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Preventative maintenance PM programs, Quoting, and recommendations

Preventative maintenance programs are expensive and often require multiple quotes from various companies or contractors. If at all possible use the dollar amount for budgeting purposes only and pay at the standard service rates. I'll tell you why later why you should consider it.

What should you look for or expect from a PM? You usually get what you pay for. The amount of time each company will spend doing the PM will vary widely. You must if at all possible get the PM sheets of what they will be checking. Then compare the PM's offered by each of the companies. When comparing find the differences and figure out how much time would be involved with performing the extra services. When you get the quotes ask how much time they will need to get the job done. Even though this may be inaccurate information when the job is said and done this will also give you an idea of why the quote is higher or lower. If they expect to work on the machine for a longer time period its going to cost more. Also find out what each of the service rates are for each of the companies. Because this is basically what the minimum goal is after completing the PM. Any less and they are loosing money.

So what should you expect for pm labor costs? when you add up there total hours and then figure out what it is at there hourly service rate. You may have just paid them an hourly rate more then what it would've cost to have them come in as a standard service call. Plus if it was a standard service call they may have fixed it on the spot if you requested them to which could save extra time and having to schedule more downtime.

Often times preventative maintenance quotes vary by a lot. This depends on many things are they going to type it up, change oils and filters, pull back all way covers, and any cleaning underneath the way covers. These things take the most time when doing a PM and the differences in the quote can be huge because of these things.

Heres a recap of the information you should ask for in your PM quote

  1. Find out the hourly service rate
  2. How much time they expect to be on each machine
  3. What will they be checking (details)
  4. What is the mileage rate or travel time costs figured into total?
  5. Quality of the service rep doing the PM's? Are they going to find the problems??
  6. Equipment- do they have a dynamometer for checking draw bar force? This is an important PM check.
  7. Who will do the PM or do you have a request?? Sometimes the green service guys get the PM and won't know the details of what they should look for.

What type of preventative maintenance program (PM) do you need?

This varies as to how often you wish to have the PM done. My recommendation is to perform oil and filter changes yourself. This is the most labor intensive and easiest to do. Make sure you talk to the builder to find out what you should check and any other things that you should know while doing the PM.

If the PM is a yearly check then a very thorough PM should be done to try to catch problems before the cause some downtime.

Monitoring PM service techs work?

Make sure they are doing everything they say they are doing. Sometimes it is rushed because its the end of the day, another service call or they do not want to go back the next day. You paid them for the job so make sure they do it. Also many times the company rep is happy if you finish early but your loosing out on what you paid them to do. So this is your fault that you do not schedule enough time to complete the job. After all the goal is to find some problems to justify the PM to your boss. Also you may want to ask them if they do not do already, to take pictures of the problems to show the things that could've happened had you not contracted someone to do the PM. Very few people who do a PM take pictures, many times words on a service report does not mean as much as a picture.