Important: Preventative Equipment Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

Underestimating the importance of equipment maintenance could be taking a toll on your bottom line. The saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is too often the way some view equipment maintenance. Why pay for service on your equipment if there’s nothing wrong with it? Believe it or not, there are several reasons. All equipment is an investment — one that requires time and money to keep in optimal shape.

BENEFITS OF MAINTENANCE

Preventative equipment maintenance is key to extending equipment life and ultimately saving you time and money. While your perception may be that paying for preventative maintenance is unnecessary spending, the reality is that without it, you’re often left with more expensive repairs. At Hercules SLR we believe in the importance of preventative maintenance, here are just some of the reasons why:

KEEP EQUIPMENT RUNNING EFFICIENTLY

When equipment runs efficiently, work get done on schedule, keeping that optimal condition is key to maintaining that level of equipment efficiency. If maintenance is overlooked, efficiency suffers and ultimately, your bottom line suffers as a result.

SMALL PROBLEMS BECOME BIGGER PROBLEMS OVER TIME

We’ve all seen it; something isn’t working exactly the way it used to, but it isn’t affecting the job, so we continue, sometimes even adjusting how we use the piece of equipment to keep things moving. While it may seem like this is the most efficient way to get the job done in the short term, it could cause you major problems long-term.

THE BIGGER THE PROBLEM, THE MORE THE EXPENSE

While it may seem like it makes no sense to spend the time and money to have your equipment inspected or repaired when you’re able to work around it, the reality is that waiting, is going to cost you even more. Bigger, more complex repairs come with a bigger price tag. Think of more than parts? yes, a more complex problem will likely come with having to replace more and/or larger parts that are expensive, but it doesn’t end there.

Larger problems often translate to more downtime, the more downtime means you’re suddenly behind schedule and/or unable to take on a new project. Employees scheduled to use that equipment need paying, so now you are paying for work that cannot be done during the downtime.

Don’t wait for the bigger problem — invest in the small one.

REDUCE INJURIES AND FATALITIES

Within the construction industry, 17% of fatal construction accidents are due to contact with objects and equipment. If your equipment isn’t being serviced on a regular basis, there’s a chance it isn’t working properly. If it isn’t working properly, you’re increasing your chances of workplace injury or death because of equipment failure.

Regardless of how much safety training you or your employees have been through, they don’t have control over equipment failure. Of course, there will always be unexpected breakdowns, but you can minimize them through being proactive about your equipment maintenance.

Workplace injuries and fatalities are tragic and expensive. Company morale suffers, and so does your bottom line. One of the benefits of maintenance doubles as a proactive step in reducing the number of injuries or fatalities you have on site. You can’t put a price on your team’s safety in the field.

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Service records and documentation answer many of these questions and put many of the concerns of the unknown to rest. At Hercules SLR all our customers have access to CertTracker®, our FREE online equipment management system.

CertTracker® delivers innovative solutions that streamline any inspection and maintenance process. Mobile computing, Radio Frequency (RFID) tagging and internet applications provide you with enhanced accuracy and operational efficiency. Not to mention eliminating most of the paperwork.

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The CertTracker Advantage

 TRAIN OPERATORS AND TECHNICIANS

In conjunction with technology, there is no substitution for the human touch. It takes a trained operator to understand the problem and a trained technician to know how to fix it or to alert someone that it needs repairing. Educating your equipment operators and any technicians you have on staff is key to extending the life of your equipment, as they will be sure that small problems don’t turn in to big ones.

If training isn’t feasible, there needs to be a summary of best practices and an operation manual in place so you can ensure operators are using the equipment the way it was meant to be used. Always respect all weight limits and guidelines. An untrained equipment operator could unintentionally cause costly repairs, so make sure the best practices and expectations are outlined clearly and regularly.

SET AND STICK TO A MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

Every piece of equipment is different. They all have their own intricacies and need a maintenance and repair schedule to match. Rather than waiting for parts to cause a problem, replace them when they are scheduled to be replaced.

How do you know when that is? The piece of equipment will have an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) maintenance recommendation. Commit to it. It may seem like by being proactive you’re attempting to fix something that isn’t broken, but trust us, neglecting to do this will result in expensive repairs.

CONDUCT REGULAR INSPECTIONS

No, inspections are not the same thing as maintenance schedules. equipment should be inspected every time it’s used. Trained operators should know what to look and listen for to ensure equipment is working properly. Checking for simple things, like signs of wear on equipment, can go a long way. The reality is equipment is often used with vibration, high temperatures and friction? all of which contribute to the wear and tear. Add age to the mix, and you have a recipe for deterioration.

This happens with all equipment, and the key to extending equipment life is to make sure you do something as simple as adding an operator visual inspection to your equipment use requirements. Noticing slight wear and tear may seem small, but these things can be identified through a visual inspection and fixed before they cause a larger problem.

HOW QUALIFIED ARE THE TECHNICIANS INSPECTING YOUR GEAR?

When it comes to inspections, testing, repairs and certification, you need to know that you and your equipment are in safe and experienced hands.

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) is established across the globe as the leading representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry worldwide. They provide third party training and examination for technicians in the lifting equipment industry.

At Hercules our inspectors have undergone this internationally recognized training and some hold multiple diplomas.

OUR TECHNICIANS ARE:

  • Familiar with the most recent technology in the lifting industry
  • Skilled and confident in their inspection skills
  • Constantly learning and expanding their knowledge
  • LEEA Registered Technicians

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For all your maintenance requirements, let our experts help. If you need to book your equipment in for service or have any concerns, questions or call us Toll Free on:  1-877-461-4876.

