Critical Equipment Maintenance: Assessment & Repair

April 18, 2024

Oded Ran

Oded Ran, CEO and Co-Founder of Clue since 2019, expertly integrates AI and data tools to revolutionize construction equipment management and maintenance, positioning Clue as a premier software choice in the construction industry.

Table of Content

Critical equipment maintenance ensures every gear counts and every part plays a crucial role in keeping operations running smoothly. Just like the intricate inner workings of a clock, your critical equipment needs precise care to keep pumping strong. Clue is your ally in this realm, offering meticulous monitoring, maintenance, and management of every vital component.

The powerful and flexible construction equipment management software integrates everything into your phones to make things easier and trackable for contractors. Today, we'll delve into the pivotal role of construction equipment maintenance.

From regular servicing to timely repairs, we'll explore why it's essential, the best practices for adequate maintenance, and how it directly impacts the success of construction projects. So, let's dive in and uncover the keys to keeping your heavy machinery in top-notch condition.

Determining the criticality of an asset

Critical equipment maintenance is where every wrench twist and inspection is vital to smooth operations. But how do we know which parts are essential? 

That's where determining the criticality of an asset comes in. Before moving on to an asset's criticality, it is essential to understand what a critical asset is and why regular equipment inspections are crucial.

Defining critical assets

Critical assets, also known as necessary equipment, are the essential things your company needs to keep running smoothly and achieve its goals. 

If these assets are damaged, broken, or unavailable, it could seriously affect how reliable your company's operations are. What counts as a critical asset varies for each company, depending on the type of business and what it does.

Criticality analysis: What goes behind it?

Determining which assets are critical for your organization can vary depending on your business. However, there are two main approaches to figuring it out.

Method 1: Asset assessment

One method is to assess the impact of an asset failing on your operations. You can identify the most critical assets by understanding how different failures could affect your business. Typically, assets that impact customer satisfaction, productivity, or overall operations are considered critical.

Method 2: Bottleneck analysis

Another approach is bottleneck analysis. This involves identifying the assets that are essential for your daily workflow. If an asset is crucial for your operations to run smoothly and its failure would slow down the entire process, it's likely critical.

It's important not to overlook the failure of critical equipment maintenance, which could have severe consequences for employee safety or the environment.

Using failure modes and effects analysis is another way to assess your assets. This involves systematically identifying potential failures, their causes, and the risks they pose to your company.

Once this analysis is done, you can calculate a risk priority number for each failure mode, which helps prioritize maintenance efforts based on each failure's severity, likelihood, and detectability.

Classifications of assets by criticality

Within Critical equipment maintenance and construction, the classification of assets by criticality serves as a foundational framework for effective resource allocation and maintenance prioritization. 

Understanding the varying degrees of criticality allows organizations to strategically focus on maintaining the most vital equipment and systems, minimizing downtime, and maximizing operational efficiency.

By delving into these classifications, we gain invaluable insights into navigating the complexities of asset management in these dynamic industries. The criticality of Assets can be divided into four categories based on their functionality and importance.

Criticality A

Assets in this category should be your business's top priority because their failure can bring your entire operation to a halt or affect multiple production lines.

Criticality A may also involve safety, environmental risks, or equipment that generates significant profits. Additionally, assets with high repair costs are included in this category.

Criticality B

Assets falling under equipment criticality B can be temporarily bypassed or operated at a reduced capacity for a short period.

Criticality C

Assets classified as criticality C, or comfort items, include heating or air conditioning systems.

Criticality D

Assets categorized as criticality D are either not directly involved in the operation or have no impact because of redundancy.

How to treat critical assets

Maintaining your equipment, primarily through preventive maintenance, is crucial for managing non-critical and critical assets. While it's essential to care for all assets, it's wise to prioritize the critical ones to ensure they stay in top condition and avoid breakdowns.

When planning your maintenance schedule and budget, focus more resources on the upkeep and replacement of critical assets than less essential ones.

Replacing critical assets and spare parts is vital to keep your operations running smoothly before they fail. It is critical to understand the total cost of owning and maintaining an asset over its lifespan. 

