You must read this email I received recently, it is a wonderful incite into the problems most Maintenance Managers Face based on Maintenance Technician Feedback


I received some positive feedback from the two maintenance fitters sitting in with myself on your session on maintenance of hydraulic systems.

It was interesting afterwards, the comment was, “we know most of what Ricky was speaking about, it was not new to us, but why do we not implement best practice all of the time”

After a brief discussion we found the reasons for this may be:

  • not aware of the consequences of taking shortcuts, they know how to do it properly but do not know why they need to.
  • not knowing what the business expects of them as a tradesman, meaning quality work vs getting the job done quickly to complete the work plan.
  • Laziness, why not take shortcuts, nobody audits our work.

Culture, or more so, personal attitudes are difficult things to change.

I have been focusing heavily on “precision maintenance” best practices lately with some success, mainly around our rotating equipment.

This is what I have been portraying to our maintenance team, trying to keep it simple and uncomplicated.

  • Precision:  long asset life cannot be expected unless the asset starts life in its best possible condition, eg, balance, alignment, quality parts, use a torque wrench, etc.
  • Preventive Maintenance:  once an asset has been restored to an “as new” condition through precision maintenance, preventative maintenance tasks are important to maintain the “as new “condition, it may be as simple as keeping it clean, dry, and lubricated.
  • Failure Analysis:  upon asset failure record or document what you find before, and as you dismantle the asset, eg, It may mean putting the alignment machine on a coupled pump to check the and record before it is pulled apart.

The information gathered through this is vital in identifying the root cause which will flow on to trigger adjustments to the asset care strategy. Without this we will not increase asset condition or extend asset life.

Out of our FMEA’s and RCM’s we have developed manuals with guide our technicians through maintenance tasks on our critical equipment. This is working well as it gives us consistency, which in turn makes decision making on asset care strategies easier as we know what we are doing at present.

I am getting buy-in now from most of our team which is awesome, but it was refreshing for me to have our guys listen to you talk,  I am sure they set sick of listening to me go on.

Thanks again,

Un-Named Maintenance Manager

Please comment


3 Responses to Honest Feedback on Maintenance Issues from Maintenance Techs

  1. Kim Hunt says:

    Ricky – Great read – thanks for sharing this. I’ve heard some interesting comments in the last few weeks from people that worked at nuclear power plants as to how these best practices, check lists, standards, torqueing etc. pretty much eliminated failures but then “that was a nuclear power plant”. Interesting how people know that this stuff works but don’t value their own business and jobs to want to protect them!

  2. Bjarni says:

    Great E-Mail.

  3. Fred Schenkelberg says:

    Over the years I’ve had the privilege to spend time with technicians performing ‘routine’ PM’s. Time to watch, learn and listen to them. I have come away from those experiences with a deep appreciation for the knowledge, professionalism and dedication those men and women bring to the job each day.

    It often is the steady wear of frustrations over getting parts, getting prioritization for PM work, getting the time to do the job right, that thwarts even their best efforts. Creating a system that listens to and responds to the needs of the technician often reaps great rewards in equipment uptime and reduced maintenance costs.

    good overall message.



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