A power tool maintenance management plan is essential to ensure your tools are ready when your team needs them. Implementing routines to inspect and maintain your team’s power tools increases uptime and maximizes tool lifespan.
How to Maintain Power Tools
Power tool maintenance is seemingly straight-forward and perhaps less complex than other assets you manage. That said, underestimating the importance of power tool maintenance can cause major issues in your team’s uptime and productivity.
Taking a proactive approach to power tool maintenance is one of the best ways to avoid downtime. Performing simple maintenance tasks also lengthens the lifespan of your tools and helps you avoid unnecessary replacement expenses.
Keeping up with power tool maintenance can be difficult when you have a multitude of other responsibilities on your plate. Aside from a busy schedule, many fleet managers also lack the ability to track their power tools and small equipment in real-time.
Instead of using static systems like whiteboards and spreadsheets, tool tracking software provides comprehensive visibility into power tool usage. With a real-time view of your assets, you can stay informed of issues in the field and manage all of your tools in an organized system.
Try these six tips to improve your power tool maintenance plan.
1. Focus on Power Tool Maintenance Basics
Most power tool maintenance tasks are relatively simple. Performing quick and easy maintenance tasks can maximize tool longevity and help you avoid downtime.
Cleaning tools after every shift is one of the easiest maintenance tasks. By simply wiping down tools with a cloth prior to storage to remove grease and grime, your tools are ready to go the next day.
Small crevices in your power tools can often be clogged by debris and impact performance, and even result in breakdowns. Provide your team with compressed air canisters to easily remove debris and avoid tool malfunctions.
Properly lubrication ensures your power tools can properly function on the jobsite. When planning power tool maintenance, make sure your team has the correct lubricants for each of their tools.
Because lubricants vary in grades and viscosity, it’s important to have the appropriate lubricant for each type of power tool. Refer to each tool’s owner’s manual when choosing the right lubricant and scheduling reapplications.
2. Assign Power Tools to Individual Operators
Divide and conquer. It’s not just a battle strategy—it’s also an effective management strategy. When your team is in sync, they achieve more.
As a manager, it can be hard to maintain visibility into how your tools and assets are being used. Not only can a lack of visibility cause issues with scheduling, but it can also be difficult to keep your team accountable when power tools are damaged or missing.
By assigning tools to team members in tool tracking software, you can monitor tool usage, maintain visibility and hold your team accountable for the tools they use.
Not only does this provide insight into who is using a specific tool, but tool assignments also empower your team to proactively monitor the condition of their tools. If an issue arises with a particular tool, the assigned team member can use their mobile tool management app to quickly inform you of the issue.
3. Uncover Issues With Electronic Tool Inspections
Implementing tool assignments is a great way to monitor tool usage and boost accountability, but let’s take it a step further. Another way to stay informed of power tool maintenance needs is by having your team conduct routine tool inspections.
By conducting tool inspections each day, your operators can proactively monitor tool condition and identify issues before they compound and cause downtime. Maintaining a complete record of past inspections can also provide valuable insight when conducting power tool maintenance.
Instead of using messy, time-consuming paper inspection forms, operators can perform fast, thorough inspections in a mobile app. Results are uploaded into tool management software instantly, and managers can receive email notifications of failed items to quickly begin scheduling maintenance.
Configurable tool management software allows you to tailor inspection forms for all of your assets. Creating inspection forms for specialized tools and adding custom fields to include parts that may not typically be on a paper inspection form allows your team to effectively communicate power tool issues.
4. Set Routine Maintenance Schedules
In addition to performing power tool maintenance when issues arise, it’s important to proactively care for your power tools by conducting preventive maintenance. Setting maintenance schedules for your tools is a great way to avoid skipping routine tasks.
Scheduling power tool maintenance can be difficult because most of your tools are constantly in use. Leveraging tool assignment data in your tool tracking software is a great way to both monitor tool usage and determine the best time to schedule maintenance.
By tracking how often tools are used, you can easily stay on top of routine preventive maintenance tasks. When certain tools have service tasks due soon, you can edit your tool assignment schedule and ensure your team has back-up tools to stay productive.
5. Maintain Efficiency with the 5S System
Organization is the key to power tool maintenance. Knowing where your tools are and when they need service maximizes efficiency across your operation.
One of the best methods to power tool and equipment organization is the 5S System. The 5S System is a widely-used Japanese method for improving inventory management. With the following five words, you can transform your operation and improve how you manage your power tools:
While the 5S System focuses heavily on physically organizing your power tools, this philosophy can be taken a step further by leveraging technology to track tool details, usage and other aspects of your power tools. By keeping power tools organized and maintaining a complete system of record for tools in a centralized software, you can increase efficiency and maintain organization across your operations.
6. Monitor Inventory Levels to Avoid Stockouts
Small power tool issues on the jobsite are unavoidable, but you can reduce downtime by ensuring your team has spare parts in their truck. Quick fixes like swapping saw chains or replacing carbon hoses can be performed on the jobsite to maintain uptime.
Monitoring inventory levels ensures your team has enough parts on hand to perform repairs while avoiding overstocking parts. Having too many spare parts isn’t just a waste of money, but it can cause storage issues.
Tracking spare parts in tool tracking software centralized your entire inventory. Leveraging a tool tracking solution with a dedicated parts app automates inventory counts and keeps your system organized.
Managers can receive notifications and reorder alerts when inventory levels are low. By staying informed of inventory levels, you can optimize your inventory and avoid unnecessary trips to the hardware store or wait for online purchase deliveries.