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Parts & Service

What is Preventive Maintenance and Why Does it Matter

Blog Posts - Nov 22

What is Preventive Maintenance and Why Does it Matter

Wade Jones
Sr. Director of Operations
JLG Industries

Preventive maintenance positions you for success because it gives you the best chance of catching issues before they start and potentially lead to bigger problems.

This proactive approach to equipment maintenance falls between reactive and predictive maintenance and can help prevent unexpected breakdowns. Here’s a look at what this type of maintenance includes —and why it should be part of your maintenance practices.

What is preventive maintenance?

Simply put, preventive maintenance is regular, routine maintenance based on proven best practices and identified intervals that give you the best chance of catching an issue before it starts. The main focus of this type of maintenance is to prevent equipment issues and downtime. 

Preventive maintenance can occur at different intervals set within your business, like a daily list of items to check and then a more intensive list semi-annually and annually. These checklists, which are included in your machine’s Operation & Safety Manuals, should include an inspection, repair/replacement, calibration and cleaning of the equipment and its different components —and when each should be completed (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.). 

The machine will be down during these checks, so performing the maintenance before and/or after the workday is ideal for equipment currently in use on jobs. Preventive maintenance should be performed whether or not there are identifiable issues.


Why preventive maintenance is important

Equipment needs to be in top working order and on the jobsite to make the most of your investment. A vital part of achieving that goal is incorporating preventive maintenance into your business practices.

Completing regular maintenance on the equipment will help prevent unexpected downtime. It also makes the equipment more efficient, leading to improved output and production quality. Well-maintained equipment will have a longer lifespan overall, as will its different components.


Types of preventive maintenance

While your preventive maintenance checklist and schedule can be customized to meet your specific equipment’s needs, there are three main factors typically used to determine what’s needed: 1) Time, 2) Condition of Equipment and 3) Equipment Usage.

Basing the maintenance on set time intervals is an efficient way to keep track of when to perform different tasks. For example, you could perform daily visual inspections and function tests, an inspection of critical components on the first business day of the month, more intensive checks semi-annually and manufacturer-recommended tasks based on their timeline. 

Some of the shorter time frames can be adjusted to accommodate project schedules, but all preventive maintenance tasks should include an annual inspection to be performed no longer than 13 months from the previous inspection.

A newer piece of equipment might not need as much maintenance as one that’s been in your fleet for years, which is why incorporating maintenance based on the equipment’s condition is useful. With this approach, look at the equipment’s current condition to see what work needs to be completed.

For example, worn tires may need to be replaced, or a newly noted vibration might be a sign of an issue that needs to be addressed. This approach requires an open line of communication with operators since many issues will only be identified during operation.

Like with the time approach, usage-based preventative maintenance also triggers tasks when the machine reaches a specified point—such as hours of use, mileage, harsh working conditions and when the equipment is being used during multiple shifts a day.

Keep equipment on the jobsite

Preventive maintenance positions you for success because it gives you the best chance of catching issues before they start and potentially lead to bigger problems. 

Retaining comprehensive records of when and what tasks have been completed on each piece of equipment puts all of the information in one place for you and your team to track and review. Over time, you can use that information to see if you need to adjust your preventive maintenance checklist or schedule.

To ensure your machines are receiving the proper preventive maintenance, check with your dealer and follow manufacturer recommendations.

For more information about preventive maintenance procedures for JLG equipment, click here


Uptime Matters

Getting the replacement parts and service shouldn’t be a hassle. To start stocking up for your fleet’s upcoming preventive maintenance, you can conveniently purchase quality equipment replacement parts, as well as equipment attachments, accessories and more, on JLG’s Online Express site. Shop here.

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