1 Organising the workshop

Organising the workshop

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I have a commissioning process for new machines that helps me to order parts and claim warrantees, when the machine may not be readily to hand and to record other information relevant to that machine that will be required at some time in the future. It goes something like this: ~

1. Number the machine where the number can be seen easily front and rear.

2. Take the engine number and any other numbers relevant to the engine i.e., code, type, family, c.c. and horse power.

3. Take the model and serial number of the machine.

4. Take the model and serial number of all the units or decks and where they are mounted on the machine.

5. Take any available numbers from major component parts such as axles, pumps and transmissions.

6. Take the type of machine.

7. Record all of this as the opening page of the machines service record together with the date it was purchased.

8. Look through the service book and see when it needs the first engine oil and filter change. Check to see if the correct filter is held in stock, if not put one on order ready. Do the same for the hydraulic filter(s).tractors-lined-up.jpg

This way when asked by a supplier for information such as model number and the like, it is always too hand rather than looking for it and having to ring back or waiting until the machine returns from a work period, this goes for workshop equipment as well, after all a vehicle/machine lift or a MIG welder may also have problems.

We now have the nucleus of a workshop and some machines, some equipment to help us maintain it, a phone/fax, hopefully a computer, desk and chair, kettle (most important or have I said that) and a box of hand tools. All set to go or are we? Legislation, Health & Safety, COSHH assessments for substances held, standard operating procedures, risk assessments for the tasks performed in the workshop, CAP-EX register for all machines and workshop equipment held, servicing schedules to write, register for all controlled waste storage and disposal, all these things have to be addressed by you.

Still want to do this job, you either love it or hate it, personally I love it.

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If you are given a budget within which to work you have a start point, but it needs clarifying from the outset. What comes with the building, heating, 3 phase electric, plenty of light, painted floors, internal crash barriers, compressed air? If all is supplied you can get prices for your foundation equipment such as a machine lift (possibly 3 phase), grinders (possibly 3 phase), tyre changing machine, pneumatic/hydraulic small machine lift, electric kettle (most important), desk, chair, filing stuff, computer etc. etc.

Then you can look at tools, go for workshop grade, Snap-On is nice and shiny but attracts magpies and the spanners soon become "lost", buying a good foundation kit is essential but be prepared to add to it constantly as there is always a tool needed. Jacks and axle stands need to be a good workshop grade from a reliable supplier rather than some of the really cheap imports around, they don't last, warrantees aren't worth the paper they're written on and spares are not available, when they break they are only good for the skip.

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