How to Decrease Costly Down Time During Construction Projects

Downtime during a construction project can have a big impact on both worker productivity and your ability to meet project deadlines. Any amount of downtime will can build up over time, and oftentimes downtime in one area will cause more in another. Although downtime on the job is inevitable at some point, it is a good idea to learn a few strategies you can use to prevent wasted work hours. Below, you will find a few tips for keeping your machines and operations running as effectively as possible. 

Rotate Workers

A lot of downtime can come from the physical needs of your workers. Long hours of working can be exhausting. Not only does this result in your employees requiring breaks, but their productivity can slow down as they become more tired leading up to those breaks. One way you can mitigate this is to rotate your employees. Set up shifts so that, when one set of workers are tiring and need a break, the set can rotate in and take over. Even just rotating tasks so that some can do restful activities, such as supervising and directing operations, in between more physically demanding activities can help keep your team fresh and efficient. Talk to your workers about their rest needs and work patterns to create a schedule that will work best for everyone.

Engage in Preventative Maintenance

Your workers aren’t the only ones affected by long work hours. Your machines will also need breaks and checkups to ensure that they are working efficiently. Machines work long and hard to bring your construction ideas to life, and maintaining them regularly can help you avoid the cost of full repairs and needless downtime later. Develop a preventative maintenance plan that includes things like inspections and selective repair work. Consider getting a guaranteed cost agreement for the life of the machines as well. If you have engines or motors that are frequently worked close to overheating, consider ways to rotate equipment so that each will suffer less strain and wear over time.

Manage the Details

Any large or small construction project will have a plethora of logistics attached to it in addition to the physical labor. However, your project managers and workers don’t always have access to all of the relevant information they need while they are on the project site. If they are unclear on points such as local building codes, work schedules, or subcontractors in the area, then it can be time consuming to try and coordinate with those who do have that information. Construction management services, however, can help you and your employees keep track of all operations and relevant information through phones, tablets, and laptops. This ensures that all necessary information is readily available to all relevant parties. Missed calls, emails, and elusive or vague calendars will no longer have the power to slow down your project completion rate when you have the proper management and tracking solutions. 

Consider the Weather

One of the biggest factors influencing downtime for construction is complications with the weather. Whether it’s rain, snow, wind, or even blistering heat, certain steps cannot be completed in extreme conditions. Make sure that you are keeping careful track of weather trends when scheduling project completion dates. Take steps to prepare for potential delays from the weather by getting what needs proper conditions done first. Ensure you have the right equipment, such as tarps, canopies, heaters, and dehumidifiers to help mitigate the effect of the weather on your work. Also, find ways to make even downtime productive by taking the opportunity to run equipment checks indoors, assemble necessary equipment and parts, organize paperwork, and create action plans for when the weather lets up.

Downtime is an inevitable part of any construction project, but not all of it is necessary. By taking precautionary measures, planning carefully, and orchestrating your tasks and operations effectively, you can greatly reduce wasted time and increase project completion speeds. The tips outlined above are just a few of the ways you can lessen the negative financial impact of downtime on your business.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

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