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How to look at oil analysis reports on your heavy equipment

Oil analysis reports on heavy equipment are as crucial as a blood report is to a human. By the blood report we get to know the ailments in our body and in the same fashion by doing an oil analysis we get to know if the machine that we see so strong is indeed strong or is it becoming weaker from inside. Remember just like we humans who may look strong from out but may carry a lot of ailments that remains hidden inside our body the machines too may have issues inside it but may still look healthy from the outside. It becomes the duty of the owner to ensure that the fluids of the machine are checked in a timely manner and then an analysis is done to understand the actual position of the machine and if the equipment is not as healthy as it appears to be then necessary steps need to be taken to get it fixed.

A contractor will not have the tools to conduct oil analysis and therefore it is recommended to check for an authorized and qualified oil analysis laboratory who will do the necessary tests for you and give you the detailed report. Ideally the oil analysis laboratory gives you 2 types of reports. One is the basic report and the other is the diesel crank case report. The basic report is not a very helpful one as it only provides with very limited information which focuses on wear metals and contaminants. But there is certainly more to see than just these two and therefore it is advisable to go for the diesel crank case report. In the latter one, a person gets detailed analysis on the report which helps the owner understand the current position of the machine. It not only gives feedback on wear metals and contaminants but also on additives, viscosity and base number.

Other than these 2 analysis there are more oil analysis that can be done which will be slightly expensive than the above 2 tests. They include more chemicals which make the process lengthier but accurate and which is why if anyone wants to go for advanced oil analysis they can ask for it. By paying a bit more will lessen your worries as you will have the correct picture in front of you and that will help you to decide the way forward. Once you are done with the tests and the preventive actions are taken the next question is when you should again undergo the tests. Well that will be informed to you by the guys in the laboratory. So get a detailed guideline from them and also some piece of advice on how you should be dealing and what extra care should be taken to increase the longevity of the heavy equipment.

Doing oil analysis regularly not only lengthens the life of the machine but also increases its efficiency and you may find that the machine is consuming less fuel and have become more productive.

How to kick start construction business with low investment

Investment is an important requirement for starting off any business. You may have the skill and the experience needed to start a business but if you do not have required sum of money then it becomes quite difficult to get into any kind of business. You can definitely borrower money from some lender but you got to have at least some portion of money with you to give it a kick start. As long as you have an office and have completed few projects you will not even find any investor who can help you by lending money. Not would like to invest their money on a person who just have skill and experience but no money to become an entrepreneur. This is why you should start saving some money from the day you dream of starting a business so that you can bring into effect your business plans with the small amount you have saved.

People who have thought of starting a construction business can definitely begin with low investment. All they need to have is an idea that they can execute and some skills and experience to run the business. It is recommended that people who have belonged to this industry and have been a part of it for a good period of time should think of getting into the construction business and guys who have never been a part of it and want to begin this venture should first join a construction company, study how things work there and only when they are completely confident they should start the business. Newbie can end up losing all their money as their lack of experience can prove to be very costly to them.

Start taking small projects:-

Big projects definitely have more money but for a new construction company that does not have enough investment to fund a big project should not go for it. They should rather focus on smaller projects and gather experience of running this business. Small projects have the capability of making more money for you and in this process try to develop your assets as well as create your company’s portfolio. These small steps that you take will prove to be quite helpful to you in the long run. Once you have your company portfolio, you can spread it across to people in your circle so that they can give you more work. In this fashion, you can keep yourself busy with work, earn money and also increase the size of the company by making a very low investment.

Take heavy equipment on rent:-

Heavy equipment are a necessity and also an expensive commodity. Buying a construction machine will cost you thousands of dollars and therefore you have to look into an alternative that will save your money and also meet your requirement. What you can do is take heavy equipment on rent once you have a project in hand and return it once you are done. You only have to pay the rental which should not burn a hole in your pocket.

