The annual equipment service inspection – it’s something many companies swear by and do like clockwork each year. It’s also something several neglect for various reasons.
While every equipment professional no doubt agrees that a regular preventative maintenance program is one of the best ways to keep a fleet healthy and extend equipment life, a thorough, annual equipment inspection is just as valuable an investment.
Here’s why to schedule an equipment inspection this winter and ensure equipment is primed and ready to go to work next year.
1. Expert Expertise
Perhaps the single biggest advantage of an annual equipment inspection at a trusted equipment dealership is the machines are in the hands of trained, certified service technicians. These professionals are among the most knowledgeable when it comes to equipment, whether compact construction equipment, heavy equipment used in mines, quarries, and roadbuilding, or lawn and garden machines.
Technicians ensure the highest level of care is given to every machine and can draw on experience and patterns to offer a proactive approach to maintenance. Many are able to spot small issues that could be the beginnings of major problems and address them before they become serious.
And when it comes to technology, those that are specialized in new solutions from manufacturers are poised to offer the latest opportunities and updates to existing machines.
2. Mixed Fleets and More
Between general mixed fleets and industry-diversified companies, it’s common for fleets to include different manufacturer’s machines and equipment that can be used across multiple industries. For example, a grower may have a skid steer and dozer in addition to a typical lineup that includes a planter, combine, and tractors. In addition to smaller brush chippers and stump grinders, a tree care company may also have larger grinders and equipment to service broader needs of customers.
To service these broad needs, many dealerships offer an annual inspection program that covers various types of equipment, from agriculture and environmental to roadbuilding and underground utility. And it can go beyond the machines; some also offer annual service for machine control, precision agriculture systems, and other technology, as well as special opportunities for training and upgrades.
Similarly, while many service technicians are certified to a certain type of equipment, even manufacturer, top dealerships employ several technicians to ensure coverage of large mixed fleets. These skilled technicians offer a breadth of knowledge and experience working on different equipment.
For those with lawn and garden and compact construction equipment, RDO offers a special Mobile Maintenance service in select areas, conveniently bringing all the services of in-store maintenance right to customers. Find out 9 reasons to try Mobile Maintenance and see where it’s offered.
3. Complete, Comprehensive Care
Preventative maintenance is great for giving routine, daily or hourly-based care to machines throughout the year. An annual inspection is a chance to go beyond changing oil and replacing air filters.
Good programs are based on a thorough checklist, often including in-depth looks at everything from pumps and engines, and heating and A/C systems, to testing cords and connectors, and cleaning system components.
4. Service History and Detailed Records
The attention to detail offered during an annual inspection goes beyond the work done on the machine itself. When performed by the dealer partner, it also includes tracking precise, thorough records of what was done and when. For companies who have their equipment regularly serviced by their dealer, the annual inspection record is added to the ongoing records of the machine’s history.
The level of detail and trustworthiness of dealer service records come in handy when it’s time to trade in or sell a machine. Today’s buyers are savvy and know that service records are an asset, so companies that have them can position machines for top dollar – and are more likely to get it.
5. Parts Support, Sourcing, and Inventory
It’s often said that the real equipment relationship begins after the initial sale of the machine. While service is a major part of what’s needed after the sale, parts support is just as crucial.
Top dealerships offer a substantial inventory of parts and the ability to source them fast, thanks to relationships with major manufacturers and, often, a network of their own stores. When equipment comes in for an annual inspection, a company can rest assured that any needed parts will either be on-hand or available quickly, ensuring the machine is jobsite ready sooner rather than later.
Watch to go behind the scenes of how part support works at RDO:
The Bottom Line – is the Bottom Line
Reliability, productivity, and avoiding unplanned downtime. The value of annual inspections goes beyond the actual dollars saved by ignoring small – or large – issues that could become detrimental problems down the road.
Before winter ends and the new work year gets underway, take the time to have equipment inspected at a trusted, local dealership like RDO Equipment Co.
About The Author
Erik Sahr is Product Manager for WIRTGEN GROUP, overseeing sales and service, and based at RDO Equipment Co. in Moorhead, MN.