Who Should Perform Your Compact Machine Maintenance: You or Your Dealer?

Evaluate Time, Expertise, Opportunity Costs To Make Best Decision
August 2013, Vol. 68 No. 8

Evaluate opportunity costs
An overlooked element of consideration in the maintenance decision is an opportunity cost calculation. This involves an analysis of savings gained from performing your own maintenance with the revenue that can be generated from being on the job longer. Fitzgerald says opportunity costs can vary based on rates and accurate time estimates.

“If it takes you four hours to change oil and you’re making $150 an hour in your operation, that’s $600 of lost opportunity costs. The same work may take two hours at the dealership at $100 per hour,” Fitzgerald says. “It may not make sense to take a machine out of service for half a day when a dealer can do it in significantly less time. Utilizing the dealership is appealing not because it’s the cheapest option, but it may return the best opportunity cost, be the most convenient and reduce downtime,” he adds.

The bottom line with maintenance decisions is to properly calculate the value of your time and the level of your expertise. You may determine that by staying on task with billable projects when work is available, you could afford to outsource maintenance and come out ahead financially.

Sums up Sams, “Do what you do best. If you dig trenches, then dig trenches, and let your dealer take care of your equipment.”

Compact Equipment Inspection Checklist

Visual:
Frame/house
Lift arms/boom
Attachment quick-tach mechanism
Workgroup
Pivot pins
Tires/rims/tracks
Axle seals
Cylinders
Quick couplers/hoses
Rollers/idlers/sprockets
Track tension
Leaks
Bucket teeth/cutting edges

Operational:
Drive and hydraulic functions
Pedals/controls
Auxiliary functions
Preheat system
Gauges, dash panel
Active codes/warnings
Lights
Heating and cooling systems
Cab
Throttle

Engine:
Hoses/connections
Exhaust system
Radiator/cooler
Battery level/connections
Belts/idlers
Leaks

General Maintenance:
Engine oil and coolant levels
Engine air filter
Hydraulic fluid level
Chaincase fluid level
Debris build-up

OEM Parts Protect Uptime

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