Yes, you do need to clean your equipment. When plant and machinery come back from hire, cleaning them is one of those chores we’d rather avoid. However, cleaning your equipment, whether it is a small attachment or a large digger, can ensure that when it is next used (whether that is in a week or a month) it is in good condition for the next operator. I can hear the groans of the people who have drawn short straw, but cleaning your equipment is a very important job, and can save time in the future and reduce all kinds of risks.Before we start, there are a few pointers to acknowledge before cleaning your equipment:
1) Check whether the equipment needs servicing by a professional;
2) Follow the instructions from the manufacturer;
3) Make sure the maintenance staff are fully informed and fully equipped;
4) Take your time.
Staying on top of cleaning your equipment, especially for large machinery, can raise any problems that may have gone unnoticed. Checking for signs of wear, corrosives, vibrations or shock damage can reduce the risk of breakdowns on site, improving productivity, safety and ensuring no emergency calls need to be made. However, cleaning your equipment also significantly reduces residual mud and dirt which is taken from site to site with the machinery, presenting as a contamination threat. Similarly, seals and filters should be checked to make sure that they are in good condition. It is equally important to top up any fluids that are low, and to reserve regular servicing times between hires, to ensure that the job is not rushed, and further reduce the risk of any breakdowns.
When the machinery is not in use, it should ideally be kept in a shed or adequate shelter from harsh weather conditions, winter or summer, which can lead to rust. Cleaning your equipment before putting it away for a rest makes sure that mud doesn’t dry and clog up parts, which can make it difficult to drive and use, reducing the efficiency of the machinery later on.
Commonly, plant and machinery are used throughout the year, so cleaning should take place all year-round. Having a record of when machinery was cleaned and serviced, and when checks were carried out can also help for future hires: for example, if a digger was damaged, a log of this will help the next operator and improve their safety.
So, cleaning your equipment is important and needs to be done! It will save time, reduces risks, improves productivity and keeps your plant and machinery intact!
At Trime UK, we are pushing for the development and use of sustainable, innovative systems like our award-winning X-Splash Wash Bay which recycles 100% of water.
For more information on plant and equipment maintenance, head to the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/machinery/plant.htm