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Louisville Switching Blog

The Importance of a Preventative Maintenance Service Plan

Posted by Louisville Switching

May 8, 2020 10:25:40 AM

All trucks require maintenance to maintain peak functionality, efficiency, and capabilities. To maximize your operations, yard trucks must undergo regular maintenance. At Louisville Switching, caring for yard trucks is our specialty, and we encourage all of our customers to engage in routine maintenance for their yard dogs. One way to do this is through a preventative maintenance service plan. Today we want to share exactly what a preventative maintenance service plan is and the importance of having a plan for your yard trucks. 


The Importance of Using a Preventative Maintenance Service Plan

A preventative maintenance service plan is vital to the efficiency of your fleet. Implementing a preventative maintenance plan can not only improve the performance of your yard trucks, but it can also positively impact the efficiency of your overall business in the following ways. 

Decrease Downtime

When your truck is running poorly, has failing parts, or experiences a breakdown while on the job, it costs your business valuable time. Just one yard truck being "out of commission" can lead to unexpected downtime across your business. This is a business owner and operations manager's worst nightmare when it comes to productivity. Following a preventative maintenance plan ensures your yard trucks continue operating at peak performance, helping you avoid these scenarios and decrease downtime.

Save Money

A preventative maintenance plan also saves your business money. Downtime leads to reduced production and hurts your business revenue. With a proper maintenance plan in place, your truck is less likely to experience costly downtime. Additionally, when you follow a preventative maintenance schedule, you are able to plan for part replacements, which saves you money on expensive emergency repairs or rushed parts shipments.  

Gain Peace-of-Mind

Finally, a preventative maintenance service plan does what its name suggests – it helps prevent unexpected repairs. With confidence in your yard truck's performance, you can focus on running the day-to-day operations of your business and keep your resources allocated to the things that move your business forward. As a fleet manager or operations supervisor, you will have peace-of-mind knowing your fleet is well taken care of and will be operating at its best until your next round of service. 

The Process of Executing a Preventative Maintenance Service Plan

The importance of a preventative maintenance service plan is clear, but to reap the full benefits, it's crucial you follow a standardized process for executing the plan. To do this, we suggest following this process:

1. Create a Preventative Maintenance Schedule

Conducting scheduled preventative maintenance increases the life span and performance of your yard truck and helps decrease the likelihood of unexpected downtime. To get started, you need to determine and set a schedule for preventative maintenance. Each truck's maintenance schedule can be different from the next, which is why it is crucial to know when and what your specific truck needs when it comes to maintenance. Here are a few resources we suggest using to create your preventative maintenance schedule:

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) recommendations

Equipment manufacturers have a slew of statistical data from in-house testing and field tests done by customers for each truck's specific make and model. The manuals they provide often contain schedules for necessary maintenance, the usage of critical spare parts, and basic maintenance instructions. You can download the Ottawa Maintenance Manual here for everything you need to know about effectively maintaining your Ottawa yard truck. 

Data from your maintenance history

If you have performed any maintenance on your yard truck in the past, then you should have records of what services were performed and when. With that information, you can estimate when certain preventative maintenance will need to be completed to prevent unnecessary part failures, damages, and breakdowns in the future. 

2. Stock-up On Essential Kits and Parts 

If this is your first time creating or using a preventive maintenance plan, we suggest you start by focusing on your most critical assets, such as your fuel system, hydraulic system, and engine, as well as stock up on the kits and parts you need to maintain these systems. 

A great place to start is with our Preventative Maintenance (PM) Service Kit. In fact, we think you need one to properly perform maintenance on your trucks. Our PM Service Kit, also known as the PM Filter Service Kit, is an all-inclusive kit made up of 5-6 different filters that are integral for normal operation. We offer this kit to our customers as an option to replace all filters at one time for optimal maintenance. The kit includes hydraulic, fuel, oil, air, and transmission filters. You can read more about our Preventative Maintenance (PM) Kits in our recent blog here

Having other key parts on hand for preventative maintenance is also crucial. Under "normal" circumstances, we can ship most parts in our inventory next-day air, but with the ongoing pandemic, things are far from normal in the shipping and logistics world. Therefore, we recommend stocking up on the parts you know you'll need to complete your preventative maintenance. Visit our parts page to search for parts or talk to a parts specialist – we'll make sure you get the parts you need. 

3. Track and Adjust Your Plan When Needed 

After you have implemented your preventive maintenance service plan for a period of time, you can assess the performance and results to make sure your yard truck is performing at its best. If after some time you notice your yard truck is in need of different services to meet your maintenance needs, you can adjust your maintenance plan to reap maximum benefits from your plan. 

If your business is in need of any yard truck services or you would like to create your own preventive maintenance service plan, contact us here. Our team is ready to serve you!