What do you do when the maintenance needs of your facility are so overwhelming you don't know where to start? The U.S. Forest Service made an interesting move trying to combat a widespread issue of maintenance backlog and neglect.
In March of 2017 they invited the public to help identify trails that will be part of its effort to increase the pace of trail maintenance in the Intermountain region.
According to Deseret News:
“Nationwide, the Forest Service will select 9 to 15 priority areas among its nine regions where a backlog in trail maintenance contributed to reduced access, potential harm to natural resources or trail users, and/or has the potential for increased future deferred maintenance costs.
The Intermountain region, which includes Utah, Nevada, southern Idaho and southwest Wyoming, manages more than 30,000 miles of trails, where volunteers and partner groups contributed more than 79,000 hours in maintenance and repair at an estimated value of more than $1.8 million.”
Two Eyes are Better Than One
While your maintenance department probably doesn’t have to handle 30,000 miles of trails, this type of proactive work applies to your department as well as the National Forest Service. They use the normal traffic of their volunteers and visitors to keep up to date on the most pressing needs of their trails. By utilizing an extra set of eyes, you have the ability to catch problems before they are a larger issue and you can find out things that might be overlooked.
Get Everyone Involved
Have your employees look for areas that need attention and if you have guests at your building such as a hotel, condominium, or healthcare facility, welcome the public to let you know there are issues. Everyone benefits from a well maintained facilty and people generally want to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Preventative maintenance is integral to any maintenance department and making sure that everyone is equppied and on the lookout for areas for improvement ensures that if that problems are identified quickly and efficiently.