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Planning and Organizing Maintenance Programs


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Title: Planning and Organizing Maintenance Programs

Planning and Organizing Maintenance Programs
  • Sternloff and Warren
  • Chapter 2

What is the Inevitable Result Of Deferred
Deferred maintenance inevitably results in
gradual but accelerating deterioration, which
goes unnoticed by the occasional visitor, until
the condition becomes quite intolerable or
dangerous to the user. At this point, corrective
maintenance assumes the proportions of an
expensive, major repair project.
This is a basic concept it is axiomatic.
Another concept It is easier to get funding to
build a facility than to get funds to maintain it.
What is the purpose of a Maintenance Impact
Statement (MIS)?
The purpose of a MIS is to calculate and
communicate to decision makers and to the public
the importance, the magnitude, and the costs of
maintaining a facility before the decision to
acquire and develop is made.
Appendix 2-A depicts a sample maintenance impact
statement. Notice that this is for Landscape
Maintenance only. If the development is to
include tennis courts, a parking area, picnic
area, game court, tables, benches,and a drinking
fountain, these are not detailed in that
The Maintenance Plan
The primary requirement for a good maintenance
plan is that it be clear and understandable to
the people who are responsible for administering
The old adage about One picture is worth a
thousand words is well worth remembering when
preparing elements of a maintenance plan.
The Maintenance Plan
1. A complete inventory of areas, facilities, and
equipment to be maintained. This will include a
detailed listing and description of each of the
three items listed above, including pertinent
facts relating to their age, condition, degree of
use, special needs, etc. A playground, for
example, should list each item of equipment, the
manufacturer, the date of installation, the type
and condition of ground surfacing, etc. For
lighting, identify the type of lighting, bulb
sizes, etc. There should also be a map showing
location and placement of water and electrical
lines, control boxes, etc.
  • A written routine maintenance plan including
  • a. Maintenance standards written for all area,
    facilities, and equipment items identified in
    the inventory.
  • b. Identification and listing of specific
    routine maintenance tasks necessary to achieve
    the maintenance standard set for each facility.
    See Baseball Field Maintenance
  • c. Procedures describing the most efficient
    methods to accomplish routine maintenance tasks.
  • d. Maintenance task frequency.
  • e. Personnel necessary to accomplish tasks.
  • f. Material and consumable supplies necessary
    for each task.
  • g. Tools and equipment required to accomplish
  • h. Accurate task time estimates.