How to drive/operate an excavator

Driving your car is completely different from driving heavy equipment. You do not have many things in heavy equipment that you have in a car and therefore it does not make any sense to equate both the stuffs into one. we go to driving schools to learn driving and only when we become good at it and the driving officer confirms that we are learnt it well and will not cause any disaster on roads that we are given a license. There are many who do not get a license at the first stance. They give multiple tests and of course fail many times as well. Same is the case for a heavy equipment operator. It should never be construed that driving heavy equipment is a cake walk as you do not have to deal with multiple functions at the same time. On the contrary when you actually try to learn to drive/operate heavy equipment it is then you realize the exact difference and may have a different opinion.

We definitely require driving skills when it comes to driving heavy equipment but that is pertinent to probably everything that we can drive and is not just limited to heavy equipment. Now when we talk about heavy equipment there are few machines that operators find them easy to operate and for some they just can’t handle them. As we know that not all heavy equipment are same and therefore for some heavy equipment we need operators with extra ordinary driving skills to drive/operate the machine. An excavator is one such heavy equipment. The operators do not have to attend any special driving schools to drive/operate an excavator. They all go to the same institution. It is just that some have that in-built talent which if shaped in the right way can deliver excellent results.

User manual can’t teach you to drive/operate excavators:-

Excavating earth is a difficult job and in many instances dangerous too. If not done in the right way, it can lead to severe damage. There have been numerous examples where people have lost their lives while excavating. Moreover, the terrain where the excavation is taking place plays an important role. If the terrain is difficult it indeed tests the skills of the operator. A person who does not have much experience in operating excavators should not get into it or else he will jeopardize the lives of himself and many others along with him. One can’t even check the user manual at that time to know how to get come out safely from a given situation. User manuals do not teach you how to drive. They provide some very basic instructions which one can adopt while driving but there are schools for that matter where one should take their basic training and then let the mentors decide if they are ready for heavy equipment like excavators.

Learn the various functions and have better control over them:-

The operator who can efficiently work on an excavator certainly knows all the functions in the machine and has better control over them. This is quite important because as long as you do not know everything of a machine you will not be able to operate it at 100%.

How to hire competent operators

Hiring competent workforce can be a real challenge for any company. They often see this as a pain and the HR finds this to be the most challenging task out of the many activities they conduct on a daily basis. It is simply not possible for any human being to judge another person by having a 15 minute talk. You may not know if the person knows about the subject that the company wants him to work on or for that matter how the person will be facing once he is hired. If the job demands a person who can work under pressure, it is virtually not possible for an HR to identify the person who can indeed work under pressure and still deliver results. But when the company needs human resource, the HR team has to get into this work of hiring men/women and they have to ensure that they pick the right guys/gals from the lot that come for the interview.

The construction industry is a highly competitive business and here the impact of hiring a wrong candidate can prove to be really costly to the company. The HR of the company does understand the seriousness of the business and this is the reason why they take utter precaution while hiring for important positions. They conduct levels of interview with the same person in order to judge the kind of person he/she is. The different levels of interviews are held by different people and then their view on the interviewee is collated and a decision is finally taken if they all agree to hire him or not.

Hiring an operator becomes more challenging because here the person interviewing the candidate should have little technical knowledge about heavy equipment and how it works. So firstly, the ground level HR can interview him by checking his credentials and qualifications. If the HR finds him to be apt then he goes to the next round where he is interviewed by guys with sound technical knowledge.

Asking the right question is important:-

When you are hiring an operator, you can’t ask him questions that are relevant to a mechanic. You should be checking with him the different types of heavy equipment that he/she has worked on and the models. On the basis of his answer, you should be putting forth your next question. He may not be able to answer a question that does not fall within his domain and therefore asking the right question is important.

Check his skills on the machine:-

When you are hiring heavy equipment operator, you should make it a point to check his skills on the machine. You can provide him with construction equipment and give him a task to complete. The task should not be a complex one as you are only checking his skill and not trying to get a part of the work done. You need to see how well he can maneuver and how smooth he is on the machine. If the operator is really good on it, you can hire him.

