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As a seminar presenter on the topic of machinery lubrication, much of my time is spent instructing people on how to develop and maintain a world-class lubrication program. In addition to discussing the "rights" of good maintenance, I also spend time talking about what not to do, pointing out common mistakes and omissions that are typically made. To illustrate these mistakes and poke fun at myself at the same time, I use examples of my own maintenance and operational blunders involving my boats. I have a passion for big game fishing, and when I am not working I can usually be found on the Gulf of Mexico hunting tuna and marlin. Unfortunately, for every successful fishing story I tell, I have at least one sad story of a missed trip, missed season, or just a missed fish due to a system failure or mechanical break down.
A Personalized Program
After identifying the methods and activities needed to achieve the desired level of reliability, each task had to be assigned an appropriate frequency, the steps documented, and modifications made for reliability and to increase the efficiency of the maintenance tasks. During this process, I created two lists of tasks separated by criticality, consisting of items such as checking the engine oil level or VHF operation being high, as well as checking the battery terminals and steering fluid level being at a moderate level.
I further separated the list by frequency, for example every trip, every three trips, once at the beginning of the season, etc. I then designed and documented the detailed procedures for each task in the form of
bullet-point checklists which are now laminated and stored on the boat with a grease pen. At the beginning of each trip the "every trip" list is performed and checked. Tasks with longer frequencies are tracked in a spreadsheet. The boat will not leave the dock until all scheduled maintenance and inspection procedures are complete. Another benefit of documenting the tasks and likely failures was that I developed an effective tools and materials list (like having enough oil to refill the hydraulic system when a hose breaks).Always Consult the Checklists