Storing Equipment and Machinery: Protecting Your Company Assets
When it comes to storing large machinery and equipment used in commercial logistics, proper preparation and storage are essential. You might be making a move and will not need the equipment for some time, or it might just not be of use to your business right now. Either way, your equipment is your company asset and could cost a large amount of money to replace.
Storing unused equipment is not the equivalent of storing items from your house. It is much more than simply putting it in a cardboard box. It takes certain preparation and storing methods to ensure the items are still working when you remove them from storage.
Preparing Equipment for Storage
The first step to ensuring the storage life of your equipment is proper preparation. Machinery requires you take certain steps to preserve its quality to withstand long-term storage. Here are some helpful tips on preparation and preservation:
- Clean your machinery thoroughly. Dirt and dust will settle on the equipment during storage; therefore, it is imperative to prepare all of your machinery and equipment by cleaning it completely. That way you will avoid the build up of an excessive amount of dirt and grime on it. Try using a high-pressure washer to get the hard spots. If you typically wax your equipment, do that, as well, just prior to storage.
- Fill the tank up. A full tank of gas prevents the water from condensing and accumulating inside the tank of machinery, which could damage the performance in the future.
- Change the oil and check all fluids. This rids the machine of any contaminants prior to storage. It also ensures everything is well oiled and will not sit dry and potentially rust.
- Air up the tyres. A low tyre can potentially cause cracking in the sidewalls, therefore costing money. Check each tyre and fill with air to the proper specifications.
Proper preparation includes getting your equipment into the best shape possible. Fill up, check and grease everything prior to storage to keep all parts lubricated for when you remove the equipment.
Preserving Equipment During Storage
Once you have prepared your equipment and machinery for storage, you can take these additional steps to preserve its life while it sits idle:
- Inspect the seals in place on the equipment. This will determine the amount of lubricant needed to keep the machine preserved. If lip seals are in place, completely fill the machinery with a lubricant to coat all parts inside. If labyrinth-style seals are in place, only fill the machinery to the bottom of the shaft. Lubricants come in several types. If you already have one you consistently use while the machine is in working order, continue to use it.
- Use a vapor-phase rust inhibitor. This is a preservation additive that inhibits the rust particles from attaching themselves to any machine parts exposed above the oil level. You can mix several of these additives with the lubricant. Be sure to add it according to your machine's instruction manual.
- Make regular trips to the storage unit to inspect the machinery. Rotate the compressors, motors, turbines, pumps and other components of the machine periodically. Attempt to rotate the equipment every two weeks, if possible, but at least make sure to do so once a month. While at the storage unit, complete a visual inspection. Check around the machine to look for anything odd or out of place. It will be much easier to catch an issue ahead of time, rather than having to pay for it later.
Proper preparation and preservation of your equipment will ensure you remove it from storage in the same shape it was in before you put it there. Taking the proper precautions ahead of time, and regularly inspecting the machinery in storage will save you time, money and hassles in the end. When you are ready to transport your items to and from storage, enlist the help of a freight transport company. Freight transport company benefits will make the beginning and ending process of machine storage much easier.
Your machinery and equipment is an investment in your business, and caring for it will save you a lot of money and headaches over time. Be sure to follow these tips when you want to store it, and you'll thank yourself later.
(Cover photo: CC Richard Humphrey)
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