This knowledge helps you budget effectively and make informed decisions about repairing or replacing equipment and its parts. Analyzing past failures and potential risks provides valuable insights into how your assets might fail.

While this process can be time-consuming and expensive, it's worthwhile, especially for critical assets, as it guides your maintenance efforts to prevent future failures.

While this process may sound long and tedious, investing in a tremendous heavy equipment fleet maintenance software such as Clue can help you manage and keep check of your assets.

Recommendation for high-risk facility assets

Your company can ensure high-risk and critical assets stay in top shape by assessing them during preventive maintenance. Here are some methods to achieve that:

1. Thermography: This method involves taking heat-distribution pictures to detect overheating, a common sign of potential malfunction.

2. Vibration analysis: By analyzing vibrations in rotating equipment like motors and gearboxes, flaws can be detected before they cause breakdowns.

3. Eddy-current analysis: This non-destructive testing method helps identify and measure material and coating thickness.

4. Ultrasound Inspection: Maintenance teams use ultrasound to inspect density, flow, or thickness, providing valuable insights into equipment conditions.

5. Meter-based maintenance: Maintenance tasks are scheduled based on machine runtime, or vehicle distance traveled, ensuring timely upkeep.

6. Tribology: Studying friction, lubrication, and wear helps maintenance teams understand asset conditions and take appropriate action.

Benefits of regular assessments

Step into the realm where precision meets power, where every bolt tightened and every gauge checked keeps the heartbeat of heavy machinery strong. In this world of Critical equipment maintenance, the benefits of regular assessment for maintenance are more than just practical, they're paramount.

So, buckle up and prepare to embark on a journey where being proactive leads to victory, and assessment comes above all. We are exploring the main benefits that come with regular evaluations.

Reduced downtime

Keeping construction equipment well-maintained brings a significant advantage:

less downtime. When machines get regular service and stay in good shape, unexpected breakdowns become less likely. This reliability is essential in construction where time is tight, and delays can cost a lot.

In construction, time is crucial. Equipment failures stop work and cause delays that affect the whole project. For example, if a crane or excavator breaks down, it can prevent many tasks until fixed.

This downtime doesn't just affect the current job but can delay the following steps, leading to missed deadlines and more costs. Regular maintenance helps catch minor issues before they become big problems that stop the equipment from working.

This proactive approach saves more time than dealing with unexpected breakdowns. Project managers can stick to schedules better by keeping equipment in top shape.

Reduced downtime also saves money. Fixing broken equipment, especially in emergencies, costs a lot. Plus, when work stops, money is lost. Regular maintenance might cost upfront, but it saves money in the long run by avoiding significant unexpected expenses.

Cost savings

Saving money on construction equipment maintenance mostly comes from preventing extensive repairs. Preventive maintenance means regularly checking and fixing minor issues before they become expensive problems.

Preventive maintenance stops minor problems from getting more significant. For example, changing worn-out parts or topping up fluids can prevent considerable damage to engines or hydraulics.

Unlike extensive urgent repairs, these minor fixes cost less and can be planned for. Significant repairs often need particular parts and labor, which can be complicated and costly.

Preventive maintenance mainly uses easy-to-get resources and can be done during slow times so the project can be completed on time.

Another money saver is that well-maintained equipment lasts longer. Regular maintenance means machinery doesn't wear out as fast, so the investment lasts longer. Plus, well-maintained equipment is more efficient and uses less fuel, saving even more money.


Safety is vital in construction, and regular maintenance is critical to keeping equipment safe. 

A breakdown in construction, where heavy machines are standard, can lead to severe accidents or delays. Regular checks catch potential problems early before they become dangerous.

These checks look at essential parts like brakes and hydraulics, ensuring everything works safely. For example, fixing a hydraulic leak on a crane can stop a big accident.

Well-maintained equipment is reliable, which makes the workplace safer. When workers trust their equipment, they can focus better on their jobs, which makes everything safer.

Regular maintenance also keeps equipment up to safety standards set by the law. Not meeting these standards can lead to fines or worse. Plus, when regular maintenance is a priority, it shows workers that safety matters. This can boost morale and make workers more careful on the job.

