BROC U | Issue #13 Preventative Maintenance Compares to Knife Sharpening
We continue to face some of the same questions that come up time and time again in the athletic equipment arena and that is, “Why do I need to have a maintenance program and where is the benefit?” Without sounding like a broken record, we want to put this on another more digestible comparison. We strive to message to everyone the importance of preventative maintenance to safety and equipment integrity. We do not do this for our own benefit because ultimately our service department is predicated on those not overly focused on this area. The reality is this may potentially impact that business negatively, but we are more dedicated to getting this message clear to help make athletic facilities the safest they can be regardless our team being involved or not. At the end of the day we strive to make such a beacon of community that is an athletic facility a place that does not have risk of injury or budget impact in organizations that have such tight budgets as it is (i.e. schools, cities, non-profits, etc.).
What Do Knives Have to do With Preventative Maintenance?
To make our message more tangible we make the comparison of the life of a knife at home to relate. I think most people would agree that at some point during the year (often more regularly than that) we experience cooking a meal at home. In this effort, we are at the mercy of our knives to create such a meal for our family to enjoy. Without a sharp knife, cutting can become more of a hazard than it is a benefit. Dull knives can risk slipping and cutting fingers. Conversely when these knives are sharp and used properly, they are safer than the alternative.
Much like knives, the equipment in your facility needs to continue to be sharpened just like your knives at home to make sure that when used that are operating at peak performance and limit risk of injury. We do not have the luxury of throwing away our dull knives (old equipment) so we must focus stronger on an effort to keep things moving smoothly.
What We Need to Do to Keep Our Equipment Sharp
The focus needs to be on repeated processes that can be easily performed if they are done so regularly. This pertains to bleachers, seating, gym equipment, any other ceiling hung equipment with moving parts, etc.
Anything with mechanically moving parts has potential to break down due to mechanical fatigue. Friction and slack in these systems can be a susceptibility of these systems. To limit these susceptibilities, lubrication and re-tightening loose spots can be all it takes to help limit risks.
What is the Best Process to Follow in Performing Preventative Maintenance
Try to do a recurring review every summer when this equipment is in its lowest level of use and review any moving parts of the equipment and replace missing nuts and bolts. This means getting in a lift or ducking under structures (bleachers/seating) to review every piece of the equipment that is bolt-secured, tightening and replacing missing security points help remove slack in the system (movement that is unwanted). During that time, review welds and areas where there is metal on metal contact and clear existing grease to replace with clean lubrication to allow it to continue its purpose.
This small effort can help push the length of time equipment will continue to be useful without potential extraordinary issues. Obviously, we are no stranger to this, we know there are times where repair beyond this is required but the simple task of continuing to sharpen your tools will go a long way in extending the life of the equipment and calls for replacement parts or full systems. In cases where questions beyond these simple or inspection tasks are in question, feel free to source experts, ourselves being one to help guide you in the right direction at our office 303-973-4517 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We know you are our best eyes and we only want to be sure you have a fully functional facility making the process as frictionless as possible, excuse the pun.