Preventative Maintenance: The Lifeblood of Any Heavy Equipment Rental Company
In this post, I’ll address two questions that will help you improve the way your fleet operates:
What is preventative maintenance?
Why is it so important to your fleet and your company’s bottom line?
If your business is within the heavy equipment rental industry, it probably has a lot of moving parts – literally. Heavy equipment companies often have anywhere from 5 to 500, to 10,000 units, with fleets consisting of cranes, specialized transportation vehicles, front loaders, tractor trailers and more. Units in any fleet have to travel from point A to point B, and sometimes to point C. These units have to perform tasks along the way and make it back to point A. Hopefully, they return fully functional and in one piece, but that isn’t always the case. With help from mechanics, service managers and a fully implemented preventative maintenance program, you can keep your fleet (and in turn, your business) running in top shape.
What is Preventative Maintenance?
Preventive maintenance (PM) consists of proactively scheduling service inspections, and vehicle repairs to prevent potential problems and maximize vehicle availability. Preventative maintenance is used to avoid and reduce vehicle breakdowns before they happen and is based on time, mileage, engine hours, or other critical measurables dependent on the type of unit. PM activities vary based on the type of equipment, but can include the following:
- annual vehicle inspections
- oil changes
- oil testing
- worn parts replacement
Why is Preventative Maintenance Important?
Preventative maintenance can be the lifeblood of your business. If your fleet is not safe and rent ready at all times – you are missing out on potential revenue and assuming unnecessary risks. If your business philosophy is: “Our units need to be out in the field 24/7!” or “we need jobs and more jobs!” – that is certainly a conventional way to keep revenue flowing. However, this is only true if your equipment is properly maintained. If not, this model will have a short shelf life. A preventative maintenance program that is comprehensive and consistently practiced must be the other bookend to your business philosophy.
The market essentially dictates what you pay for your equipment, it also dictates what you can charge for hourly rentals and the labor associated with that. More or less those are fixed costs that fleet owners are faced with no matter what industry they are in.
However, the market does not dictate how you take care of your equipment – your business philosophy does. So does your service manager, your mechanics and your operators. Preventative maintenance is something that you can control and, if done properly with consistency, will keep your costs down and revenue flowing.
Fleet Management Software for Preventative Maintenance
To have a successful preventative maintenance program you must have a process and a software tool to execute. Having a centralized tracking system to verify service records and create a digital trail of a unit’s repairs will provide the needed transparency in communication between all parties involved – accountability will be unavoidable. Once service intervals for coming due PM activities are established, sustaining a rent ready fleet and a happy customer base will be much easier to do. As a result, you’ll lower overall costs of maintaining your fleet, whether you have 5 units or 5,000 units.
All fleet owners want an operation that runs smoothly and efficiently in every department. Preventative maintenance is a proactive approach. Using a centralized fleet management system with maintenance tracking capabilities will help you see trends and patterns on the cost end of your business. Having fleet management apps in the field to assist your personnel keeps the information flowing back to your corporate office, service center or yard. Do not throw your money away by being a reactive fleet owner. If your fleet is your business treat it with care, prevent problems before they happen and keep all those parts moving.
Very well said. We have to taking care these rental equipment to maintain the efficiency and productive during operation.
It sure was nice when you said that preventative maintenance is important in rental equipment because the company will miss revenue if they are not always rent ready. Now I know the kind of effort the rental company gives to their equipment for them to run so smoothly. I think the best thing that we can do is respect that and continue caring for the equipment while they are under our care. I will talk to my parents about this. Thanks!
Nice article you have shared. Really, I surprised by your post. Thank you so much for sharing with us.
Thanks for pointing out that a company who maintains their equipment will ensure that their costs are down and consistent. With that in mind, I will look for this kind of company to ensure that the dump truck that we need to have this weekend will be affordable. This is because we are on a limited budget due to spending a lot for the renovation of the house which is why we also need a dump truck service.
I really appreciated your information that quality construction equipment rental companies schedule regular service inspections and oil changes for their fleet. My husband was thinking of renting a saw so he could finish a little side project he is tinkering with. We’ll start looking into a construction equipment rental company that does the preventative maintenance that you’ve suggested.
It is good that you pointed out that preventative maintenance is done to prevent and lessen vehicle breakdowns including annual vehicle inspection even oil changes. Though this is my first time to hear of that, I’m sure that practice has already been done long before as many do a lot to avoid having their vehicles meet troubles. The better way to get into that is to have a regular visit to the auto repair shop for inspection.
I was talking to a friend of mine over dinner a couple nights ago about her interest in getting heavy equipment for her building. She has been thinking about transportation and maintenance. It might be beneficial for her to know that maintenance can be made easy with the proper software.
It makes sense that you would want software to keep track of maintenance. This is a great idea that will make it easier to track. My sister would love knowing this since she wants a portable valve actuator.
Thank you for these tips on renting a semi trailer. This seems like a very important thing to transportation. Hopefully, anyone needing to use a semi truck finds the right one for them.
You make a good point that if a fleet has issues that aren’t taken care of that they end up losing revenue for work they could’ve done. This is why it would be smart to team up with a local inspection service so they can have the equipment checked weekly or monthly. It would be good to have regular inspections more often since they are heavy equipment and most likely need more maintenance. http://premiertrailerservice.com/services.php
I find it helpful when you said that a vehicle rental company should invest in annual inspections and repairs to reduce their number of future breakdowns. With that in mind, they should ask a local hydraulic seal service to repair each and every vehicle at least once a year. Doing this will help keep clients satisfied with their equipment, thus keeping their projects done on time.
Thanks for the article!
You make a great point that if your fleet isn’t ready to be rented at all times then you are missing out on potential revenue. My sister is thinking about renting some heavy machinery to help make some of the work on her home go faster. It sure would be bad for business if she went to a company and they weren’t able to rent anything out to her because of poorly maintained equipment.
I like what you said about preventive maintenance and how it can be the lifeblood of business. Using the right software can make your business run more efficiently overall. If I were to run a company, I would make sure to find a maintenance software that was user-friendly.
I like that you said that if your fleet is not safe and rent ready at all times you are missing out on potential revenue and assuming unnecessary risks. I think that if you had a trucking business it would be smart to make sure that you had a fleet truck mechanic that you could trust so that they could help you fix things quickly. I think that would help make sure that your fleet and business could run more efficiently and that you wouldn’t have to worry about losing money because of having too much downtime.
I liked that you said that one thing to consider when you own a business that rents out equipment are to make sure that you hire professional preventative maintenance in order to ensure that the machinery works correctly at all times. I have been thinking about starting my own business but I have been worried that I would end up with major repair expenses and machinery that doesn’t work correctly. I will be sure to hire a professional for preventive maintenance so that I won’t have to worry about major repairs and the equipment will function well.
Thank you for these tips on renting a semi trailer.I like the point where you said that the market does not dictate how you take care of your equipment but your business philosophy does. Nice article. Checkout more information about Heavy Equipment Service.
I liked that you mentioned that the shipping company should have software to help them maintain the things they ship. My husband owns some heavy equipment that needs to be transported. Someone told us that we should look for options in our area.