How to do inspection in heavy equipment auctions? Hire local heavy equipment dealers

Heavy equipment auctions have the ability to draw in huge number of people. Right from contractors to owners of the construction company all would want to have the best from auction and this is why it is quite essential to have someone inspect the auction. The inspection is required to see that everything is carried out in a smooth manner and that nobody has any sort of complain with the auction process. The auction process is in itself a very complex and time consuming process.

 

Anything that involves a mammoth crowd who wants to have their piece of share from the items getting auctioned can become chaotic at any given point of time and therefore the necessity to have someone inspect the auction is of utter importance. Other than that it is not feasible for the organizers of an auction to maintain the crowd and they have to give that work to someone else. Similarly, it is also important to ensure that the auction is conducted fairly without the intervention of any forces that might steer the entire process to their benefit.

 

Some auctioneers are smart and they try to take people on a ride. They kind of indulge in practices that increase the price of the item which then goes for the auction. This means that the price at which the auction begins is an inflated one and anything that goes beyond that price is certainly a profit for them. An inappropriate profit for the seller but definitely not going well with the buyer as he will pay more for a construction equipment which actually does not cost the price he is paying.

 

The best way to deal with this is to hire local heavy equipment dealers who have fair degree of knowledge about heavy equipment and the price that each machine would be of. Since they are always engaged in the business of selling heavy equipment, they will be the suitable one from the lot to judge if the auction is going the right way.

 

Advice and information center:-

 

The local heavy equipment dealers can also work as an advisory to the visitors that have come for the auction. People can reach out to them and can seek suggestion on the heavy equipment that is there for auction. What ideally happens here is that the people get a fair idea of what they will be dealing with and if the item they will buy will be indeed worth their money. Other than that they will get an assurance from the expert about the exact condition of the machine. The heavy equipment dealers should be impartial body and should not display their loyalty to any party.

 

Auctioneers should place an ad to hire the dealers:-

There is no point in hiring heavy equipment dealers whom the auctioneers know and have good rapport with. They should be hiring people whom they do not know or who will be impartial to the entire process and can inspect the auction till the end without any flaw. For that, they should place an ad and then pick the dealers.

How to operate a grader

Landscape in the construction sector has gained prominence over the years. This means the construction equipment required to do landscaping work is in much demand and also the people who know to operator it. When we talk about landscapes or leveling land, the heavy equipment that comes in our mind in the first stance is a grader. Grader plays immense role when it comes to leveling the land and making a path for the workers to move. We can imagine how crooked the paths are on a jobsite and therefore how difficult it must be for the workers to move on it. If not leveled at the right time, the soil gets hardened and then it becomes a problem to get it removed. Same is the case with creating landscapes. We have to get the work done at the right time or else the effort that we have to put to get the work done just multiplies.

To know all the functions of a grader is crucial:-

One can become an efficient operator only when he/she is aware of the various functions that are available in a grader. Jumping in inside the cabin and driving/operating the machine can be part of the basic function but if you find yourself in a difficult situation and you do not know all the functions then you are at a greater risk. The operator is expected to know all the functions in a grader and if you fail to do so then you will be jeopardizing the prospect of the project and also to a larger extent your career in the industry. If you are a trainee, it is important that you sit along with your mentor and check how he/she is operating the machine. Learn from him the functions that he uses and ask to show stuffs that are important for you to know.

Learn the signals properly:-

A grader throws lot of signals to the operator and every signal has a different meaning attached to it. If the clutches are not functioning properly then it may throw a certain type of signal or for that matter if there is some issue with the engine or parts related to the engine it will indicate through means of a signal. Now it is for you to comprehend and understand them so that you do not overlook the signal and continue your work as usual. Unable to comprehend signals can have catastrophic effect on the machine and also at times to the life of the people on the jobsite.

Do some basic checks on your own:-

Conducting certain basic checks like ensuring the brakes are in order and when applied it stops the machine from moving, the clutches, gears, levers are all in place and are working absolutely fine is very crucial. You should not have problem to stop the machine from moving when you are working on a steep land or to your amazement you find out the machine is not moving as it should as there are issues with its clutches. These should be examined well in advance.

