Why is Preventative Maintenance Important?
When it comes to keeping your shop operating smoothly, it’s crucial to keep your equipment properly maintained. However, some mechanic shops rely on reactive maintenance rather than preventative maintenance. This method, akin to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” may work in some settings but is not beneficial overall.
A proactive or preventative maintenance plan can help identify problems before they occur. For example, regularly scheduled tasks like oil changes, lubrication, and cleaning are part of an excellent preventive maintenance program. During these routine checks, you can replace minor parts and make adjustments, preventing potentially more significant problems.
A reactive approach to your shop’s equipment can cause unwanted downtime, equipment failure, loss of revenue, and safety concerns.
Types of Preventative Maintenance
Four main types of preventative maintenance can keep your shop running smoothly.
Usage-based preventative maintenance depends on a set amount of usage or time the equipment is used. This fixed time can forecast when maintenance or inspection should be completed.
For example, this type of maintenance can be based on the number of hours the equipment is used. Every piece of equipment has different recommendations for usage-based preventative maintenance.
Predictive maintenance allows shops to determine the condition of their equipment to estimate the timing of care. Unlike usage-based maintenance, predictive maintenance is only performed when necessary.
This type of care is designed to prevent unexpected equipment failures by noting the equipment’s condition. Once its condition is determined, you can set up a proper maintenance schedule.
Prescriptive maintenance is similar to predictive but goes a few steps further. While predictive maintenance can predict when equipment failure may occur, prescriptive maintenance allows you to calculate the effects of changing various operating conditions.
For example, prescriptive maintenance can tell you that lowering your equipment’s speed by a specific amount can double its operating time before it’s going to fail.
This type of preventative maintenance can also explain why equipment failure is happening.
Time-based preventative maintenance is one of the more common methods for equipment care. This maintenance plan occurs at a scheduled time based on days, weeks, months, or years.
Importance of Preventative Maintenance
Preventive maintenance offers many benefits, including a reduction in downtime, an increase in productivity and efficiency, and the prevention of costly emergency repairs.
While downtime is almost inevitable in a repair shop, a preventative maintenance schedule can significantly reduce your shop’s downtime.
With a reactive approach to maintenance, your shop will have a significant amount of unexpected downtime, which can cause a substantial loss of productivity. Preventative maintenance allows you to schedule your maintenance tasks, so your downtime is limited and less troublesome.
And when you decrease downtime, you ultimately increase efficiency, productivity, and revenue.
Increase Efficiency & Performance of Equipment
The increased efficiency of your shop’s equipment is one of the main benefits of a solid preventative maintenance schedule. While some shops use software to help schedule maintenance, it’s not a requirement, especially for smaller shops. However, a simple maintenance calendar can help you plan when to perform part replacements, oil and fluid changes, and inspections.
A solid preventative maintenance plan will provide your shop with significant cost savings. In addition, because you will unlikely deal with unplanned equipment failure, your downtime will be significantly reduced, increasing productivity and reducing the cost of an emergency repair.
An emergency repair can often cost up to 9 times more than planned maintenance, with the cost of rushed shipping on repair parts, specialized technicians, and lost revenue while the equipment is down.
When you implement a preventative maintenance program, you ensure that your equipment won’t fail prematurely, saving you from replacing the whole thing.
Improve the Lifespan of Machines
Although reduced downtime, increased efficiency, and cost savings are all benefits of a preventative maintenance plan, you must remember the increased lifespan of your equipment.
When you keep your equipment in good working condition, you can lengthen its lifespan, allowing it to run longer and keep your shop operating efficiently.
Safer Working Conditions
A safe and optimal workspace is one of the most important aspects of a preventative maintenance plan. With a more reactive maintenance plan, you are exposing your techs and mechanics to an unsafe working environment. Unfortunately, mechanics are often injured when working in a hazardous environment.
Thankfully, preventative maintenance can give you peace of mind, increasing the safety of your equipment and lowering the risks of injury because of hazardous machines. Unfortunately, health and safety are often an afterthought regarding preventative maintenance, but they are more important than anything else.
A significant injury to one of your mechanics can increase downtime, reduce efficiency, and increase costs and damage.
Wrap-up: Why is Preventative Maintenance Important?
If you’ve been able to perform a reactive approach to your maintenance schedule without any negative results, you are lucky. However, the risks of this approach will multiply with time, causing an unsafe working environment for your mechanics.
However, a solid preventative maintenance program can increase productivity, reduce downtime, decrease emergency repair costs, and increase revenue. And, more importantly, provide a safe working environment for your team.
Whether you are a new shop or you’ve been operating for decades, having a trusted automotive repair parts partner is crucial to your success.
SVI can be your trusted source of automotive equipment repair parts, with over 40,000 parts available and two ready-to-ship warehouses. Our one-stop shop offers everything from brake lathe and fluid delivery products to petroleum equipment and auto lift parts.
We can ensure that you get back on your feet quickly, so your downtime is limited. Contact us for real solutions and quality-engineered parts. Our knowledgeable staff stands ready to serve you and provide you with same-day shipping on our in-stock parts.
We look forward to being your equipment repair parts partner!