Case Study: Operational Readiness for Mobile Fleet

August 5, 2019

Too often the operational readiness work for a mobile plant that’s the same as the existing fleet on a site is considered a “copy and paste” project.

Author: Scott Studdert 

Operational Readiness is a topic that Bluefield has written a lot about recently (refer to the article here about How Operational Readiness Stops the Destruction of Value and here about Lessons Learned - Operational Readiness).  Too often the introduction and operational readiness work for a mobile plant that’s similar to (or the same) as the existing fleet on a site is considered a “copy and paste” project. However, great opportunities exist within the Operational Readiness project if resourced and executed well. 

When introducing mobile equipment, which is similar to or the same as the existing fleet onsite, often the Operational Readiness project is seen as an aside or not properly resourced. This can lead to missing critical tasks in the early stage of the asset’s life, such as initial re-torquing events or inspections.  

Generally, OEM’s standardise fleets well, however, their constant drive for improvements means that certain systems can change in the middle of a serial prefix range or within a group of serial numbers with no indication. Operational Readiness includes the process of validating the service regime, component structure and component strategy to confirm the new plant utilises the same systems, wearing and serviceable components, and ensuring their tactics are correct prior to the fleet arriving onsite. 

Bluefield recently assisted a customer to introduce a fleet of Ultra-class trucks into their site. The site had not previously used a fleet with trucks of this size. It was commonly stated that this new Ultra-class truck was just like their incumbent fleet, only larger.  

What we identified was that there was a range of subtle but evident differences that needed to be accounted for, along with a range of items that had not been updated from a previous fleet to the incumbent fleet. Therefore, a “copy and paste” approach would have yielded a strategy being applied from a vastly different and irrelevant fleet. 

Bluefield generated the following documentation to support the fleet: 

  • Service sheets following the strategy development workshops and field-tested the documents; 
  • Reviewed and updated the component structure for the CMMS system; 
  • Developed component strategies in line with site policies and standards along with OEM recommendations; 
  • Developed budget model for annual forecasting; 
  • Developed component change out procedures and BOM for component change out. 

Bluefield completed the objectives of the client, along with Operational Readiness projects for two other fleets that were recently introduced to the site simultaneously.