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5 Ways to Reduce Machine Downtime on the Jobsite

March 3, 2022

Downtime is the enemy of any profitable construction project. The best way to prevent downtime is by limiting equipment damage. If you experience an unexpected breakdown, you may be forced to rent a replacement machine. These rental fees will cut directly into your bottom line and reduce or eliminate any potential profit.

Downtime also affects other trades and stakeholders who are relying on you so they can complete their work in a timely manner. As your knowledgeable dealer of LaBounty, Kobelco, Fuchs, and JCB equipment, here are Company Wrench’s five simple ways to help prevent costly downtime on your next project.

1. Operator Training

One of the most common causes of downtime is operator error. Training on proper machine use and maintenance routines reduces those mistakes. From a JCB skid steer to a  Kobelco high reach, proper training on how to use and maintain any equipment is key to limiting downtime. Understanding how a specific machine works before utilizing it on a jobsite increases safety and decreases the risk of downtime.

2. Only Use the Machine for its Intended Purpose

Heavy machinery is powerful and impressive. However, just because a machine can do something doesn’t mean it should. In other words, the short-term benefits of misusing a machine pales in comparison to the potential long-term consequences.

Operating a machine outside its intended purpose may cause significant downtime. Another common example is using LaBounty shears to cut hardened steel (ex. railroad rails). The LaBounty shear blades were not designed to cut this type of material. Using the shear in this application will drastically shorten the useful life of the shear blade. The better option is to use torches to cut hardened steel. Even though the shear may be able to cut the hardened steel, the long-term effects can be disastrous and lead to extended downtime.

3. Perform Preventative Maintenance

No matter what you’re using, from a MKT pile hammer to a Kobelco excavator, without proper maintenance, safety concerns and significant damage could occur. Review maintenance documentation for both your machine and its attachments to create a maintenance plan. Keep in mind, attachments require more frequent and specific maintenance compared to base carriers. So if you’re operating a carrier with mulching attachments, you’ll want to be extra vigilant on your maintenance.

Performing preventive maintenance ensures the machine operates with maximum productivity. Many machines require daily maintenance (ex. greasing and checking for wear). Applying sufficient grease is the easiest way to prevent unnecessary damage. If you don’t perform preventive maintenance, your warranty could be voided, which may lead to a dispute with a manufacturer or your dealer.

4. Don’t Operate a Damaged Machine

Stop using the machine as soon as something goes wrong. Continuing to run the machine or attachment with a damaged component may be tempting near the end of a job, but it will create dire, long-term consequences. Most dealers, including JCB dealers and LaBounty dealers like Company Wrench, may be able to help reduce downtime by accessing the machine remotely to identify error codes.

5. Plan Ahead

Utilize your dealer as a resource. Company Wrench is your LaBounty, Fuchs, and JCB dealer in Ohio, as well as many other respected manufacturers.

If your project is especially time-sensitive, contact your dealer and come up with a plan in case something goes wrong. For example, have wear parts on hand or a technician scheduled for an inspection or maintenance to ensure maximum productivity. 

Company Wrench offers training and industry-leading maintenance for every machine and attachment available on its website to help you reduce downtime.