, efficient, and cost-effective.
In this post, we’ll look at how heavy construction equipment operators like you may spot machine failure or damage and minimize downtime.
Unplanned downtime’s true cost
Unplanned construction equipment downtime can cost tens of thousands of dollars per hour.
Unplanned downtime will have a negative impact on the entire company, particularly staff productivity and prices. For example, your crew may arrive at the operations yard in the morning to find a major piece of machinery has broken down unexpectedly. Depending on the extent of the damage, this will disrupt their schedule for the rest of the day or longer. In the meantime, you’ll have to pay them salaries.
It might become a safety problem if your machines break down on the job site. Regular maintenance on all vehicles and equipment is your best bet for minimizing downtime due to equipment failure while also maintaining an acceptable degree of employee safety. All equipment should be inspected on a regular basis, and all repair work should be scheduled. You’ll be able to better manage expenditures and schedules if you arrange downtime.
Here are six strategies for reducing downtime at your facilities to help you be more effective and safe in your business:
Tip #1: Be aware of your job site’s uncontrollable downtime delays.
Before we get into the downtime delays you can manage, let’s take a quick look at the job site delays you can’t.
The following are examples of uncontrollable delays:
- Employees who are absent from work due to illness, tardiness, no-shows, or scheduling mistakes.
- Delays in vendor deliveries
- Availability of spare parts from the equipment manufacturer
- Employee misuse of the machine necessitates repairs.
Having personnel on call to cover for absent employees and working in a buffer area in your schedule are the greatest ways to reduce these risks. It is preferable to complete a project early rather than late.
Tip #2: Teach personnel how to maintain machinery.
Both old and new equipment must be properly maintained. Along with safe and appropriate machinery operation, this is a vital area you can regulate.
Ensure that all personnel and contractors working on a construction site are well-versed in the equipment they will be using. When equipment is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it boosts efficiency and reduces the risk of damage or premature wear and tear.
Tip #3: Hire good managers.
Hiring skilled construction managers and supervisors for your team is another way to help your personnel work at their best. Knowing how to effectively manage, oversee, and interact with employees is critical to ensuring that everyone performs at their best.
Tip #4: Create backups for key path jobs
If you’re using the critical path method, you’re aware that a single critical path task delay can snowball and affect the entire project schedule. Create backup plans for any elements you’ve identified as being critical to the project’s success. Even if unanticipated delays occur, this will assist ensure that your project’s timeframe isn’t adversely disrupted.
Tip #5: Invest in preventative maintenance to avoid unplanned downtime.
A survey of farmers and their machine costs was conducted by the University of Nebraska. Farmers might save up to 25% by improving their basic maintenance practices, according to the researchers. With average maintenance, a $80,000 tractor will require $24,000 in repairs every 5,000 hours of running time. You can save up to 25% on machine costs by prioritizing basic equipment maintenance.
Tip #6: Make time for planned relaxation.
Scheduling equipment downtime is another wonderful technique to guarantee your machines are running at their best. Consider rotating through your equipment to ensure that each piece receives equal use.
Consider scheduling no more than four trucks on a work at a time if you have five trucks. The extra unit might be in your yard getting a more thorough cleaning or inspection, or it can be used as a backup rig in the field if one of the rigs fails. This also ensures that your assets receive equal wear and tear, preventing your best rig from succumbing to misuse.
It’s also a good opportunity to conduct your routine comprehensive inspections and repairs. This equipment cycle allows you to better manage your equipment and staff resources while reducing the costs of unplanned downtime.