In an effort to reduce costs, maintaining an inventory of spare parts was largely overlooked. This was also made possible by the fact that equipment was clocking fewer hours so fewer repairs and general maintenance was required. With completely full schedules and completion deadlines once again moving to the forefront a change to more aggressive maintenance and upkeep will be needed to keep up.
Going through maintenance schedules carefully to find any items that may have been passed over in cost cutting moves before and catching up on them now will save costly downtime in this high opportunity period. One factor to consider is time maintenance as opposed to hours. If you have been in an extended slow period careful inspections of hoses and fittings and replacing any that show signs of dry rot or time wear can save extended onsite delays.
The nature of the demolition business is that if a key piece of equipment goes down it typically stops many other pieces. Trucks sit idling and processing plants are idle until the one piece of equipment is repaired. A single breakdown can easily effectively stop progress of an entire crew. With thousands of dollars on the line for (if not much more) for losing a day it is simple economics to keep a good supply of spare parts on hand.
Your mechanics and history should be able to give good insight on what needs to be available for common repairs. Particular emphasis should be on parts that need to come from the manufacturer and are not interchangeable easily between different equipment. If your mechanic suspects an item is wearing, order it now so it can be on hand when needed or changed out on an unexpected available day.
The other advantage of planning for repairs ahead of time is you can shop where to purchase the parts from or look into the used parts market for further cost savings. When repairs are needed immediately to continue the current job speed of acquisition becomes more important than price. Forward planning will allow you to aggressively price shop instead.
Most equipment manufacturers have both sales representatives that will help inventory your parts and online ordering systems. You can view JCB parts and spares here as an example to gauge your needs. Getting the job done is important; finishing it on time requires preparation. As timeliness takes on greater importance again, adjust your ways of doing business accordingly.
Reuben Dickison is semi-retired freelance writer and blogger currently living in the United States. He holds degrees in Marketing and Public Administration with past jobs including consumer financial management, and private business management training and consulting. He has a passion for home renovation and construction and contributes to a variety of DIY publications.