HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?

HDR Workshop Solutions explains the factors which decide when you should replace your vehicle hoist

David Duncan of HDR Workshop Solutions says he is often asked by clients about the life span of hoists, how old is too old and when should they be replaced.
He explains that there really is no hard and fast answer to the question, but states there are lots of factors to consider when answering. Just some of the factors to consider are:

  1. The number of cycles the hoist has completed (a cycle is one raise and one lower movement). For example, dealership hoist will do approximately six cycles each day which equates to 1560 cycles each year;
  2. The maintenance history of the hoist;
  3. The type of loads the hoist has been lifting (lifting heavy vehicles wears parts on hoists faster than lifting lighter vehicles);
  4. The wear history of the same brand and model of the hoist across the industry (to discover any brand centric problems); and
  5. The condition of the hoist and the demand which will be placed upon the hoist in the future.

David says some influencers in the industry are stating that once a hoist is 25 years old that it is automatically “no longer safe” and needs to be replaced.
“Not surprisingly these are the same people who manufacture vehicle hoists and really want you to buy a new one, so forgive my cynicism,” David said.
“It is impossible for me to believe that at 24 years + 364 days old your hoist is safe to operate and yet the next day it is no longer safe to use and must be replaced, crazy right?
“On the flip side of that, would you let your son or daughter work under an unsafe vehicle hoist and the answer quite rightly is no, so somewhere there needs to be a balance in the conversation.
“I guess the real question to ask is: how old is too old for any piece of machinery?”
David says there are many views on this.
“You could argue that if you maintained your favourite EH Holden sedan to factory specs, that you could continue to drive it forever without issue and that is a viable and real argument,” David said.
“However, if I then asked if you would entrust the EH to one of your employees to operate every day to use to drive 100km to and from work and do deliveries to your customers, then you might answer the original question differently.
“It comes down to use, operating conditions, demand and maintenance.”

The goal with any equipment purchase for a business is to get a high return on investment as quickly as possible so that you can return a profit from the equipment in your business.
“The average vehicle hoist will cost you around $7,000 plus GST delivered and installed; and if you lease it over four years the average payment will be less than $10/weekday,” David said.
“While a vehicle hoist is a large initial investment the cost is not huge when you break it down like this. You should be able to recover your hoist cost each day before smoko in every bay that you have one fitted.
“If you run a fleet of vehicles, the late model low kilometre vehicles will return you the best value for money and suffer less downtime than older equipment, because, as equipment wears, it requires more maintenance to keep it running and on the road – vehicle hoists are no different in this respect.
“We recommend to our high use dealership clients that they view all of their hoists as a 10-15 year investment.
“That’s five years to pay the hoist off and five to 10 years to enjoy the benefits of the equipment; and then replace them before the ongoing costs of maintaining the hoist start to ramp up.
“As a business we currently service more than 1,300 hoists each year and we have found that as hoists age we are faced with issues of lowered factory support and marginal parts supply and this inevitably means longer downtime when something fails on aging hoists.
“We have hoists on our books that we carry out annual inspections on that are more than 30 years old and they are still performing well due to the efforts of their conscientious owners, who follow a solid maintenance regime. But remember the statement: “they don’t make ‘em like they used too!
“This is true in our society for everything that we purchase, so be aware that a large percentage of the hoists available today will be unlikely to make the 20 year+ mark let alone the 30 year mark due to lower standards of manufacturing and quality.
“If you want to get the best possible return on investment, then pay close attention to your daily, weekly and monthly checks inhouse, maintain and service your equipment in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines and the Australian Standards and engage a reputable service company to help you develop a maintenance and where required a replacement plan.”

If you have questions or would like more information, contact the team at HDR Workshop Solutions via info@hdrworks.com.au