Staying Ship-Shape – The Importance Of Maintenance And Management For Cargo Vessels
With EPS News reporting a decrease in global freight demand in recent months, it’s important to ensure you can stay afloat – literally and figuratively. There are many tips for staying on top of your ship, but one of the most important considerations is regular maintenance and management. So how can you best focus your time and your effort to ensure you get the most from your ship?
Scheduled maintenance matters
Another consequence of the reduction in demand is a correlating reduction in the number of engineers available onboard. Diminished manpower and man-hours available for repairs means preventative maintenance is all the more important (even though it may be tempting to focus on other activities), and all wearable items should be inspected according to the number of running hours or an elapsed specified time period, dependent upon the particular machinery and the type of ship. Parts should be replaced as standard, even if they appear to be in good working order, to avoid breakdowns between inspections.
Checking for condition
Some items of machinery and equipment should be checked more regularly, including lifesaving appliances, equipment for firefighting, and the navigational system. These are all key to avoiding costly incidents and repairs, and so it’s particularly important that they are kept in good working order. Steering gear, the hull, machinery and cargo equipment are next on the list, and should be checked for distortions and cracks, deformations, corrosion, faults, cracks, and other damage.
The engine room is of utmost importance, as it contains a lot of items that need to be kept oiled, operational, and optimally adjusted to avoid leaks, defects, and the accumulation of dirt and debris. A defective fuel-oil pump or a badly maintained air compressor can have a major impact on the functionality of your ship, and its ability to get you where you’re going. Make sure each area is inspected on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on its function and situation.
The right tools for the job
It may be possible to view some areas of the engine room easily, but others are harder to reach. In addition to the usual spanners, wrenches, screwdrivers and rags, having a videoscope on hand to see hidden screws and wires is a must if you want to do an effective job. SPI Borescopes (http://www.spiborescopes.com) explain how these high tech borescopes – digital versions of the traditional optical models – project images using digital technology and capture a clear view of areas you just can’t see with the naked eye. Various different borescope options are available, so it’s worth taking a look at the features of each before making a decision about which might be the best option for you and your ships.
With a dedicated, well programmed maintenance routine, you’ll ship cargo or freight with ease. Keep on top of the small things to avoid bigger jobs becoming necessary in the future. This will not only ensure you can meet the demand there is, but also avoid unwanted costs for repairs and issues that can easily be avoided.