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

 

 

 

 

Hoisting in Downtown Toronto? Advance Planning is Key

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When it comes to hoisting HVAC and other heavy rooftop components onto downtown Toronto office towers, the lifts themselves take just a day or two. What makes it all work, however, is months of planning.

A case in point: In late May, Amherst Crane Rentals placed mechanical equipment atop a 22-storey building on Yonge Street, between Adelaide and Richmond streets, in the heart of downtown Toronto’s business core. With a 15,000-lb. cooling tower the heaviest lift, and a relatively narrow area to work from, Amherst brought in one of its heavyweights — a 500-ton Liebherr LTM 1400 all-terrain crane.

“In this configuration we had 276 feet of luffer and around 220,000 pounds of counterweight with the [Liebherr TY guying] heavy-lift attachment,” Amherst Crane Rentals vice-president Mark Welstead explained.

Key to matching the LTM 1400 with this particular job was the fact the telescopic boom is attached and doesn’t need launching each time it’s needed.

“You have a great lifting capacity without having a major operation like launching a boom, so this speeds things up and makes the whole job more productive,” Welstead explained.

Because the LTM 1400 is versatile and can readily adapt to an eclectic mix of hoisting jobs, it isn’t sitting around if only smaller jobs come calling.

“Where it excels is in its capacities for all the work we do, whether it be for [erecting] tower cranes or for mechanical work like this,” Welstead said. “If we don’t have a 500-ton job for a few days we can rent it out as a 250, 300 or 400 with relatively ease. This gives us more productivity and use out of the crane. We can use it for smaller jobs very easily without a big cost.”

The truck-mounted crane’s compact nature makes it relatively easy to transport it from job to job. To travel to the Yonge Street site from its yard in the suburb of Brampton, Ont., the crane simply motored down major arterial routes, taking up a single lane, travelling at the city-approved 40 kilometre per hour speed limit and avoiding sensitive overpasses.

“The crane is permitted for the City of Toronto, but there’s lots of roads and bridges we’re not allo

Torontowed to go over,” Welstead said, singling out the Gardiner Expressway, which for much of its length is an overpass that is aging and showing signs of deterioration.

To reach its downtown destination, the crane and its convoy of support trucks drove down Highway 427 and then took Lakeshore Blvd. eastwards. While the set-up and job itself were fairly straightforward, the project itself required months of logistical planning. As soon as its customer came calling, Amherst contacted City of Toronto work zone coordinators and affected parties such as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to sort things out.

“It starts with the customer and what they require,” Welstead explained. “We figure out what kind of crane we need and how we’re going to do it, then we decide whether or not we need to shut a road down.”

Logistics are normally arranged months in advance. Transit routes can be affected, and while Toronto’s subway system is underground downtown, bus and streetcar routes are impacted by street closures. Just as motorists and pedestrians will be redirected for a job’s duration, the TTC also needs to plan alternate routes.

Because there are subway tunnels, hydro infrastructure and other amenities underneath Yonge Street, Amherst and city engineers needed to ensure the area where the crane was set up could tolerate the weight.

Crews set up on mats, with engineered heavy point loads calculated to accommodate the 190,000-lb. crane.

“We provided them with all the crane loadings and came to agreement as to where the crane could sit on the road,” Welstead said.

It also took time to arrange for permits, paid-duty police officers and other supports. With a significant amount of on-site staging work, and numerous components needing to be hoisted, Amherst avoided chaos by scheduling the project for the Victoria Day long weekend.

“We had to take some of the older equipment out and put up some steel and other components to accommodate the new equipment up there, so there were multiple smaller lifts as well as a heavy lift,” Welstead said. “We’d hoist stuff down, put new stuff up. Then they would be fabricating and we’d start working on other stuff — taking down older frames and things like that.”

On more modest jobs, crews might normally arrive on a Friday evening to assemble the crane so it’s ready to hoist Saturday morning, and then wrap up and leave midday on the Sunday. The extra day afforded by the long weekend offered wiggle room, though crews were gone by mid morning on the holiday Monday.

“If we’d had to interrupt traffic for a whole other weekend to finish, it wouldn’t be in the city’s best interests,” Welstead said.

While the customer brought in two other contractors to handle other components of the job, Amherst relied as much as possible on its own equipment and services, opting not to sub out anything it was responsible for.

“That way we can ensure being on time and everything’s working properly and we don’t get a let-down,” Welstead said.

This included trailers, secondary equipment and services, and a second crane — a Liebherr, LTM 1055 all-terrain machine — to set up and dismantle the main crane.

While severe weather can put best-planned timing in jeopardy, crews endured nothing more than light showers on the Saturday.

“High wind and lightning can be a challenge if we have all of this set up ahead of time,” Welstead said.

Graham Morrison, the crane operator Amherst assigned to the job who also served as site supervisor, said the lift had its challenges but was mostly straightforward.

“We had five different trades working all at the same time in the same confined space,” said Morrison, a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 793. “There were only three companies, but we were dealing with pipefitters, electricians, millwrights, welders and crane operators.”

Morrison described the rigging, which he oversaw, as standard, with nylon belts, steel chokers, steel beams and spreader bars used to help protect the load from potential damage. Morrison concurred with Welstead that the LTM 1400’s compact nature and its ability to avoid a boom-launching manoeuvre played a major role in getting the job done within a tight time frame.

“By 10 o’clock Monday morning we were gone and the street was reopened. We were right on schedule,” he said.

Article by By Saul Chernos Read the original article here

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLR, Hercules Machining & Millwright Services, Spartan Industrial Marine, Stellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.