The Complete Guide to Preventive Maintenance (10 Types)

The Complete Guide to Preventive Maintenance (10 Types)

Equipment Repair | Fleet Care | Fleet Maintenance | Repair and Maintenance | 06/08/2023
Written by Stacy Conner

Preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance, reactive maintenance, calendar-based maintenance, usage-based maintenance, and more! There are so many different ways to talk about how to keep your fleet in tip-top shape. In one of our previous blogs, we talked about eight ways to create a winning preventive maintenance program.

But if you’re like us, you probably like to know what preventive maintenance programs are available before creating your very own. If you’re wondering what the most helpful preventive maintenance programs and schedules exist — and which maintenance to avoid — join us! In this article, we’ll discuss the 10 most helpful preventive maintenance types and schedules to increase uptime for your fleet.

Preventive maintenance vs. corrective maintenance

Before we dive deep into the 10 most helpful preventive maintenance schedules, we’d like to highlight the difference between preventive and corrective maintenance.

Preventive maintenance works on fixing what is already working before it becomes an issue. Corrective maintenance — also called reactive maintenance — refers to fixing a piece of equipment that’s already broken and now needs some tender loving care.

Moving forward we’ll refer to each preventive maintenance schedule with these umbrella terms in mind.

The top 10 preventive maintenance schedules and programs

The following regular maintenance approaches will help you keep your equipment and fleet in tip-top shape. Here’s everything you need to know about the top 10 most helpful and commonly used maintenance approaches — including when they’re best used and for which purposes.

1. Time-based maintenance (TBM) 

Also known as calendar-based maintenance, TBM is conducted at regular intervals while the equipment is still functioning. The goal of TBM is to prevent failure or at least reduce the risk of failure.

There are various types of time-based maintenance schedules. The most common schedules used are weekly, monthly, or quarterly-based. Time-based maintenance is a close cousin to usage-based maintenance, another maintenance approach for improving the life expectancy of your equipment and machinery.

2. Usage-based maintenance (UBM)

Also known as calendar-based maintenance, usage-based maintenance is another form of preventive maintenance that focuses on reducing equipment failure based on how much wear and tear your equipment incurs.

Fleet managers would be wise to use UBM: this PM program can help you determine when to replace equipment with a known shelf-life or life expectancy. When it comes time for the equipment and parts to be replaced, you’ll have a record of the hours logged and how many hours each part has been used.

Keeping track of the condition of your equipment couldn’t be easier with this type of preventive maintenance schedule.

3. Condition-based maintenance (CBM)

Like UBM, CBM looks for evidence that a failure is occurring or is about to occur. With CBM schedules, fleet managers will be able to see the window of opportunity they have to detect failures and check the condition of equipment before it fails. 

While this preventative maintenance schedule and program may not be able to reduce the chance of failure and increase your equipment’s life expectancy, CBM can help you diagnose the cause of potential failures before a breakdown or failure occurs.

4. Failure-finding maintenance (FFM)

FFM helps users detect failures that have already occurred in equipment. This type of maintenance program can be used for safety equipment (like sensors) whose purpose is to detect other equipment failures.

Failure-finding maintenance simply detects failure, but doesn’t necessarily prevent the failure. Some examples of failure-finding maintenance procedures and schedules include many government-related inspections and annual equipment checks, as these checks are meant to check for failures that could pose safety risks on the road.

What’s more, keeping a failure-finding maintenance protocol in mind will help ensure you avoid DOT violations when it comes time for your DOT inspection.

5. Risk-based maintenance (RBM)

Most fleet business operations include protocols for avoiding risk and keeping the condition of the equipment in tip-top shape. Another common type of planned and unplanned maintenance is risk-based maintenance.

A solid proactive maintenance schedule will assess the likelihood that service is needed due to an increased risk of failure. RBM is all about reducing consequences — and unplanned downtime — and increasing productivity.

RBM is similar to preventive maintenance, but RBM focuses on how to optimize the maintenance of fleet equipment through regular inspection and risk assessment. Common types of equipment to use RBM on include trucks, piping, and internal components (like pistons and valves).

