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United Rentals outlines benefits of preventive maintenance and inspections

By Stephen Elliott

September 3, 2023

United RentalsUnited Rentals fleet maintenance, Stamford, Conn., is outlining the benefits of preventive fleet maintenance and equipment inspections. Under-maintaining equipment, especially high-use compact to mid-size machinery, can happen for a variety of reasons.

“For too many companies, preventive maintenance tasks and inspections fall through the cracks of busy work schedules and equipment moving from worksite to worksite,” said Bret Kasubke, director of customer equipment solutions, United Rentals. “A well-executed maintenance and inspection program delivers great value by ensuring equipment is ready to go. It adds structure and visibility to the maintenance of owned equipment so companies can reduce downtime and improve cost control. The program protects equipment investment and can extend machinery life, possibly reducing the risk of catastrophic equipment failure that can lead to worksite safety issues.”

Here are some key safety, productivity and financial benefits that preventive maintenance programs and regular inspections provide to construction and industrial companies.

Safety benefits. Over time, wear and tear on equipment can lead to potentially dangerous mechanical failures. Worn chains and cables, broken pedals or levers and malfunctioning safety lights or audio signals can cause worksite accidents. Creating and following an equipment maintenance plan can mitigate serious hazards that result from faulty equipment and improve overall worksite safety.

Equipment inspections required by ANSI (American National Standards Institute), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and CSA (Canadian Standards Association) are equally important. For example, aerial lifts, such as boom and scissor lifts, require inspection by qualified mechanics or technicians every three months or every 150 hours, whichever comes first. Aerial lifts must also be inspected annually — every 13 months — and every time the equipment has been out of service for more than three months.
It is important to note that only a mechanic or technician qualified to work on the specific make and model of the aerial lift can perform the lift inspection.

Productivity benefits. Poorly maintained equipment is more likely to break down when it is needed. Companies that follow a preventive maintenance schedule experience less unplanned equipment downtime and better equipment performance, resulting in greater productivity, United Rentals officials said.

Financial benefits. Proper maintenance and inspection of equipment can save a company money in numerous ways, including:

  • Reducing downtime
  • Avoiding fines
  • Lowering repair costs
  • Reducing overtime
  • Extending the useful life of equipment

Outsourcing can be an attractive option for companies that want to gain the benefits of preventive maintenance and inspections but need more internal capabilities or resources, United Rentals officials said.

“Starting and sticking to a preventative maintenance program isn’t simple or easy, especially when equipment moves from job site to job site. Outsourcing these tasks to a single vendor with deep experience in equipment maintenance and a large staff of skilled technicians can relieve the burden of fleet maintenance and let companies focus on what they do best,” Kasubke said.