In today’s construction and mining industries, the management of costs has become a major priority for companies that want to stay alive in this very volatile environment. History has it that machine operators with lots of experience are the most qualified ones to do the job. Is this statement still true? I am making these statements to those managers that find the maintenance costs of their earthmoving equipment climb, day by day.
Our machine operators are as good as their supervisors or foremen allow them to be. My approach here is that the ability of the supervisor or the foreman to understand correct and incorrect operating techniques of equipment can contribute positively or negatively to the maintenance costs. Supervisors or foremen are first line managers and are at the forefront of construction or mining activities.
The ability of the supervisor or foreman to pin-point correct operating techniques will enable them to recognise and reward performance of the operators; and the ability of the supervisor or foreman to pin-point incorrect operating techniques .The recognition and correction of bad operating techniques will reduce many of the major costs incurred by the organisation.
It is therefore important that supervisors and foremen know operating techniques as well as relevant machine application and related performance skills. Let us also remember to empower the operator trainers with the skills to assess the operator’s skills in the execution of their jobs. This will be one level or step closer towards achieving the goal of “Producing at the Lowest Cost per Ton”