How to hire competent heavy equipment mechanic

A manufacturing company can thrive only if it has a proper team of professionals who are competent in providing after sales service. They should be good at their job because it is perhaps the after sales service guys who are majorly responsible for the goodwill of the company. If the product goes faulty, the customer hunts for someone who can get that fixed and if he does not find anybody then he will never go for that brand in his life and will also suggest others to not buy product of that brand. This can prove really costly to the manufacturing company. The after sales team therefore plays such an important role in the growth of the company. The company therefore has to play a more crucial part by hiring competent workforce who knows about the subject well and will take less time to resolve the problem with the product.

Heavy equipment companies manufacture really expensive items and it is quite likely that a product may stop functioning after few months of its purchase. This is why you need to have men who can go to the clients’ jobsite at the word go and can check the problem. The construction business owner are usually loaded with too much of work and are also heavily dependent on heavy equipment and if any of the machine stops working, it costs them dearly. This is why they need a mechanic right away when they experience issues with their machines. It becomes the responsibility of the heavy equipment companies to hire the best mechanic. The crux of the matter is that they should be able to identify who are competent mechanics and who are not.

Check their qualification:-

The heavy equipment companies should check the qualification of the candidates at the time of the interview. They need to check the academic scores and ask questions by giving them different scenarios. This will let the interviewer know the exact standing of the candidate. If the candidate has studied hard to secure good marks, it will reflect in his academics score sheet. However that should be taken as the sole criteria to judge the competency of a candidate. The interviewer should keep this as one of the parameter.

Experience plays a mighty role:-

The experience of a heavy equipment mechanic increases his price in the market. Heavy equipment companies are ready to pay him a higher package if he has good number of experience up in his sleeves. Your experience should be also followed by a good track record wherein you are always punctual and do not take unnecessary leaves. Your overall conduct has been good in the past companies that you have worked and should not have stability issues.

The machines he has worked on:-

It is important for the heavy equipment companies to check with the mechanic on the kind of heavy equipment he has worked on. A mechanic who has only worked on graders and has no working knowledge of loaders or excavators is not a viable one for you.

How to effectively market your construction business

For a business to grow, it is important that people know about it and only when they know about the brand they will buy the product or use the services of the brand. In a nutshell any company who wants to grow its business needs to first create a brand for itself so that people are aware of its product and services and then sell it to them. Reaching to the end user and keeping them in loop of your existence is also knows as marketing and every company has to form a strategy to market their brand. Now some company takes an aggressive approach and some go soft while marketing their product. It is believed that companies that market their products aggressively are the one who have hunger in their belly. They want to grow quickly and the ones who are slow on marketing their products are perhaps happy with how things are moving. They might take an aggressive approach later as they may feel the opportunity is not right for that time and will wait till they see things moving their way.

A business where day in and day out there are new competitors joining in and each of them are struggling hard to make their name in the market it makes the overall environment to be more challenging. The construction industry in one such industry where you will come across many companies who have just started their business and are marketing their company quite aggressively. People with experience in this form of a business know how the industry works and what they got to do to make their business a success.

Be in the news:-

For people to know about you and your company, you got to be in the news for the right reason. You have to come up with excellent ideas and should also be able to present that to whosoever is interested to know about it. People in the construction business circle should know about you. For this, you need a website where you can put up your business plans and talk more often on how you can accomplish your targets. Your website should reflect the personality you possess. People going through your website should know that you dream big and also have the courage to fulfill it. This is one way to market your company. You may show your aggressiveness here which will go to a lot of people. You can also release circulars every week where you’ll talk about the industry as a whole and how your business is reacting to the current situation.

Be active on social media:-

We have a craze of social media these days. For every small things that we do, we try to put that out on social media. We do this to get some attention and as far as the construction business is concerned, it makes sense to be ultra active on social media. It is perhaps one of the many platforms that will take your identity to a lot of people by paying a nominal fee.

