7 Ways to Reduce Heavy Machinery Costs in 2024
As we head into 2024, we’ve put together our 7 top tips for reducing heavy machinery costs in the new year, covering frequent maintenance, thorough training, proper storage and more.
Jaytrac is an official supplier of cost-effective replacement parts for the construction, mining, power generation and marine industries, so please get in touch today if you’re looking for more advice on the best replacement parts for your machinery.
1. Train your operators to use machinery correctly and know what to look out for
Training your team to perform walkarounds and to know which symptoms of machine damage to look out for can help reduce your heavy machinery costs. It might seem like a somewhat obvious tip to mention, but training really can help prevent costly damage to your machines.
For example, improper operation can cause premature wearing of your undercarriage, with excessive reversing wearing out sprockets, high speeds damaging bushings and pins, and sharp turns also increasing wear and tear. If your team knows to what to avoid and why when it comes to operating machinery, it can preserve the longevity of your equipment and prevent relatively easily avoided damage.
2. Keep maintenance and heavy machinery cost records
Keeping a log of when your machinery’s parts have been replaced and when they’re due for servicing or future replacement is a way to keep costs and disruption to a minimum. If you know when servicing or replacements are due, you can plan in advance, financially, and it also gives you a better idea of your business’ cost trends throughout the year.
3. Use checklists to improve maintenance
Checklists help keep your team organised and they also keep a log of all the tasks that need to be completed, how regularly each task needs to be carried out and when the task was last carried out.
A checklist should be accessible to the whole team and can streamline and improve the efficiency of your regular maintenance routine. This also ensures items aren’t forgotten and will ideally keep surprise repair costs to a minimum.
4. Cleaning your heavy machinery to reduce avoidable costs
Cleaning your machinery regularly is a highly effective way of reducing avoidable heavy machinery costs. Your machinery should be cleaned daily after use to keep it free from debris that could cause damage to its parts.
In the winter, make sure to wash away any debris or chunks of mud with a pressure washer, otherwise the mud can freeze onto your equipment and become much more difficult to remove the following day, leading to increased downtime. Frozen mud can also cause damage to your machine’s undercarriage, potentially loosening bolts or causing parts to crack.
If you use gritting salts on site over winter, it’s another reason to hose down your machinery. A build-up of salts will cause rusting and corrosion, damaging your equipment and inevitably leading to costly cosmetic and structural repair work.
5. Maintain your GET tools to keep heavy machinery costs down
GET maintenance can help bring your overall heavy machinery costs down by preventing wear and tear and spotting issues before they become bigger problems for your machine.
Check your buckets, bucket tips, cutting edges, blades and rippers for cracks, wearing and loose bolts. You can also rotate your bucket tips to promote even wear and increase the longevity of your machinery’s parts.
6. Prevent diesel contamination
Preventing diesel contamination can help reduce heavy machinery costs too – diesel is not cheap! The fatty acid methyl ester found in biodiesel (which makes it eco-friendlier) increases the likelihood of organic contamination. Contaminated diesel can lead to the deterioration of your engine’s metal parts and the fuel tank itself.
The acids released by microbes in contaminated diesel lead to microbiologically-induced corrosion (MIC) and this can cause pits and wearing in your heavy machinery’s piston rings and cylinders.
The microbial sludge formed when diesel is contaminated can also block your fuel filters.
The best way to prevent diesel contamination and keep ‘Diesel Bug’ related heavy machinery costs down is to carry out fuel tests if you store large amounts of diesel, or use fuel stabilisers. It’s also a good idea to check tanks for water and sludge build up every couple of months.
You can read more about identifying and preventing diesel contamination in our article here.
7. Store hydraulic cylinders correctly to reduce your heavy machinery costs
Hydraulic cylinders can be expensive to replace and hydraulic leaks can also lead to increased downtime.
To reduce hydraulic-related heavy machinery costs, store your hydraulics away from direct sunlight, snow and other temperature extremes. Your storage location should have a minimal amount of temperature variation.
High temperatures can damage the seal shape and lead to leakages, while very low temperatures can reduce the elasticity of seals and make them more likely to crack or snap. We recommend using high-quality seals to keep your replacement costs down.
If it’s too hot, the hydraulic liquid will start to break down, and it’s too cold, it will thicken. In both of these scenarios, the liquid will not be able to properly lubricate your machinery. Read more on the causes of hydraulic cylinder leakage here.
Keeping heavy machinery costs down in 2024 is important to many business owners and teams, and one of the ways you can help keep costs down is by following a thorough maintenance routine- prevention is key!
If you’re looking for replacement parts for your machinery, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We stock a range of products, including undercarriage parts, engine parts, seals and gaskets and more, for a variety of industry leading brands.