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Preparing your assets for cyclone season

Creating a maintenance schedule for our working assets can be a time consuming task. Sticking to it can be even more difficult. However, there can be good reasons for ignoring the schedule when circumstances call for it, and I want to suggest that now is a very good time to consider bringing some of your lubrication jobs forward.

Why?  Well consider this.

If you live or work in the top half of Australia (Queensland, northern Western Australia, Northern Territory), Asia (New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, etc, etc.) then the annual cyclone season has just commenced.  What are the chances your gear is going to get wet? What are the chances it may become flood-bound or even submerged?

There may be little you can do about this, but one thing you can do to protect that valuable equipment is to ensure all lube services are done before hand, particularly any greasing. A properly greased joint will be better protected against water than one nearing the end of its duty cycle.

Now I know you can rightfully say that anything affected by water will have to be stripped and recovered after the flood waters have receded any way, so lubing early just increases your costs. But you also know that once a piece of equipment has been under water it's difficult and costly to truly remove all damage. Furthermore, the effects of that damage may not come home to roost until long after the flood is a dim memory.

In a time of aging assets, harsh operating environments, more government oversight than ever, and really tough market conditions, increasing your MTBF percentages by even 5% may be the difference between staying profitable or going under (pardon the pun).

A second option, during this season of increased downtime due to inclement conditions, is to increase your servicing schedule so the gear that cannot be used due to the wet weather can be serviced while you have a  workman standing idle.

As they say, a wise man sees trouble afar off and prepares himself.

Posted by Mark Chimes
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