Now that the assessment portion has been sorted, it's essential to look into areas of maintenance that can be worked upon and how to work on those areas to ensure that all your Critical equipment maintenance is appropriately followed.

Maintenance practices

The following are a few maintenance practices that ensure all your heavy construction equipment maintenance is appropriately logged and managed.

Regular inspections

Regular inspections are crucial for keeping construction equipment in top shape. These checks help spot signs of wear and tear early on, preventing serious problems.

During inspections, different parts of the equipment are thoroughly examined for any damage, like cracks or leaks.  By catching these issues early, we can fix them before they cause more significant problems.  For example, we might notice worn-out parts that need replacing to keep the equipment running smoothly and safely.

Inspections also help maintain consistent performance and save on fuel and repair costs. Keeping detailed records of inspections helps us track the equipment's condition over time, making it easier to plan for future maintenance.

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines

Following the manufacturer's maintenance schedule is crucial for managing construction equipment. These schedules are based on the equipment's needs to stay in good shape and how often it needs maintenance. 

They include tasks like changing oil or checking filters, tailored to each piece of equipment. By following these guidelines, we make sure we're doing the proper maintenance at the correct times. 

This helps prevent breakdowns and keeps the equipment working well for longer. It's also essential for maintaining valid warranties and ensuring safety features are working correctly.

Use qualified personnel

Having skilled technicians maintain our construction equipment is critical. They have the knowledge and experience to fix complex machinery safely and effectively.

Qualified technicians know how to spot problems early and prevent breakdowns. They also follow the best practices for maintenance, using the right tools and parts.

While their services might cost more upfront, they save us money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs and extending the equipment's lifespan. Using qualified personnel also helps us comply with regulations and keeps our projects running smoothly and safely.

Innovations in maintenance

New technologies are changing how we maintain construction equipment, making it more efficient and cost-effective. Predictive maintenance, for example, uses data analysis and monitoring tools to predict equipment failures before they happen. We can schedule repairs conveniently by spotting issues early and avoiding unexpected breakdowns.

This approach also helps extend the lifespan of our equipment and improves safety on our construction sites. Using technology to anticipate and prevent problems, we can keep our projects running smoothly and safely, saving time and money.

Role of Clue’s construction equipment management Software

Through intelligent telematics and instant analytics, Clue offers unparalleled efficiency and proactive maintenance, elevating productivity and safety to new heights.

Some of the key features you can expect from Clue include:

  • Equipment tracking made simple: Monitor equipment location, usage, and performance for optimal deployment.
  • Real-time insights and alerts: Receive actionable data on equipment health and maintenance requirements to minimize downtime.
  • Streamlined maintenance scheduling: Easily plan and monitor maintenance tasks for peak equipment performance.
  • Safety and compliance assurance: Ensure adherence to industry standards and best practices to protect workforce and assets.
  • Tailored insights at your fingertips: Customizable dashboards provide personalized analytics to suit the unique needs of every construction firm.


Ensuring critical equipment reliability is crucial for any business. Identifying these assets helps prioritize maintenance effectively, leading to optimized workflows and schedules.

This proactive approach extends machinery lifespan, enhances safety, and reduces downtime, resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings.

In construction equipment maintenance, investing in machinery longevity and efficiency is essential. It's not just a task but a strategic investment that impacts project safety, cost-effectiveness, and success.


What is the difference between critical and non-critical assets?

Critical assets are essential to an organization's fundamental operations and goals, demanding vigilant monitoring and maintenance. In contrast, non-critical assets lack the same significance or urgency regarding operational continuity and safety.

What classifies an asset as critical?

Assets are deemed critical based on their importance to operations and the potential impact of failure. Some factors that impact the criticality of an asset include essentiality, consequence of failure, impact on objectives, risk, economic impact, safety, and environmental risks. 

What is a critical equipment list?

A critical equipment list is like a special checklist that helps organizations keep things running smoothly and safely. It helps them identify and care for the most important tools to achieve their goals.

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