How to operate a loader

Loaders are one of the most essential and important heavy construction equipment that the construction workers simply cannot do without, in the current construction scenario. However, operating the loader, or in fact any other heavy construction equipment, is not an easy task. You need to make sure that you know the steps properly, so that the loader doesn’t tip over or change directions all of a sudden.

Start with choosing the right size and power of the loader. There are different kinds of the loaders. You can choose a skid loader or a wheel loader or the other kinds of loaders, as per your requirement. Once you have done so, you need to follow these steps.

  • Read the user manual:

 

The first step is to read the user manual of the loader carefully. There you will be guided about the different switches, levers and other tools. Take your seat and carefully identify the switches. Before you start, you must fasten your seat belt properly, so that you do not fall from the loader.

  • Understand the controls:

 

There are two steering handles in almost all the loaders. They are located on the sides of the arm rest of both sides of the loader. There is also a diagram for the buttons that clearly state how the loader runs and before you start the machine, you need to look at the loader carefully.

  • Start the loader:

 

To start the loader, usually you are given a key that is almost similar to that of a car. Some loaders are also started by a clearly visible start button. Nowadays, the newer loaders come with a keypad, where you will have to enter the starting code and the machine will start.

  • Unlock the controls:

 

Usually the control system is locked and hence, as you start the machine or loader, you need to unlock the control system. A toggle switch does the job and when it is turned off, a red lamp is ignited and when it is switched on, it turns green.

  • Moving the bucket:

 

Usually the bucket is controlled by the left steering handle. It must be made assured that the joystick is moved only to the right or left side or to the front and back. Diagonal movement may cause the machine to act differently; rather than moving the bucket. Many loaders use pedals to run the machine and control the buckets. While moving the vehicle, you must always lift the bucket high enough to see the front clearly.

  • Controlling the right handle:

 

The right handle controls how the bucket is operated to load and unload the debris. Moving the right handle to the left will raise the bucket and moving it to the right will unload or dump the material in the bucket.

Now that you have understood how the loaders can be operated, it is a must that you stop the loader right in front of the pile of material that you want to load or unload. Once you are done, park the machine properly, so that it doesn’t obstruct the area. Always move the vehicle in slow speed.

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How to implement a safety program

Forming rules is to a larger extent a simple job. What is rather difficult is to implement the rules on the ground level. It takes a lot of hardships on the part of the people who are been assigned the job to execute a program. They have to work hard to explain the folks the reason why the change has been brought and what good it is for them. You will also find few guys who will not agree with the new program and will be reluctant to participate. These challenges need to be addressed and sorted out as well. When a construction company comes up with a safety program, it means that the overall employees working in the company have to now follow some extra rules which they are not used to. Bringing something all of a sudden can be a little difficult for people to accept and therefore they might not take it sportingly even if the program is for their good.

A construction company while trying to implement a safety program needs to keep certain facts into perspective and then gradually try to bring in the change.

Make it a part of their habit:-

The reason why many construction workers do not want to wear those extra safety belts is because they have never worn one and when they are asked to attach extra load on their body they might not be comfortable with the idea. Therefore, one can primarily deal with this by bringing in the change gradually and make them used to it. You can ask them to wear a bit of extra accessories but you inform them well in advance that the company is intending to provide the workers with additional safety gadgets and people should be wearing them so that they can work safely. This will bring in a sort of excitement amongst the people and they will welcome the decision.

Provide proper training before they actually start using it:-

Training your workers on following a safety program is quite essential. You may form certain safety guidelines but as long as the workers are not informed about it in advance it will not be fair enough to ask them to follow it the day you want them to follow. They just do not know what the safety program is all about and why you want them to follow it. Proper training of the safety program should be given to the workers and all their questions need to be answered so that they take the program positively and apply it on the jobsite.

Monitoring the implementation of the safety program:-

Once you have trained the workers about the importance of the safety program and have also asked them to follow, the next important thing will be to monitor if all the workers are correctly following the safety norms. In the initial stage, it might be a bit difficult for the guys to be in sync with the norms and therefore proper monitoring is required so that whenever someone is having a hard time to follow, he should be assisted and shown the correct method.