How to Improve the Productivity of Your Construction Equipment
Category: Equipment and Solutions
Managing a construction site involves many responsibilities that range from renting and buying equipment to maintaining and operating heavy machinery. But no matter if your fleet has 15 or 150 units, each engine should deliver the right level of productivity to keep your operations efficient. The goal is to maximize project proficiency by increasing production rates, boosting profitability and reducing downtime.
So, how can construction be made more efficient? In this guide, we’ll discuss how to improve productivity in the construction industry by implementing the right techniques, equipment technology, and analytic data.
How Do You Increase Construction Productivity?
The goal of any construction contractor is to increase the productivity of their heavy construction equipment. If you want your machines and operators to work at peak performance levels, you need to invest in a smart strategy. When you’re able to cut costs and keep your projects moving at efficient speeds, it showcases the professionalism of your business. Calculating excavator productivity and the efficiencies of other machines in your fleet will show which areas need the most attention.
1. Invest in a Single-Branded Fleet
Sometimes, it can be difficult for operators to switch from one brand of machine to the next throughout the day. Focusing on the different controls of each engine can compromise their safety and productivity. If you invest in a single brand of units, your operators can focus on the task at hand. You can also equip the machines with modern control systems that are similar across the board.
2. Manage Equipment Data
Each machine in your fleet should have a data analytics system that delivers information about productivity levels. An analytics system shows when operators are running their machines at peak performance levels and when they’re poorly managing their tasks.
The data-gathering technology also tells you about safety issues and allows you to automate repetitive jobs to make them faster. The equipment data even helps workers reach maximum payload to increase dozer productivity and that of other units. Data analytics gives you exact solutions for productivity.
3.Monitor Operating Records
To increase the productivity of your construction site, you first have to understand your operations. Record the operating hours, operating costs and return on investment (ROI) of each machine. Working hours will illustrate downtime that’s wasting money and delaying projects. When you understand what’s causing the downtime, you can make the appropriate changes.
The operating costs include a machine’s run time, insurance, fuel, maintenance, depreciation and other factors. When you have an idea of operating costs, you can better understand your profit margins and areas to work on.
Over time, a pattern will develop that indicates how individual units or processes contribute to slowdowns on your worksite. From there, you can analyze the productivity of each task and use remote monitoring telematics to see when performance issues arise. Monitoring your equipment makes for an efficient process.
4.Employ Trained and Skilled Operators
Employing trained operators is one of the best ways you can keep your projects productive. Each worker should go through a productivity training and operating course. Experienced and reliable foremen should understand the control systems and technology of their units. If they aren’t up to par with the right skills, they can put other workers and the machine at risk. You should also delegate tasks according to an operator’s skill set, and never overload crew members with too many jobs.
Safety is also one of the top ways to prevent delays and remain productive. For example, not overloading the equipment and using the right techniques can help operators complete projects on time. Your crew should also share what they find during daily inspections and provide feedback about equipment performance levels.
It also comes down to providing correct training for supervisors. Keep them attentive onsite and help them understand your productivity expectations.
Always acknowledge the excellent work performance from managers and employees, too — recognition can build a positive work culture that encourages people to do well while motivating loyalty and your crew’s performance.
5.Adhere to a Regular Maintenance Schedule
A maintenance schedule helps get the most out of your fleet while protecting your investments. It can increase your profits by 10 percent and deliver more reliable machines. Make sure you receive maintenance contracts when you purchase equipment. Your dealer should be guaranteeing their work for a prescribed amount of time and hours.
Regular and preventative maintenance is crucial to catching issues before they become severe problems. Reference the manufacturer’s manual to know when regular upkeep is required and which components to focus on. You should also check each machine before and after each use for signs of damage, leaks, cracks, dirt, wear or broken pieces.
Proper upkeep will ensure skid steer productivity and machine functionality while reducing the probability of damage. Workers need to know basic machine repairs, but for more intricate overhauls and replacements, rely on expert mechanics. If you’re consistent, your maintenance records will show you the average lifespan of each unit via hours or years. Then, you can anticipate when a new unit is in the books.
6. Use the Right Engines for Each Project
Think about the load and lift capacity of the machine versus the job. Is it the right size? Other factors to consider are the materials, environment and operator skill. Too small of an engine, and the machine will exert an excessive amount of power and take longer to complete a task. A unit too large will be a waste of energy and add more costs to your work.
Choose the most productive line of equipment for each project to help you efficiently produce high-quality work and reduce the need for re-work. Delegate your machines according to a schedule by blocking off when, where and for how long you need specific pieces. Calculate inspection and preparation time into the schedule to gain maximum productivity.
Also, keep your construction sites organized to help your operators avoid obstacles and slowdowns that affect efficiency. The organization also aids in preventing injuries and equipment damage.
7.Focus on Value More Than Price
When you’re looking to invest in new or used equipment, the machine’s price tag is often your first concern. But if you look at the value of what each piece of equipment can deliver, you will gain a more valuable asset. Look for technology, parts availability, rental costs and monitoring programs. The more you get from your machines, the more productive they will be. Look at the price tag as a final call and make alternative solutions if needed, like renting or buying used.
8.Invest in Certified Used Equipment
Acquiring the highest productivity rates doesn’t mean you have to invest in new equipment. Tested, maintained and certified used machines perform just as well for a lower upfront cost. Partner with an authorized supplier that can verify the used engines have received the correct servicing.
9.Know When to Rent
Buying new or used equipment isn’t always the right solution. Renting maintained units can deliver the same results as a new version but at a more economical cost. They are ideal for short-term or one-off projects, as well as specialty jobs that demand a unique machine outside your fleet. Rentals help keep your productivity levels high without wasting money on a new machine or using one from your fleet that doesn’t fit the description.
10. Invest in Technology
Equipment technology can help improve and control the performance of machines on your job site. When you can monitor and manage your operations, you can work to enhance construction productivity and efficiency while keeping operating costs down. For example, CatConnect lets you see the health and performance of each machine to help you understand where you can make changes and what’s already working well.
Increasing construction productivity isn’t a one-time effort — it’s an on-going dedication that involves the correct techniques, strategies, data and technology.
Construction Productivity Measurement and Improvement
When you keep track of your construction site’s productivity, it gives you a competitive advantage. Several benefits of a productive operation include:
- Better operator performances
- Boosted project productivity and efficiency
- Extended unit life
- Fewer repairs
- Improved safety
- Increased profits
- Lower operating costs
- Reduced fuel consumption
When you have insight into your fleet’s proficiencies, you can work to improve the efforts of each engine to ensure your projects are on time.
Trust NMC Cat Solutions
NMC Cat is the premier Cat® dealer for all Nebraska and Pottawattamie County, Iowa. As you develop a strategy to increase your construction equipment productivity, we are here to help you succeed. Our team of experts has been serving construction contractors and professionals for more than 80 years, so you can trust our expertise and know-how. NMC Cat professionals build a relationship with you to understand your unique needs, delivering a tailored and innovative solution to your operations.