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Maintenance is one of the consequential elements of the overall usage of a specific vehicle; however, because of the necessity to conform to a range of norms and standards, the process of maintaining vehicles in proper shape and quality requires the introduction of a range of tools. Particularly, the importance of safety, sustainability, cost and lubrication deserve to be listed.
The paper in question examines the existing tools for enhancing the process of vehicle maintenance, as well as the duration of the vehicle’s operating condition. Particularly, the researcher elaborates on the significance of specific elements and their compatibility in the process of vehicle maintenance.
The key objective of the paper is to evaluate the importance of every element mentioned above, as well as to locate the avenues for promoting sustainability in vehicle maintenance. Specifically, the sustainable use of resources and the adoption of environment friendly policies deserve to be listed. In addition, the importance of maintenance safety needs be reconsidered and made more explicit.
Herein the significance of the study lies. While the outcomes of the research cannot be viewed as groundbreaking, they will clearly provide some food for thoughts in terms of rearranging the current maintenance management process. Consequently, the Maintenance Department will be linked directly to the theme of the review.
The method used for conducting the research can be identified as the general research, i. e, a qualitative study. In other words, an overall analysis of the existing resources is carried out and corresponding conclusions are made on the basis of the discussion of the data acquired. The specified approach allows for embracing the vastest amount of options for defining the proper maintenance strategy.
Critical Reflection and Discussion
Focusing on the Quality Assurance Department of the organisation in question, one must admit that the issue of maintenance is of critical importance to the provision of quality when providing transportation services in general and offering vehicles in particular. The provision of the corresponding changes within the organisation setting can be carried out with the help of an ERP strategy, which allows for enhancing the quality of the product and at the same time keep the rest of the organisational elements in balance.
A special emphasis must be put on the environmental issues in general and the sustainability in particular. Apart from implementing the principle of sustainability in maintenance as a means of reducing the effect of the production process on the environment, one must consider introducing the principle of sustainability in the system of the company’s operations.
As far as the sustainability issue is concerned, though, the approach identified above can be viewed as rather dubious. On the one hand, the creation of the sustainability principle based on environmental awareness will trigger an inevitable and rather rapid improvement in the resources allocation. To be more exact, the strategy under analysis will allow for creating new opportunities for the organisation in terms of the search for new transportation options.
By identifying new methods for carrying out the basic elements of the daily routine, one will be able to improve the effects that the transportation system has on the environment, as well as reduce the commercial energy consumption rates significantly: “Transport consumes about 40 per cent of commercial energy in the developed countries mainly responsible for the world’s total energy use in transport” (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2001, p. 1).
On the other hand, the specified strategy can be interpreted as a major step backwards in the process of budgeting. Specifically, the organisation will not be able to adopt a cost efficient approach towards the use of resources and choose less costly options once the sustainability principle is introduced. Indeed, because of the need to transfer to the use of renewable energy sources, the organisation is likely to incur losses in either the speed of services delivery or the quality thereof and, therefore, the revenue from the customer services, or the cost for the transportation method used.
Finally, the issue of costs should be addressed. As it has been stressed above, the adoption of the sustainability principle is most likely to trigger significant changes in the financial strategy of the company. Consequently, a new and enhanced approach towards the cost management process needs to be applied. A closer look at the specifics of the company’s operations will reveal that the department in question is likely to require a combination of two key strategies, i.e., outsourcing and efficient time management.
Researches show that inability to use the time that companies provides their staff with affects the performance of the latter drastically. Particularly, the significance of the Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) should be considered. According to “ERP systems provide a cross-functional view of the entire organisation and can provide a mechanism to understand and reinvent business processes to better support sustainable practices” (Bradford, Earp & Williams, 2012, p. 30), which defines their usefulness in the overall sustainability framework of the quality assurance department for vehicle maintenance.
Often viewed as a part and parcel of a successful organisation’s financial strategy, the given approach creates the premises for allocating the existing resources in a manner as efficient as possible and avoiding major costs in the process. Being an element of the strategy known as capitalisation on technology, the approach under analysis will factor in the production process of the company quite naturally, since a sustainable use of resources is used as the basis of the introduction of a new costs strategy.
