PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE – AN ESSENTIAL STRATEGY FOR EFFECTIVE TRANSPORTATION

Nathan Thomas | Head of Maintenance and Construction | 01 November 2021

 

As a Logistics and Transportation provider, the core of our business is founded on our assets. Alistair Group’s trucks allow us to transport a variety of commodities; they safely house our drivers and clients’ cargo. Our material handling equipment provides us with the ability to successfully move, store, control, and protect materials. Without reliable assets, we would be impuissant.

Alistair Group has over 1200 assets registered and we are aggressively expanding our footprint. We own every truck, trailer, small vehicle, and piece of equipment utilised to execute the projects we are commissioned for. With our assets at the forefront of our minds, Alistair Group has implemented a preventive maintenance program. It’s hard to overstate the importance of preventative maintenance – also referred to as proactive maintenance. It involves periodically inspecting or repairing our assets at predetermined intervals that are usually time or event-based triggers. The goal of this approach is to extend the useful life of our assets and prevent breakdowns from occurring. 

It is no secret that the transport industry in Africa is still plagued with several challenges; drivers dread the possibilities of running into gaping potholes, uneven terrain or impassable dirt roads. The road conditions across Africa affirm the dire need for an effective and efficient maintenance plan. Preventative maintenance ensures that our vehicles are kept mobile at all times and that they are safe to operate on these roads.

This type of maintenance is performed before a component failure occurs and can include many small tasks such as cleaning, oiling, greasing, checking fluid levels and carrying out simple visual inspections. Preventative maintenance also typically includes periodically replacing parts that are expected to wear down over time such as windshield wipers, brake linings, tyres, filters and fluids.

The purpose of replacing parts and fluids on a regular maintenance schedule is to save costs in the long run by preventing more serious and expensive issues from arising. Most manufacturers provide guidelines or service schedules for their products, utilizing these service schedules ensures that key major components are kept in good working order and operating like well-oiled machines. This also decreases the chance of an issue cropping up unexpectedly, ensuring that there is no impact on the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle and our ability to deliver.

Since planning is done in advance, it’s also considerably easier to have the right parts and resources on hand to complete each task. This is in contrast to reactive maintenance, which manages maintenance issues as they arise. Preventative maintenance ensures that our equipment functions properly and is constantly in optimal condition. Alistair Group has 5 different workshops strategically positioned in 3 different countries to maintain our fleet of Road Freight vehicles. Although preventative maintenance may cause a small break in operations, it ultimately saves time and money, improves safety and reliability, maximises efficiency and prolongs equipment life.

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