Most Common Causes of Equipment Failure

Does it ever feel like your equipment always seems to fail at the worst time possible like when you are working on a big project and have to put it on hold because a particular machine fails to operate as it should? The worst part is that not only will it delay the project, but it will also cost you quite a bit. According to a study conducted by Caterpillar, project managers must deal with around 400 to 800 nonproductive hours per machine every year.

With your equipment standing idly, there is naturally going to be a reduction in productivity. If the machine was faulty and ended up hurting operators, you may even be facing injury claims. Heavy equipment failures are common with forklifts, bulldozers, excavators, tractors, and other such machinery. Equipment failure is stressful for everyone present on site and working on the project. To effectively prevent equipment failure, you need to first understand the most common causes behind it.

Untrained Equipment Operators

Everyone working on a construction project knows that it is important that every operator receives proper training to handle the equipment they use. Usually, operators learn everything in these trainings such as how to troubleshoot and operate the equipment while adhering to the safety standards. However, unexpected absences often force managers to get an operator from another team to handle equipment on which they are not properly trained. 

Sometimes, companies even hire additional staff from outside sources during particularly busy weeks. Instances of equipment failure due to untrained operators are quite common. In a big company, it is very difficult to ensure that all the operators working with a particular piece of equipment have had proper training for it. 

Ignoring Warning Signs

If there is something wrong with the machine you are using, chances are that there will be a warning light letting you know about it on the screen. As an operator, you need to pay attention to these warning lights, whether they are signaling high engine temperature or low hydraulic pressure. Unfortunately, many heavy equipment operators tend to overlook or disregard these warning lights. 

Some operators do intend to report it to their supervisors, but they end up forgetting about it by the end of their shift. Failing to address these warning signals on time will only end up damaging the equipment more. Not only is it bad for the machine to continue to operate it despite the appearance of these warning signals, but it is also dangerous for the operator as well. 

Overworking the Equipment

It will not do you any good to overwork your equipment. However, there are still going to be some team members who will try to push their machine to its limits. This will only result in the equipment either failing prematurely or being unable to perform at its optimal level due to its joints undergoing unnecessary strain. Whether you are working with a 140G motor grader or a wheel loader, overworking the machine will only cost you more in the long run.