December 27, 2017

How You Can Build Safe Jobsites with Predictive Maintenance


What makes a construction jobsite safe? Is it the workers, wearing hardhats and reflective gear? Is it the oversight of a safety-oriented supervisor? Or is it safety procedures and OSHA guidelines being followed?

All of these answers are correct, but a construction jobsite can have all of these things and still be unsafe if it’s operating with unreliable and unsafe equipment. Reliable and safe equipment keep a jobsite safe just as much as actual workers in protective gear, following safety procedures and precautions do.

When your team can rely on its equipment to function safely and properly, they can focus on carrying out safe work themselves. If you find that you and your team aren’t confident in the reliability of your equipment, then it’s time to find a solution that can help.

Unreliable equipment’s effect on your jobsite

Equipment reliability is just as important as training employees to work safely and establishing safety procedures on site. Because modern equipment is complex, maintenance and reliability initiatives are of critical importance in the modern construction industry. The smallest failure on one machine can lead to catastrophe on the jobsite: injuries, destruction and sometimes even fatalities.

Accidents tend to happen when chaos creeps into the jobsite. An excavator that isn’t running reliably frustrates the workers and operators. In turn, those workers ignore safety protocol in an effort to solve the problem and keep moving forward. This frustration leads to unsafe actions and injuries.

Equipment that hasn’t been properly serviced can be faulty and cause injuries in itself. The leading cause of worker deaths in the construction industry is falls, which can be a result of equipment not functioning properly and causing workers to become unstable. Employees can also be struck by or caught in between faulty equipment, another cause of on-the-job death.  

Additionally, unreliable equipment causes downtime. When a machine breaks down or an engine fails on the job, your team then has to create a plan for reactive maintenance that slows down or completely halts work. Servicing equipment takes time, and when you don’t plan for it, your team loses hours of productivity and is forced to push back the project deadline.

The financial burden of failed equipment is large, especially when it leads to injury or fatality. Between higher insurance premiums, workers’ comp payments, financial settlements and OSHA-mandated shutdowns, accidents can have a huge impact on any company’s bottom line.

Preventative maintenance increases reliability

The first step to minimizing equipment hazards on the job is to ensure your machines operate at peak performance. This requires your team to practice preventative maintenance.

Preventative maintenance is exactly what it sounds like: Servicing and maintaining equipment in order to prevent failures or breakdowns. To practice preventative maintenance, you first have to have a keen understanding of how your equipment functions and how it’s running. You can’t prevent an engine failure without first understanding when your machine’s engine is most likely to fail.

Traditional telematics might seem like an obvious solution for your team’s preventative maintenance challenge. But traditional telematics systems don’t allow you to predict and prevent breakdowns across your entire mixed fleet.

To truly transition from reactive maintenance and unreliable equipment, you need a telematics solution that tracks your entire fleet, regardless of OEM, and helps you predict breakdowns before they even happen.

Smart jobsite technology predicts and prevents

EquipmentShare’s Track is smart jobsite technology that provides you with an overall picture of your fleet’s health. By tracking all of your equipment’s vitals, such as fuel levels, engine health, run time, downtime and more, your team can see which machines are running well and which ones aren’t.

If your machine isn’t operating as it should, Track sends you an alert, letting you know that something’s amiss. This provides your team with the opportunity to assess the machine and service it, or take it off the job and replace it with another machine before it breaks down.

This isn’t just preventative maintenance — it’s predictive maintenance. The longer Track telematics runs on your fleet, the more data it can gather and record. The more data it gathers, the better it can tell when your equipment isn’t functioning properly.

How predictive maintenance leads to safety

Of course, you and your team can’t predict the future. With smart jobsite technology, though, you can come close. With historical data and intelligence around your equipment and how it runs, you have a much better understanding of when equipment will need maintenance and service.

This knowledge helps your team plan work days better, present project bids more accurately and get work done on schedule. Additionally, predictive maintenance can help you save money.

According to the U.S. National Response Center, it costs approximately 50% more to repair a failed asset than if the problem had been addressed before failure. Not only does operating safe equipment help you increase safety, but it also helps you increase savings.

Preventative and predictive maintenance is one pillar in the foundation of safety. When your team understands the running state of their equipment, they can rely on it to not fail or break down on the job. Track’s data reassure your team that their equipment is safe and in smooth running condition. With this confidence and intelligence, your team can operate safely.

Construction is a dangerous industry, but your team can remove uncertainty and risk from their day-to-day work by operating safe, reliable equipment that is backed by hard data and intelligence. With Track’s smart jobsite technology, your team can increase both fleet reliability and project safety easily.


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