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Better Safety, Lower Costs & Improved Profit in Just 5 Minutes a Day

| Topic:

Business Advice

by: Superman

Part of a new series of blog posts from the Super Heroes on the LMN Support Team.

Conduct an Equipment Walk-Around Every Day

Better equipment maintenance = lower repair costs and longer machine life. However, the costs of unnecessary wear and tear are minor when compared to the costs of lost time injuries, lost productivity due to equipment downtime, and lost sales opportunity due to reduced productivity. If one simple step each morning could keep your people safer, save your company money AND increase your sales capacity, you’d have to be crazy not to enforce this simple system in your company.

Every day before starting work, operators should conduct a thorough walk-around of the machine and jobsite. This simple step can help save downtime and money by catching potential problems before they become major repairs. Each machine’s Operation and Maintenance Manual (OMM) is an essential tool for equipment upkeep. Be certain to consult the OMM for specific details, as recommendations vary by model and manufacturer.

First, check the machine for things that aren’t supposed to be there, such as debris caught in the undercarriage, tires or air intake vents. Use the checklists from the LMN Systems Library that are attached to this article. There is a ride on mower and a skid steer inspection checklist to get you started, as well as a vehicle inspection guide (There are more in the LMN Systems Library to choose from! Just search “inspection”.)

As they walk around the machine, operators should check for loose belts, broken or damaged parts. Look for oil or coolant leaks. Tighten any loose hardware. Pay special attention to the machine’s access points, be sure that the handrails and steps are in good condition and free of obstructions that could cause someone to trip. Check the fluid levels, and examine the engine for debris, damage, excessive wear and loose hardware as well. Examine the tracks or tires for potential problems. All-rubber tracks are less susceptible to cuts and tears than those containing steel, but they still should be monitored for damage and excessive wear on the track drive lugs.

Ensure proper track tension – it should not be overly tight or loose. Tracks that are too tight wear more quickly and tracks that are too loose can allow the drive lugs to jump over sprocket rollers causing damage to the drive lugs. New or newly replaced all-rubber tracks may stretch a bit during the first few weeks of use. Check the track tension regularly, but adjust it only when necessary. Consult the operator’s manual for information specific to the track manufacturer. To check the tension, apply the recommended amount of weight to the midpoint of the track to cause it to deflect, then measure the amount of deflection and adjust the tension as needed. Similarly, if operating a machine with air-filled tires, check the air pressure and adjust as needed. Keep in mind that air pressure in a warm shop will change when the machine goes outside to work in colder temperatures. Follow the instructions in the operator’s manual, as recommended pressures vary by manufacturer.

End-of-Day Checklist

Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is extremely important, as overlooking only a couple of these points can lead to lost production and profitability. Operators should not only conduct a pre-work walk-around but also an end-of-day one as well. You can build these procedures (and forms) into a Google Form that your employees access on their form. If you are interested in taking this further and trying yourself click HERE.

And then give the LMN Superhero’s a call for some advice on getting it all up and running!

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