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Essential Heavy Equipment Requires Expensive and Immediate Repairs

Keeping M&O’s large fleet of heavy equipment operational is perpetually a challenge and was particularly taxing in the 2013-14 FY. Because every piece of machinery in the specialized fleet is a work horse running hard five to six days a week, each must be operational around the clock every day of the year. The equipment is often called to service in emergency situations, but even if not urgent, as the jobs are inevitably large and important, preventing breakdowns is indispensable. The inventory includes industrial commercial dump trucks, a winch-boom, a five-ton and two and ½ ton flatbed trucks, one-ton pickup, sixton semi with fifth wheel, refrigerated box trucks, water trucks, forklifts, backhoes, loaders, road graders, excavators, bulldozers, snow plows, rider mowers, and wreckers. Each requires costly diligent preventive maintenance upkeep and equally expensive and immediate repair in the event of a breakdown − urgency is invariably a factor with this equipment. Specific to Fleet Maintenance are the safety and time issues in keeping the Food Services refrigeration trucks on the road. Fresh food is delivered to every school site several times a day on inflexible tight schedules.

Just managing the PM in keeping the equipment functional is a challenge. Servicing hard working equipment with little down time has to be performed during off hours when the equipment is not in use. Yet, in spite of regular preventive maintenance, breakdowns are going to happen. Grounds equipment run over unseen objects and other equipment expires under duress in performing demanding jobs. And parts are nearly always needed for a down truck or backhoe that is needed NOW, presenting a second challenge. But there is not time to wait for parts and repairs, yet costs for spare parts or backup equipment is prohibitive, presenting a third paradox. M& O is always under pressure with regard to heavy equipment that is crucial for the smooth operation of all Departments but most notably Fleet, Mechanical, and Grounds.

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