The most effective way for managers to help operators and mechanics understand the post-purchase inspection and repair requirements of newly purchased equipment is by walking them through the manufacturer’s warranty guidelines in the owner’s manual. These manuals offer a step-by-step guide on the operation of the equipment and provide a detailed maintenance schedule.
While operators and mechanics can carry out certain service requirements, the dealer should complete more complex repairs. For example, managers should rely on their dealer to sharpen and replace blades, as well as repair engine mechanical problems. This approach will help keep operators and mechanics safe, and it can reduce the risk of further damage, which can result in costly repair fees and longer downtime for equipment.
But each day mechanics or operators can perform such activities as cleaning air and oil filters, greasing equipment, and making sure the sniper valve and spark plugs are properly adjusted. The more time they spend maintaining the equipment, the more efficiently it will operate and the lower the likelihood it will malfunction.
Because safety is the top priority for grounds managers, it is imperative that they set aside time to walk their operators and mechanics through the manufacturer guidelines at the time of purchase. This precautionary measure will help decrease the risk of a potential accident, as well as allow the crews the opportunity to ask any questions they might have.
Even though purchasing new equipment can be a complex process, if managers take the necessary steps and include operators and mechanics in the conversation, they can make the smartest possible investment.
Mike Fitzpatrick is vice president of U.S. Lawns — www.uslawns.com — which has about 260 franchise locations nationwide. He has more than 30 years of experience in the green industry.
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