Hints and tips for when plant equipment breaks down

plant equipment under maintenanceIn the construction industry, time is most certainly money, and when large, heavy-duty equipment and machinery breakdown, it can be costly. 

Costly to repair and costly to your overall project. 

Unfortunately, equipment breaking down can’t be planned or scheduled in.  What makes matters worse is that these incidences always seem to happen when you least expect it, and when you could really do without it. 

To reduce the negative impact that a broken piece of equipment can have on your project, we’ve highlighted the steps to managing equipment breakdown, some of the main causes, and recommended maintenance programmes which could be rolled out. 

Steps to take when your equipment breaks down 

Find the root cause and correct it! 

Of course, this is often easier said than done, especially if you’re not 100% familiar with the specific piece of machinery which you’re using. 

However, having a team of “trouble-shooters” or mechanics on-site and on-call 24/7 is the best solution to help you in such situations. 

This, and using a reliable plant hire company who can reach you to help fix any problems or offer alternative pieces of equipment asap. 

When site machinery breaks down, you firstly need to check that there is a problem with the machine. Speaking with the operator as well as the hire company to identify and give a first impression of what might be wrong. 

At this stage, it’s about relaying as much information as possible to isolate the cause quickly. 

From here, you can then begin to drill down to the root cause. This is where technical ability, experience, and intuition all come into play. 

Testing different parts and elements of the equipment, ruling out areas as you go, as well as reading the equipment’s instruments should be your next step. 

If readjusting the equipment’s components doesn’t do the trick, disassembling certain parts may have to be considered. Clearing away any blockages or debris etc. that may be causing the problem. 

All machinery will also come with operating manuals and service logs, and at Addplant we would advise that these are used for all troubleshooting purposes, acting as checklists and guidelines to work through. 

User manuals also help to reduce the amount of guesswork that’s often used to identify issues. 

Once the specific problem has been found, the next step is how to correct it. 

Corrections can be as simple as removing dirt and grime so removing the blockage from the machinery or it can mean repairing or even replacing an entire component. 

During this time and depending on the correction required, it may be worth considering a backup piece of equipment to avoid holding projects up. As depending on the repair needed will depend on how long it takes for the machine to be back up and running. 

For example, turning a switch or adjusting a valve can have you back up and running in no time, but replacing a hose or a brake pad can be much more time-consuming. 

Once the correction has been identified and carried out, testing and adjusting the equipment is vital. 

You need to ensure that the problem is completely fixed and not just masked, as this will only lead to further complications. 

Checking must be thorough, and we would advise two people check the equipment is back to full working order before use. 

Find out more here!

Preventing Further Issues 

For all, you cannot completely eliminate breakdowns, with regular servicing and plant equipment maintenance you can reduce the chances of them happening. 

Sticking to a maintenance schedule will help and using a professional company to carry out the service, and any repairs are essential. 

Training on the use of the equipment can also help, as operators become at ease with the machinery and understand how to handle it effectively. 

Keeping the user manual handy to check on any troubleshooting queries, as well as referring to the logbook to see what work/repairs have already been carried out, will all help to prevent further issues. 

Equipment Breakdown Causes 

Intermittent breakdowns do happen, and these can be categorised into one of three areas: 

Thermally-induced failure – occurs when the machine is exposed to significant fluctuations in temperature. 

Mechanically induced failure – equipment breaks due to vibration, mechanical shock, collision, or operator abuse. 

Erratic failure – randomly occurs under various operating conditions making them hard to diagnose. 

Storing equipment safely and appropriately, as well as using and handling the machinery correctly can all help to eliminate and reduce such breakdown causes. 

Of course, hiring the right machinery from the right company is the first step in the right direction. 

Working with a team of experts who maintain the machinery and equipment that is available to hire.  A team who is available ASAP at the first sign of equipment breakdown. A team like Addplant, plant hire Yorkshire. 

Offering you first-class and effective solutions our specialist Yorkshire plant hire services provide you with the right machinery to get the job done. 

In the unlikely event of a breakdown occurs, we will replace the equipment or machinery asap, as we understand that time=money. 

With a strong track record, trust Addplant to support you with your project and plant hire needs. 

Call 01482 867 227



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