Where are Above Rail Maintenance Costs Spent

January 30, 2018

With the above rail maintenance costs accounting for at least 40% of a rail operator’s ongoing costs, complete visibility is required. This includes the cost of components and labour for both planned and unplanned maintenance. By having complete visibility around all costs, comparisons can be made against industry and company benchmarks, and forecast maintenance costs can be compared with actual costs spent. Any over or underspend trends can be identified and appropriate action is taken to rectify where required.

Bluefield’s Approach to Above Rail Maintenance
Bluefield’s approach to the above rail maintenance is to produce a zero base budget (or lifecycle cost model, LCM) which involves separating assets into subsystems so that transparency around maintenance costs can be achieved. For example, a wagon or car can be broken down into the following subsystems:
• Wheels and axles (including axle bearings)
• Bogies
• Brake system
• Door or discharge system (not applicable for tippler wagons or cars)
• Draft gear (rotary for tippler wagons or cars)
• Body or structure
These subsystems then have maintenance costs allocated against each component and labour to provide a true representation of actual spending. These reports can be produced to address
• Each above rail asset individually
• A specific asset class or build
• A rail operator’s entire fleet

An example of the output is as follows:

The opportunity
Bluefield’s work in the mining and oil and gas industries has allowed us to realise, through giving our clients the knowledge that the LCM models provide, they are able to save an excessive of $2 million or 10% of their annual maintenance budget.

Through complete visibility and transparency of all maintenance costs, every asset can be fully interrogated to ensure maximum asset value. Any concerning trends or overspends can be immediately identified and actioned to ensure the above rail operators are saving money on maintenance costs. Should overspending be occurring or a maintenance budget reduced, above rail operators need LCMs at their disposal to be able to identify where maintenance costs can be reduced with immediate effect.
Bluefield has recently completed a project for PanAust developing LCMs which has allowed PanAust to realise “immediate and significant cost savings before the project was complete”

Bluefield Specialities
• Project management of above rail improvement projects
• Asset management locomotives, wagons/cars, and passenger fleets
• Equipment performance improvement
• Reliability improvement and Reliability Centred Maintenance
• Equipment performance benchmarking
• Maintenance management
• Reliability engineering
• Fleet optimisation
• Operational readiness

Evaluate your Above Rail Assets
Are your above rail assets achieving the target $/km maintenance costs? Contact us to discuss the evaluation of your maintenance costs and how you can start to reduce these costs and maximise the value of the above rail assets immediately.