Best Practices for Protecting Construction Equipment from Fire Damage
When it comes to the construction business, off-road vehicles are just as essential to the operation as employees. If something causes those vehicles to go out of commission, business will be severely impacted and before they know it, they could be days or weeks behind schedule. From dump trucks and bulldozers to logging equipment, all off-road vehicles have complex mechanical systems and operate under extremely intense conditions. As a result, they have an above average fire risk.
Some of the top reasons why off-road vehicles maintain a greater risk for fire include:
- With the powerful motor a construction vehicle requires, heat generation is far greater than in a standard commuter vehicle. The heat generation is contributed to by the multiple motors many off-road vehicles require, increasing the possible risk of ignition.
- Risk of ignition is even greater with the several kinds of combustible liquids in their mechanical systems, including fuel, oil, grease for lubrication and hydraulic fluid.
- Off-road vehicles are not being used on clean, paved roads, and therefore undergo far more wear and tear as they accumulate debris on the frame and under the chassis.
- Construction off-road vehicles tend to have much longer life-cycles, running day and night, especially when a project deadline is approaching.
In order to keep these vehicles running at peak efficiency, there are steps to take to prevent fires from damaging or destroying valuable equipment.
First things first, a good, solid prevention plan is needed. This means focusing on regular professional inspections and maintenance to high-risk areas of the equipment, such as the electrical system, engine blocks, exhaust manifolds, turbochargers and braking systems. Something as simple as routine cleaning of accumulated debris and any areas touched by flammable liquid is highly recommended to prevent any fire damage or destruction.
Be aware of the status of vehicles and pay close attention to each piece of equipment. Frequently checking connections and hoses for signs of leaks, as well as electric wires for frays, indicating a need for repair, prevents worry down the line.
A full-scale fire suppression system is a vital component to making a plan more than just preventative, but fully comprehensive. Having a well-rounded plan can help to keep costs down if equipment experiences any damage or destruction due to a fire. Those costs can go beyond the price to repair the equipment itself, but it will also cost the time which the operation is put on hold while waiting to acquire working vehicles. The potential for injuries or even death to the personnel operating the equipment must also be considered.
Odds are an operation spent a fair amount of money on their off-road vehicles to get good quality equipment, and for that reason it is worth taking measures to protect investments. An excellent first step in combating these top fire risks is to install a fire suppression system, a more than valid expense to pay now to save both paying much more down the line as well as lives.
Take plans one step further and avoid these costly scenarios by finding a leader in commercial off-road vehicle fire suppression to partner with. The best partner for companies is someone that offers all fire prevention services that could possibly be needed. Services should include installing, inspecting and maintaining equipment; as well as designing a custom suppression system for any off-road vehicle, vital best practices to keep construction equipment safe from fire damage and working efficiently.