Take control of your servicing and inspections

Pat Callabyin Machinery & Mechanics

How many of you repair machines on a reactive basis rather than having a service/preventative maintenance program in place? The majority I suspect but regular servicing and inspections can pay dividends whereas breakdowns can be costly in lost "production", an exasperation to head green keepers and frustrating for the operators.

The key to timely, effective servicing is to "track" usage and by that I mean taking regular clock readings; keep good records of servicing and hour meter readings when the service was carried out.

Keeping complete records has other benefits too, for instance repeat repairs can help analyze problems and/or help with warrantee claims such as cracks in sub frames that need welding because it is not strong enough.

We have had a few instances here of that very thing that has lead to modifications by the manufacturers who may not have known there was a problem until it was found through regular inspections and pointed out to them. Warrantees on replacement parts such as alternators or starter motors or any number of other parts enables you to make the fullest use of warrantees and thus keep your running costs down.

Back to tracking the servicing and it matters not which way you look at it; it entails a visit to each machine to take the hour meter reading and this can in itself be time consuming but gets easier after a few times when you know the machines are too hand at certain times of the day. I use the form below to help me in identifying those machines that are due for a service; this particular form is only a specimen to help you get the idea.

Service table


Last Done Check Check
Next Due
GM 3200 Yes 1000 1048 Yes 1050
GM 3200 Yes 1000 1030 1050
GM 3200 955 955 Yes 950
GM 3200 Yes 1025 1025 1050
GM 3100 Yes 1530 1530 1550
GM 3100 Yes 1600 1650 Yes 1650
GM 3100 Yes 1600 1625 1650
GM3100 Yes 1700 1760 Yes 1750

From the above example you can see that oil filters (as I'm sure you know) are not changed at every service on some machines but every other service.

Also there are 4 machines needing a service/inspection and when each one is completed the "Next Due" hours become the "Last Done" hours on the next sheet so in theory the machine records need never be consulted again.

This form can be adapted to suit your particular needs and need not be confined to grass cutting machinery but can include tractors, course vehicles or machines that have an hour meter but are static such as pumps and compressors and possibly many other machines, it just depends on your personal responsibilities.

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Machinery & mechanics