3. A means for accomplishing non-routine,
non- recurring maintenance work
4. Preventive maintenance guidelines as
determined by systematic, scheduled inspections.
5. A means of assigning responsibility for each
maintenance jobdesignating an individual crew
or supervisor to see that it is done.
6. A system for job design and planning and/or
accurate scheduling of work.
7. A system of cost analysis and controls.
The textbook states that A major problemwith
the combination written-illustrated maintenance
plan is cost. A great majority of park and
recreation systems simply do not have the
resources to produce a written maintenance plan
with photographs or illustrations for each
developed area, facility, or equipment item to be
routinely maintained.
The textbook advocates the use of a table format
on 11 by 17 paper as an inexpensive alternative
to the text with photos booklets.
That is no longer the case. With a computer and
a digital camera, this can be accomplished fairly
easily and inexpensively
Helpful Hints
Remember that a checklist of recurring
maintenance tasks for each facility or area helps
ensure that the tasks are completed.
Instructions should be kept short and simple
because most people will not remember lengthy or
detailed instructions.
Standards should be considered to be the minimum
acceptable level of maintenance, even if they
cannot be met.
Non-Routine, Non-Recurring Maintenance
Some tasks cannot be handled through routine or
preventive maintenance. Damage from a storm,
accidental breakage of equipment, requirements of
special events or tournaments, etc. fall into the
category of non-routine or non-recurring
maintenancethat is, maintenance needs which
cannot be foreseen or predicted.
These needs may be discovered by routine
inspections or noted by employees, volunteers, or
visitors and called to the attention of the
maintenance division. These are then handled
through a system of work orders.
The Work Order Request Form
These should be readily available to all
personnel and turned in daily to the work control
desk so that non-routine, non-recurring
maintenance needs are identified.
All personnel includes maintenance, program and
administrative personnel, both line and staff.
The work control desk personnel will be
responsible to identify which are the most
important on some defined basis such as risk of
injury to visitors or staff, facility security,
potential for additional damage, and aesthetics.
The highest priority items should be handled
immediately. There should also be a procedure to
in place to follow up on the repair/maintenance
Preventive Maintenance
As implied by it name, preventive maintenance is
designed to minimize or prevent major breakdowns
in equipment or deterioration of facilities. It
ranges from such simple tasks as
checking/changing oil, water, air, tire
alignment, etc. in vehicles, to weather-sealing
decks and brick work, to treating foundations for
termites or other insect infestations. Some of
these tasks are incorporated into the routine
maintenance plan and are performed on a regular
or periodic basis.
Preventive Maintenance and New Facilities
The importance of preventive maintenance is not
always evident when a new facility is built
although much of it may be foreseen. With a new
building, you can expect to have erosion along
the drip line, of it you have gutters, at the
point of discharge. Splattering of soil along
the exterior walls can be expected until ground
cover is provided. Clogging of sink pipes can be
expected with many crafts programs. Experience
and common sense can solve many problems before
they happen.
Assigning Maintenance Work
In smaller systems, a single crew may be
responsible for all aspects of maintenance. Larger
systems might adopt an area- or unit-system for
maintenancethere are factors relating to scale
of operations such as familiarity with the site
or facility, travel time to separate sites,
on-site availability of equipment, etc. Some
tasks may require a specialized crew,
particularly when work rules require a task to be
performed by a licensed electrician or plumber,
or where specialized equipment is needed such as
in replacing ball field lights. Contract
maintenance may be used when specialized
skills or equipment is needed, especially if
public or employee safety is an issue.
Planning and Scheduling JobsWork Requirements
Optimal utilization of resources requires that
you have information on your personnel, financial
and other resources, and knowledge of the work
The frequency of maintenance is determined by the
extent and time of use of the facilities or areas
as well as natural forces which may be beyond
your control. For example, the rain falls, the
grass grows, and you need to determine when to
cut it. How often you mow depends upon how fast
it grows. When you mow it depends upon the
weather as well as use of the area by people, as
well as the availability of personnel to operate
the machinery.
Knowing the best way to do the job, having the
necessary tools, equipment and supplies to do it,
and knowing the time required to complete the
job, makes assignment of personnel and an
appropriate time to do it much simpler.
Planning and Scheduling JobsPersonnel
When you have an estimate of work hours required,
then you can estimate the number of personnel
required and the skills and training needed. The
object is to hire sufficient numbers of competent
employees to do the required job, but not to have
an excessive number of idle workers or hours
throughout the year. The key is to have detailed
records. Among these is a Work Order Log which
is a log (listing) of jobs needing to be done
arrayed by priority. Today, this should be a
computerized log (rather than a paper on a
clipboard), although specific work orders will be
printed and distributed to the appropriate work
Planning and Scheduling JobsWorkload Control
The key here is to match the personnel to the
workload. If you consistently have idle workers
waiting for work orders, then you are probably
overstaffed. If work orders are accumulating
faster than jobs are being finished, then you are
probably understaffed. The textbook identifies
two indicators of the final stages of an out of
control overloadwork orders are written only
for the most critical/crucial jobs, or the
highest priority is assigned to all jobs. Three
solutions to the overload situation are
identified hire temporary help, hire permanent
help, or hire a private contractor.
Planning and Scheduling JobsEstimating Time
Accurate time estimates for accomplishing jobs
are needed. Historical records are the best
means of obtaining these, but, if these are
lacking, then informed estimates will be what
you use. In some cases, national standards are
available. Remember that time estimates should
include travel time as well as job cleanup at the
end. Tracking completion times will give you
better estimates for future use, and can also
show which crews are most efficient (or slacking
off). With todays tight budget situations (in
both public and private enterprises), there is
little toleration of waste and inefficiency.
Workload/Cost Tracking
Collecting and recording information does no good
unless it is subsequently analyzed and utilized.
In small systems, the cost of acquisition of
specific data may exceed the savings resulting
from its application. The textbook includes
discussions for several methods which can be
used, including job sampling and group timing
techniques. However, computerized technology
today allows the supervisor on the job to
communicate directly with the home office and
record information from a remote site
Maintenance Work Schedules
Six components are identified in the
textbook 1) Priority (emergency, routine,
standing) 2) Anticipated Visitor Use (season,
weekend, etc.) 3) Capabilities and skills of
personnel 4) Labor Available (numbers,
types) 5) Seasonality 6) Availability of
Maintenance Cost Analysis and Control
Cost control of maintenanceis really concerned
with the amount of money required for the
maintenance operation that is in excess of that
which would have been spent to get the work done
on a standard basis. (p. 49) Basically you are
attempting to achieve the highest level of
efficiency at the lowest cost. In recreation,
park and tourist enterprises, this means that you
control for those costs which form the greatest
portion of your budgetinvariably this is
personnel. Expenditures which reduce labor time
will generally result in lower costs, although
this is not the only way to achieve savings.
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