Early Spring is a Good Time for Equipment Maintenance

Yesterday was the first day of spring but the idea that “spring is in the air” hasn’t really materialized.  It’s been pretty brutal in NE Ohio this winter.  Fortunately we didn’t get hammered like the New England states but the snow, ice and cold temperatures have made it one of the worst I can remember.  It’s been depressing and everyone is looking for signs that things are going to change.

Our hopes are initially heightened every year about the possibility of a good prognosis from that rodent in Punxsutawney but inevitability he sees his shadow and we know the despair is going to be extended.  And more often than not it goes beyond the 6-week forecast.  But there is still hope and it did come a bit early this year.  What do you consider the first signs of spring?  For some it’s spotting the first robin, others wait until the crocus begins to pop up.  For me, it’s road-kill.  Now I don’t take pleasure in seeing an animal splattered all over the road.  I do have a heart but on the other hand, it is a sign that the weather is changing and warmer temperatures are not that far away.  The first critters seem to be the skunks and I began seeing and dodging their remains about three weeks ago.  Despite the grim sights, it does improve my attitude knowing that Mother Nature is starting the new cycle.  The next critters on the pavement are the possums and the raccoons which I’ve spotted this week.  The final sure fire sign that the winter blues are gone is seeing one of Phil’s cousins spattered along the road side and it’s time for the roofing season to begin anew for the year.

So whatever you rely on to measure the advent of spring and the pickup in construction that accompanies it, use those signs to get your equipment ready for the season.  Now is the time for spring cleaning and giving your equipment the once over for safety and efficiency.

Change the oil and spark plugs in your generators, truck fleet and any other motorized piece of equipment that you use.  We also use a lot of electrical tools in single ply roofing so it is important to check for loose or brittle cords, exposed wires and broken plugs.  If you find any of these hazards, tag them for repair or replacement.

And don’t forget your welding equipment.  The hand welders and automatic welders represent a significant investment and their efficiency has a direct impact on the quality of your work as well as overall profitability.  Along with the cords and connections, check the belts on the automatic welders.  A broken belt can shut can whole crew down until it’s replaced.

Lastly and often overlooked, check the air intakes to make sure they are clean and free-flowing.  Take the elements out and inspect them for contaminants, shorts or other signs of wear.  More often than not it’s a good idea to just replace the elements all together.  And don’t forget the rheostats.  I can’t count how many times I’ve been with a crew where the hand guns run flat out regardless of the settings.

These are just a few items that should be addressed before you get into full swing this year.  All your tools and safety equipment are vital so take the time now to ensure everything is in a safe and working order can pay dividends throughout the construction season.  So whatever sign of spring flips your switch to turn off the winter blues, use it to turn on your maintenance program.

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About Mr FiberTite

After 10-years in Local 88 out of Canton Ohio, the opportunity to drink the FiberTite Kool Aid came in 1984.  Since then I've been a student as well as a teacher in all manner of roofing with a focus on the engineering, design and installation of thermoplastic single ply roofing systems.  The industry is growing in complexity so there's plenty of opportunity to learn and sharpen your skills no matter who you are.  Hence, one of the most important things I've learned is that "to sharpen the blade, you have to rub steel with steel".

Disclaimer

FiberTite® is a Registered Trademark of Seaman Corporation.  The views and opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of Seaman Corporation.

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