Maintenance work: Part 1


By Donald H. Decker, PE, Principal

The Hayo Consultants

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So you want to know how to measure the work of a maintenance mechanic or technician?

Many people would wish you good luck and walk away. Others might say they know exactly what “work” is and sell you on an idea or system to measure “work." The definition of maintenance “work” for your crew(s) is in your hands. Only you know when a mechanic or technician is working. In the following paragraphs, your role is illustrated.

My grandfather talked about his work as a millwright about 1910.

So what is this great compulsion?

When I was a child, both my grandfather and my father defined my activities as:

%%POINT%% Make ready

This family folklore was probably meant more to teach a young child to cleanup after himself.

In this, the first of three installments, we will review what fits in these

Make ready:


Production support

Put away:
Travel with tools & parts
Travel without parts & tools
Cleaning work area, tools,
Storing tools, parts, &
Personal wash-up


Structural requirements: (things
Late arrivals
Early quits


In summary, what can be represented as work, the “Do?" It is “hands-on-wrench” time, to use a common maintenance phrase. One contrary example is the work of electrical/electronic technicians. With the proliferation of control and automation systems, their view of work may have to be modified.

Their role has been greatly expanded, and even elevated to nearly that of system designer in some organizations.For them it is much more difficult to define work.

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