Are you about to get a £114,500 bill?

Posted on March 29, 2016 in Highlighted, News | 0 comments

No doubt you’ll have been feeling some of the pressure that our industry has been under recently.

With the cost of oil plummeting, economic downturns and political uncertainties, margins continue to be squeezed and the result is that lots of us look to make cost savings to cope.

Which is sensible.

But there’s one particular cost-cutting exercise I’ve seen quite frequently, one that I’m extremely concerned about.

You see, when companies in our space are trying to cut costs in their operation, they generally look at engine maintenance.

On one level, this is understandable. After all, it’s not necessarily visible, it’s not sexy and it isn’t always understood by those deciding the budgets.

It’s a regular cost, and people think that by reducing it, using sub-standard parts, or trying to do it themselves they can lower their budget.

It’s a big mistake.

Why? Because an engine failure will definitely cost you A LOT more than the maintenance will.

Let me give you an example: we recently went through an exercise with a client that we’d been working with, understanding their spend over 5 years.

Their average maintenance bill for a 12-month period was £5,793.51; and that was sticking to the recommended maintenance every 500 hours using OEM parts and agents.

We compared this to the cost of a major engine failure, and needless to say there was a big disparity in cost.

Factoring in the supply of a reman engine, engine changeovers, port fees, loss of revenue and other costs, an engine failure for them would have cost £114,500 as a conservative estimate.

Andy working on a MTU engine

They’d spent £28,967.55 over five years; and that had allowed their operation to keep running smoothly.

Had they NOT spent that money, not only would they have been risking the livelihood of their business and the welfare of their staff, they would also have been exposing themselves to a bill of over £110,000!

For lots of businesses, that amount of money is business ending, and even if it’s not, there are many better areas to be investing that kind of money!

And it doesn’t even end with the upfront cost of an engine failure.

Whilst the monetary aspect of a failure can be calculated, what can’t be calculated is the loss of confidence in the market, the damage to reputation and potential loss of contracts and other ongoing work.

So the question is: how much would an engine failure cost you?

It might be £114,500, it might be more, it might be less, but one thing’s for sure, it’ll cost you a lot more than regular maintenance.

If you’re reading this, the chances are that you’re clued up enough to know this, but what you might be struggling with is exactly the level of maintenance you need to carry out on your engine to minimise the risk of engine failure.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a table to help you understand how regularly your engine needs to be maintained, based on the OEM recommendations.

Whilst timings and scopes will differ between actual engine builds and applications, hope this guide helps.

The top end overhauls usually consist of inspection of liners, pistons, and crankshaft pins, manifolds, overspeed trips, dampers & coolers and overhaul of cylinder heads, injectors, starter motor, governor & coolant pumps.

ManufacturerModelMax hours for Top End Overhaul
Caterpillar36007,500 & 15,000
WaukeshaVHP 8,000

The major overhaul will include all ancillary equipment and main bearings.

ManufacturerModelMax hours for Major Overhaul

For low hours, standby applications these maintenance schedules are more general and use the following guides:

Top end overhaul5 Years
Major overhaul10 Years

Hope this helps

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