The Hardhead of a Maintenance Man, by Guest Blogger Joel Levitt

eMaint invites guest speakers to present at our popular Best Practices webinars, so why not have them give their two cents on our blog as well. It is our hope to feature a guest blogger, whether it’s an industry professional or an eMaint employee, each month.

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The Hardhead of a Maintenance Man

This may be challenging to you. But why on earth are maintenance folks so hardheaded?

Actually it turns out to be a smart trait. Maintenance folks are hardheaded because they are (sometimes) speaking into intentional (and potentially contagious) ignorance! When you have to do that day in and day out you get hardheaded. Just to do your job (preservation of asset capacity) you have to be hard headed.

What are the symptoms of working in a company suffering from intentional (and potentially contagious) ignorance? Some of the main symptoms concern consequences. What to look for is a wholesale lack of appreciation of consequences.

•When we run equipment beyond its limits there will be consequences.
•When we allow operators run machines without adequate training there will be consequences.
•When we refuse to shut down for a well-designed PM there will be consequences.
•When are stockroom is depleted of expensive critical spares because they have not been used there will be consequences.
•When we do a temporary repair and never get back to fix it right, there will be consequences
There is a dark side to hardheadedness- inability to admit a mistake. Hardheadedness works so often it is very hard to admit when the reality goes against us. It gives us a reputation of being hard to work with and allows us to get away with not listening.

The truth is that sometimes the business necessity trumps good maintenance practice. Boy is it tough to tell when it does. In fact the only way to tell is by listening to our comrades in arms (operations). But that is a whole different story.

To complete this story be aware that hardheadedness is a valuable trait. It is most powerful when it is tempered by the ability to really listen to people and always consider that we might really be wrong! Oh yes and get over ourselves!

About the Author: Joel Levitt President of Springfield Resources

Joel Levitt is a leading maintenance educator and has trained more than 15,000 maintenance leaders from 3,000 organizations in 20 countries. Since 1980 he has been president of Springfield Resources, a management/consulting firm that has developed solutions for clients with a wide range of maintenance issues. Joel is a frequent speaker at maintenance and engineering conferences, has written 10 popular books, and has published over 6 dozen articles on the subject.