Quality is a core value at Bituminous Roadways Inc., and it’s a value that extends to more than just our projects. Purchasing quality equipment and keeping the equipment, our largest capital investment, up and running every day is a critical component of our business. If our equipment isn’t consistently in operating order, our asphalt paving jobs will be delayed, causing frustration from both customers and staff alike.
Keeping on top of repairs and purchasing top of the line equipment not only ensures a quality job, but it helps retain employees who are operating the equipment and increases customer satisfaction. BR has three main equipment programs, including routine maintenance, rebuilding, and purchasing.
BR owns and operates more than 200 pieces of equipment, ranging from pavers and skid loaders to backhoes and dump-trucks. A suggested maintenance schedule accompanies every piece of equipment. This schedule helps keep BR mechanics on track with what maintenance should be done and when.
In addition to a scheduled maintenance program, BR participates in an oil sample program. By testing equipment oil, it can give an indication to the mechanics that an issue is arising, and they can better anticipate and alleviate major issues.
BR mechanics touch every piece of equipment during the winter (the asphalt paving offseason), to prepare for the next paving season. During this time, they review information given to them from the equipment operators. This list gives them a starting point on what needs to be addressed for each piece of equipment. In addition to this information, certain parts of the equipment require a rebuild every year, such as bearings or screed plates. In order to ensure all maintenance is finished, BR calls on our foremen to assist the mechanics in these repairs. Not only does this help keep the maintenance schedule on track, but it gives the foreman a chance to get to know the equipment they operate to better communicate in the field when there is a problem.
Before any piece of equipment is purchased at BR, it is brought in as a demo. Equipment vendors will deliver a mill, paver or blade to a job site and the operator will spend some time using the equipment. Afterwards, they provide feedback to the BR operations and shop managers, who review the information. From here, a decision is made whether to move forward with purchasing that particular piece of equipment. Another factor in the purchasing decision is based on longevity. The recommended lifecycle of the equipment is important when considering what other equipment is scheduled to be replaced at that time. Finally, budget is a factor in purchasing equipment.
BR understands that if equipment breaks down, asphalt paving jobs are not being completed on time, employees are frustrated that they can’t work, and customers are upset because their finished product is delayed. Time spent on breakdowns is money; therefore, it is critical to plan and forecast for equipment purchases. BR plans years in advance when it comes to equipment to ensure a quality felt without breaking the budget.