Equipment breakdowns can happen to any construction company at any time. However, there are some ways you can minimize the risk of damage to your equipment, including understanding what major issues can afflict your equipment and how to prevent them.

In this guide, we can help you understand the major factors that result in equipment breakdowns.

Causes of Construction Equipment Breakdown

Most of the causes of equipment breakdown arise from a few main factors. We will discuss them below:

Untrained Operators

One of the biggest reasons why equipment breaks down is human error. If an operator does not understand how a machine or its attachments work, it can lead to incorrect use, which results in damage and preventable repairs.

Contractors should invest the time and money to train their operators how to use a specific piece of equipment to ensure minimal risk of damage to the attachments and delays in projects.

Ignoring Warnings

Construction machines consist of an array of lights, dials, gauges, and alarms which are triggered if an attachment is not hitched right or if a piece of equipment is not functioning the right way. If an operator does not pay heed to these warning signs and continues working the equipment, it can lead to expensive damage as well as a safety risk on the job site.

Understanding what signs to look out for as well as recording any issues in a logbook are good safeguards and can prevent operators from ignoring warning signs.

Not Following the Owner’s Manual

Before starting work on an attachment or equipment, it is crucial to look at the owner’s manual that details the capacity of a machine, how it should be maintained and how it needs to be used.

Make sure all your operators read the owner’s manual so that they have the right understanding of how equipment works, may be able to safely troubleshoot small issues, and find out what warning signs to be aware of.

Pushing the Machine Beyond its Limits

Working a machine beyond its capacity to get the job done quickly is one of the major causes of equipment breakdowns.

Overrunning causes a lot of strain on the frame and operational components of the attachments, electrical systems, and hydraulics. This can lead to a high risk of wear and tear, overheating, failure of fluids, and worse, a risk to the safety of the operator and everybody on the job site.

Not Performing Regular Maintenance

Not ensuring repairs at the right time and periodically serving your attachments and equipment is the No.1 cause of increased breakdowns.

Most attachments and equipment come with an owner’s manual, which recommends service intervals according to hours of operations or on a job-specific or seasonal basis. Regular fluid checks and lubrication is essential for the proper working of machinery.

Ongoing inspection and maintenance are key to preventing major equipment failures.

Misalignment of Components

Drives, pulleys, tracks, and sprockets are just a few of your machine parts that need to be aligned properly to ensure reduced wear and tear and safety on the work site.

One of the major aspects of a maintenance session is to ensure that all components align perfectly. Re-aligning your equipment is far easier and much less expensive than dealing with broken-down machinery.

Weather-Related Issues

Weather can be very hard on your construction equipment. Most of your machinery and attachments are used for outdoor jobs and hence are exposed to dust, debris, heat, cold, wind, rain, and snow.

Exposure to the weather can place a lot of strain on your equipment and lead to increased wear and tear. Hence, it is not advisable to use a machine beyond its operational condition. In addition, make sure that your machine is not running in inclement weather.

Equipment Storage

It is important to store your equipment when they are not in use in the right manner. This will reduce the risk of corrosion as well as damage to the machine’s frame and essential components, ensuring less chance of sudden breakdowns.

When using your attachments and equipment, make sure you follow all the guidelines above to increase the equipment’s lifespan and to ensure safety on the site.