6. Predictive maintenance (PDM)

As you level up your skills with data collection, asset maintenance, and fleet upkeep, you’ll need to know about predictive maintenance. PDM is a more advanced approach to CBM, as this type of maintenance relies on remote monitoring and meter readings via the sensors in your equipment.

Many PDM programs use sensors in their equipment to determine if parts replacements are due now or coming up. Use PM programs like PDM to help predict when failure is going to happen and when a technician should intervene and schedule maintenance on your equipment. 

7. Corrective maintenance (CM)

Planning maintenance ahead of time may not always be feasible. Depending on your business’ operating hours, the number of work orders, or operational activities, you may not have the bandwidth or resources to implement the above maintenance activities consistently.

Other examples of preventive maintenance include corrective maintenance. We don’t recommend this form of maintenance as your go-to strategy, but when low on time and resources, using CM can help with reducing downtime when significant equipment seems to be moving toward failure.

Also known as run-to-failure maintenance, CM restores the function of your assets after your assets have experienced wear and tear. Utilization of CM is based on the idea that:

1. Some failure is acceptable, and 
2. Preventing failure may not be attainable for business continuity

In certain instances, businesses might be wise to allow a new asset to degrade and move toward failure (for example, with lights in a warehouse). Sometimes, it’s worth waiting until the due date or replacement date of your equipment when executing preventive maintenance tasks.

Maintenance models like CM are perfect for these types of tasks.

8. Deferred corrective maintenance (DCM)

If corrective maintenance is conducted after a failure has occurred, deferred corrective maintenance is all about repairing and replacing items after failure occurs.

Oftentimes, deferred maintenance measures are used when additional planning and scheduling are warranted to better understand the scope of repairs needed.

Whether you’re speaking with the equipment manufacturer or taking the time to first determine the cause of the problem, your maintenance plan might necessitate deferred corrective measures to either determine upfront costs for sizable repairs — or to create a permanent maintenance plan for the future.

Deferred corrective maintenance has a time and place in each fleet business strategy. If in doubt, consult your local fleet repair shop for additional advice on when DFM could be helpful for your business.

9. Emergency maintenance (EM)

Some preventive maintenance activities — like the timely lubrication of a broken down motor — might not always be feasible if, say, your truck breaks down in the middle of the road. In this case, you may need to do some emergency maintenance on your vehicle.

EM is a type of maintenance that interrupts your normal schedule. If there’s anything you should know about preventive maintenance, it’s to do your best to reduce emergency maintenance.

But emergencies do occur. That’s why we’re discussing EM.

One of your maintenance strategies should be to keep the percentage of EM to ideally 2% or less. Keeping EM below 2% will help reduce unforeseen maintenance costs and keep your fleet in the best condition possible — for whatever the road may throw your way.

10. Prescriptive maintenance

Say what you want, but the internet, artificial intelligence, preventive maintenance software, and the general industrial internet of things (IIOT) have helped fleet managers with the optimization of preventive maintenance programs and protocols.

IIOT has helped fleet managers optimize maintenance by helping produce digital sensors that are equipped with failure modes. IIOT has even helped mitigate costly repairs with greater reliability and fewer errors than, say, a person keeping tabs on repairs with a hard-bound paper ledger.

Prescriptive maintenance uses cloud-based learning to make preventive maintenance recommendations for assets. Whether you’re budgeting for regular maintenance or looking to create a complete guide for fleet management, prescriptive maintenance has helped increase production and decrease costs of labor thanks to preventive maintenance machine learning and protocols.

Prevent unnecessary unplanned downtime with Expert support

With the right support and help, it’s possible to create a strong preventive maintenance program and schedule for your business’ needs. It never hurts to seek out an expert opinion.

After 20 years of experience in the business, if there’s one lesson we’ve learned, it’s that no one is an island in themselves. If you’re looking to improve a preventive maintenance program — or just need to know about preventive measures to take to keep your fleet operation at its best — we’re more than happy to lend an ear.

If you’d like, feel free to contact the Experts. We look forward to helping you with all your PM needs.

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