For many busier facilities, preventative dock maintenance may seem like a nice idea but is still a measure that can be difficult to work into an already busy schedule. Nonetheless, all business owners need to understand that preventative dock maintenance can offer a number of advantages that can help a business be more productive and also reduce significant costs.
Some of the benefits of developing a preventative dock maintenance program can include:
- Reduce Asset Costs — When you are looking at your assets, the purchase price reflects only one aspect of the costs you incur. You also need to keep in mind the operating and maintenance costs of those assets. When you develop a preventative dock maintenance program, it can help you minimize your maintenance costs relating to certain assets and also lead to the assets lasting longer so you do not have to pay the steep costs of replacing them sooner than is necessary.
- Keep Assets Working — When you have a preventative dock maintenance program, it can help identify the assets that are in need of repairs. Sooner identification of these issues helps eliminate costly accidents and lost productivity because of asset failure. These measures can also help you avoid having to pay increased costs for emergency or after-hour repairs.
- Maximize Availability of Assets — All businesses need assets to be functioning properly to maintain productivity, so to perform preventative maintenance on assets can often lead to asset failures that can have catastrophic effects on productivity. Businesses that cannot afford any downtime must be sure to use a preventative dock maintenance program so they can quickly identify assets that are of concern.
- Improve Safety — The biggest benefit of a preventative dock maintenance program is that it will ultimately help keep all of your workers safe on the job. Fewer accidents mean fewer injury claims filed against employers. Preventative measures can help identify serious safety concerns and allow you to address them before an accident happens.
A preventative dock maintenance program can be a cost-effective way to help extend the life of important assets such as docks, doors, and lifts. Parts Brite is a leading loading dock repair and replacement part supplier for facilities across North America.
Preventative dock maintenance programs help increase operational efficiency and extend the life of equipment while also reducing the chances of equipment malfunction and costly downtime. They can also help you get priority scheduling for certain services and help you establish relationships with service professionals.
A preventative dock maintenance program may also allow for some shops to get priority scheduling for service and repairs, and some repairs could also be performed at discounted rates in some cases. You can also have a detailed report that will better help you budget for repairs and asset replacement costs.
To start your own preventative dock maintenance program, you should try to follow these steps:
- Identify all equipment requiring regular servicing — You should review everything in your facility and compile a list of every item that requires some level of periodic attention. Motors and moving equipment are common kinds of items that most people identify, but make sure that you give complete consideration to all kinds of assets, including many of the neglected types such as dock levelers, high-speed doors, compactors, trailer restraints, and overhead doors. You want a detailed map that indicates the physical location of all dock equipment with identification data.
- Determine an interval for maintenance — With every asset you have, you will want to know what kind of service will be required and how often it needs to be performed. Review the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, but you can also consult a trusted vendor when you are not sure how often maintenance should be performed. Preventative maintenance for mechanical, hydraulic, and air-operated dock levelers often includes cleaning debris from pits, inspecting all decks, lips, toe guards, and weather seals, tightening nuts and bolts, inspecting welds and rear hinges, inspecting and lubricating front hinges, lubricating and adjusting main counterbalances, and inspecting hold down assemblies, cross-traffic or safety legs, release chains, lift arms, subframes, and bumpers as well as cycling levelers for proper operation. With dock seals, you will want to inspect the condition of the fabric, all fasteners, seams, wear pleats, foam core, counterbalance, framework, and bumper condition. Dock shelters should have their shelter framework, fiberglass panels or fabric wrap, fabric header curtains, fabric side panels, bottom enclosures, trim angles, fasteners, and frame protectors inspected.
- Assign responsibilities — Not all tasks can necessarily be assigned to any employee. Certain maintenance tasks are going to require a certain level of expertise that some employees may not be suited for. Know when you may have to hire a professional to perform certain types of maintenance. Fire safety systems are a good example of equipment that will involve specialized equipment and licensed professionals to maintain.
- Create a master maintenance schedule — After you have taken all of the aforementioned steps, you will need to create a master schedule that lays out all of the different maintenance efforts and how frequently each effort must be performed. The extent to which you must go with your master plan can depend on the size of your facility. Paper-based plans or spreadsheets may suffice for smaller shops, but bigger shops can require specialized software to track maintenance schedules.
After all of these steps have been taken, a business owner needs to stay mindful of the preventative dock maintenance program to make sure that it is being complied with. Developing a preventative dock maintenance program is not meaningful when the efforts are not being regularly followed.
A preventative dock maintenance program does not guarantee that you will not experience equipment failure or damage, but it can help you have plans in place to deal with these issues when they arise.
With a preventative dock maintenance program, you could also become aware of when adjustments may be required if the equipment is not performing at maximum efficiency. By having a program in place, you will be able to better identify dock equipment issues and can make the necessary changes to get the equipment operating more efficiently.
Contact Parts Brite
Are you looking for the highest-quality aftermarket loading dock parts? Parts Brite has the parts you need, shipped from warehouses in California and Wisconsin. Contact us at 1-855-PARTSBRITE (1-855-727-8727) today.