In the light of the fact that the sustainability framework is going to be applied to the operations carried out by the organisation, one must also put a stronger emphasis on the preventive maintenance procedures as the key to facilitating a sustainable environment. By creating the setting, in which the possibility for every observable accident to occur is taken into account and the measures for addressing the accident in question are provided to be undertaken, one will be capable to drive the chances for the emergency to take place.
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It is desirable that a combination of proactive and reactive maintenance procedures should be viewed as an opportunity; thus, the maintenance of the vehicles will be carried out in a manner that will help eliminate the slightest chance for the vehicle to fail in the process of its exploitation. According to the existing definition, the basic difference between the proactive and the reactive maintenance types concerns the schedule; while the former is performed on schedule, the latter is not.
In other words, the two are related closely to each other: “Unscheduled breakdown maintenance is most often due to lack of preventive maintenance” (Bartole, 2006, par. 10). Though planned maintenance is essential for facilitating quality, it is the unplanned one that allows one to assess the vehicle’s ability to withstand the outside factors that its owners are most likely to experience in case of an emergency.
Finally, the issue of lubrication should be considered separately. Seeing that the use of heavy duty vehicles traditionally presupposes a rather fast tear and wear of the vehicle parts, lubrication is essential for preventing the above-mentioned problem and contributing to a fast decrease of costs for replacing certain parts of the vehicle ().
Choosing between aluminium soap, calcium soap grease, sodium base grease and lithium soap grease, one must give preference to lithium-soap grease, as the specified solution displays rather impressive tolerance for high temperatures. Creating the environment, in which friction is reduced significantly even at rather high temperatures, the grease under analysis can be viewed as the ultimate solution to the problem mentioned above.
As far as the environmental impact of the tool in question is concerned, its effects on nature and the pollution rates can be viewed as rather tolerable: “The volatile organic content is 0.0% by WHMIS and European standards” (Lithium grease hydrophobic, corrosion inhibiting lubricant 8461 technical data sheet, 2012, p. 3). Additionally, the fact that lithium-soap grease prevents corrosion and is, in fact, hydrophobic and corrosion inhibiting can be considered a major advantage and a very solid argument in its favour as the key to heavy-duty vehicle maintenance.
It is expected that the measures listed above will provide the environment, in which heavy-duty vehicles maintenance will become a possibility. By stressing the significance of quality and managing costs efficiently, the organisation will be able to satisfy all the stakeholders involved.
Vehicle maintenance is one of the most challenging tasks in the industry. Traditionally, several elements are incorporated into the process. Lubrication is one of the key issues to take into account when carrying out maintenance of heavy duty vehicle fleets. Because of comparatively high friction rates, the elements of the vehicles are under a consistent threat of being worn out; as a result, the necessity for choosing the proper lubrication.
Another essential component of vehicle maintenance, sustainability needs to be mentioned. The convergence of environmentalism approaches and the adoption of the latest technological advances can be identified as the defining characteristics of the 21st century industries. Particularly, BioPreferred, CPG and SNAP deserve to be mentioned.
Apart from the specified issues, maintenance safety deserves to be listed among the key concerns. Keeping the key equipment updated and in good working condition is crucial to not only the quality of the services, but also the safety of the staff. Herein the need to carry out regular maintenance processes and exercise quality control lies. Preventive maintenance, in its turn, will eradicate the possibility for accidents to occur.
Finally, the issue of cost should be give proper attention. Depending on a variety of factors, the cost for maintenance usually takes approximately 30% of the total cost of a vehicle.
Because of the recent tendency to incorporate environmentalism into the maintenance process, the need to reassess the impact of the key maintenance procedures on nature, as well as the consumption of natural resources, emerges. Consequently, the maintenance processes that incorporate the standards such as BioPreferred, CPG and SNAP, as well as an elaborate sustainable approach towards resources use, are required.
Bartole, P. (2006). How to implement a fleet preventive maintenance program. Government Fleet.
Bradford, M., Earp, J. B. & Williams, P. (2012). Sustainability: An analysis of organisational reporting and implications for ERP systems. Atlanta, GA: Proceedings of the Southern Association for Information Systems Conference.
Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2001). The role of urban transport in sustainable human settlements development. New York, NY: Commission on Sustainable Development Ninth Session.
Lithium grease hydrophobic, corrosion inhibiting lubricant 8461 technical data sheet. (2012). MG Chemicals.