Commercial engine cylinders. You can’t live with them and you can’t take them out and shoot them.
Your heavy equipment is easily the most costly asset that your business must invest in in order to do the work you do. On top of that, the heavy equipment parts and service to keep your large machinery chugging along is another stiff expenditure. If replacing your commercial engine cylinders, bucket pins, cutting edges and all other one million components on your diesel work horse is burning a hole in your operations budget, check out our list of ways to keep your heavy equipment costs down.
Six Tips for Reducing Your Heavy Equipment Maintenance Costs
- Research used parts.
If your business involves heavy machinery, you know that everything wears out eventually and must be replaced. You also know that those parts come with a hefty price tag. You can probably save yourself hundreds — nay — thousands of dollars by doing a little homework and finding a good, reliable used caterpillar parts dealer. As you know, brand new commercial engine cylinders cost the equivalent of one of your vital organs. On the other hand, remanufactured commercial engine cylinders cost less than a non-vital body part.
If you are concerned about the quality of used parts, you might find it comforting to know that refurbished heavy equipment parts are often more reliable than their brand new selves, if you buy them from an respected used parts dealer. Remanufactured parts are extensively tested to ensure that it is in tip-top shape; it is probably inspected at far greater detail than the brand new part was.
- Work services and maintenance into the contract when you purchase the equipment.
Heavy equipment is expensive. The salesmen who specialize in selling Caterpillar equipment know this. Because you’re giving them so much money when you sign the dotted line, you have some leverage at the negotiation table.
Put on your game face and try to be aggressive about the parts and maintenance warranty that is included in the purchase of your heavy equipment. The first rule of negotiating is to come to the table asking for a little more than you actually want. This way, you have room to compromise and walk away with a great part and service warranty that will save you a few dollars in maintenance costs.
- Train your employees in proper care and usage of your heavy machinery.
Normal wear and tear on heavy equipment eventually results in things breaking and needing to be fixed. There’s no escaping that. However, the leading cause of equipment failure is improper use of it. When the people who operate your priceless machinery don’t know what they’re doing, they are far more likely to use it wrong and accidentally break something expensive.
On top of this, heavy equipment can be extremely dangerous when they are used improperly. Making sure that every person who comes close to one of your trucks is properly tasked trained on it is critical for keeping the entire work site safe.
- Protect the most vulnerable parts.
Speaking of safety, your workers probably take several precautions to keep their vital organs safe throughout the course of a workday. They probably wear hard hats and steel toed boots, at a minimum. In the exact same vein of logic, protecting the vital parts of your heavy machinery is a good way to avoid expensive breakdowns.
Installing hardox steel plates on your trucks is a good way to protect the most expensive components on your heavy machinery. When your equipment have hardox plates on them, the plates take the beating throughout a days work, while your engine (and other essential parts) stay warm and cozy, unscratched by the abrasive environment they work in. When the hardox plate finally bites the dust, replacing it costs pennies on the dollar when you compare it to the cost of replacing a vital part.
You don’t have to be a mathematician to understand the basic concept of running a successful business: Increase the amount of money you bring in, while decreasing the amount of money your spend along the way. By following these tips, you are accomplishing the reducing costs part of that goal.