When a business buys a commercial washing machine it expects that this valuable asset will contribute to their business fully and for many years.
Typically a commercial washing machine should have a life of over 10 years. This is of course dependent upon a number of factors.
- How much the machine is used
- How it is used by the operators
- The frequency and nature of the service and maintenance schedule
This article focuses on service and maintenance, and how this contributes to the good function and longevity of a commercial washing machine.
What is a service and maintenance contract?
When a washing machine is purchased new there is a warranty period which will either include parts and labour, or just parts. Most warranties have exclusion clauses and only come into effect when the machine has failed. And when a warranty claim is made it may take between 24 hours to a week to fix your washer (depending on the supplier).
Unlike a warranty, a service and maintenance contract is designed to prevent breakdowns and avoid the associated inconvenience and costs to the organisation. Which can be considerable.
Why would a service and maintenance contract be required?
Firstly, working parts wear out, even on high specification high quality models. This is especially true when the machine is being used in high usage environments, or if the machine is not being used properly. Some more advanced washing machines are able to detect issues that may lead to part failure and therefore machine failure. These machines are the able to inform the user via error or information notifications prior to the machine actually breaking down. In these cases, the user will still in most cases have to obtain the services of a qualified engineer to interpret the error and then do something about it.
Secondly, machines are used by people. Many washing machines built by reputable manufacturers are designed to be used in hard working environments. That said improper use can shorten the life of a machine. And unfortunately the occasional or even habitual improper use of a machine can be the norm if operators forget their training or if staff are changed regularly.
What can you expect on a service and maintenance contract?
Typically a service and maintenance contract is tailored to the machine and how often it is used. So a machine service may only be required every six months for an average machine with average usage. In more intensive washing environments a higher frequency may be required, such as quarterly.
What is important when buying a maintenance contract is to ensure that you are getting a genuine check and a price which includes all labour, staff re-training and if possible consumable parts.
A genuine service check should follow a multiple point checklist which covers all aspects of the machines ‘health’ and function. The service provider should be prepared to give you this before the event and after every service. Complete with a report of what they have found and any other further remedial work required. If they are unable to to do this or are vague about what you are getting for your money. Look elsewhere.
Given users matter in the function of machine, tailored staff training should be part of this service too.
The onward benefits
If you get a service and maintenance contract from the supplier of the machine there is a strong likelihood that you will be in a good position to get an extended warranty from the supplier as they will have a full service record of the machine.
A meaningful service and maintenance package tailored to your business needs can increase your chances that your washing equipment give will give your business uninterrupted service for many years.