Gearing up for a busy season? Now is the perfect time to create a preventive maintenance plan for your construction site. Otherwise, you could find your project derailed by expensive, time-consuming equipment failures
If you’re not sure where to begin, we’re here to help.
Why is preventive maintenance important for construction sites?
A preventive maintenance plan reduces unplanned downtime and saves money by prolonging the life of your construction equipment.
It also improves safety at your construction site. Construction workers reported 195,000 injuries in 2018, or three injuries for every 100 employees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How can you develop a successful preventive maintenance plan?
Any successful preventive maintenance plan for your construction site needs to consider all your equipment. It should also make it easy to assign maintenance tasks to team members and document what’s been done.
Follow these seven steps to get started.
1. Take inventory of all your assets
Make a list of every piece of heavy equipment at your construction site and its critical parts. Your preventive maintenance checklist should include items such as batteries, brakes, belts, filters, fluids, tires, suspension, windshield and lubricants. List as much detailed information as possible about each asset, including make/model, year, identification number and location.
While this step is the most time-consuming, it’s crucial to laying the foundation for a successful preventive maintenance program.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine how often you’ll need to perform preventive maintenance on each piece of equipment. Some equipment should be maintained at regular intervals, while other tasks will be based on usage. For instance, many automotive manufacturers recommend checking tire pressure once a month, but rotating tires every 5,000–8,000 miles.
If you take the time and effort to collate data from multiple sources, you can accurately define the triggers for your equipment maintenance.
Need a template to get started?
Download this checklist of recommended preventive maintenance activities for construction sites.
3. Assign clear accountability to individuals and teams
Once you’ve defined your preventive maintenance plan and schedule, you need to start assigning roles and responsibilities.
You may have different people or teams assigned to tasks, based on equipment types, site locations, or the type of maintenance activities you need to perform.
4. Prepare accurate documentation and make it accessible
In many construction firms, knowledge is transferred informally from one site manager or operator to another. However, if you want your preventive maintenance program to be successful, you’ll need detailed documentation. You’ll also want to digitize these documents using cloud-based software so site managers or operators can access them anytime, from anywhere.
5. Create a training plan
As you begin to roll out your preventive maintenance program, you’ll need to make sure everyone on your team understands the value of it and how to use it. If you are using preventive maintenance software to manage these tasks, every employee needs to know how they will be notified of a PM action, where to find the instruction manual and how to document when it’s complete.
6. Measure KPIs and optimize your program
As management expert Peter Drucker famously said, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. In this case, you want to measure how well your site’s preventive maintenance program achieves your desired goals.
If your goal is to reduce equipment downtime by 20%, you’ll need to have a baseline measurement and a way to quantify improvements.
Defining the metrics to monitor from the beginning and analyzing them on a regular basis will help you measure success.
7. Automate preventive maintenance as much as possible
Research from McKinsey shows construction is one of the least digitized industries in the world—but that’s changing. Investments in construction technology startups surpassed $1 billion in just the first half of 2018, according to JLL. That includes software that automates preventive maintenance.
As construction equipment becomes more complex, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of all your necessary maintenance activities using spreadsheets.
Why construction managers need preventive maintenance software
Preventive maintenance software makes it easy for site managers to plan, schedule and keep a digital record of all PM activities. Using the software, you can see a list of maintenance activities required for each asset, set up automated alerts for maintenance managers and track every task after it’s completed.
You can also see a dashboard with KPIs for your entire preventive maintenance program, so you’ll always know what’s working and where there’s room for improvement.
Having a strong preventive maintenance program, along with the right technology, can bring significant benefits.
DeFoe Corp, a heavy highway contractor specializing in bridges and architectural concrete, reduced equipment downtime by 50 percent by using our preventive maintenance software to schedule preventive maintenance tasks.
They also gained better compliance with OSHA regulations and ANSI safety codes, saving fines that could have cost them up to $10,000 per incident.