Keeping your equipment and shop area in top condition is important, and not just from an economic standpoint. It is a reflection on you and your entire program. At least it can be perceived that way. If your equipment is always dirty, covered with dust or rust and spewing exhaust, people are going to question your concern for everything else you are in charge of. If your equipment, no matter its age, appears to be well maintained, those that see it will credit you for caring about it and the rest of what you do.

Cleaning equipment at the end of each day or after every use will not only improve its looks, it also will prolong its life. Just like your fields, there is more to maintaining equipment than just keeping it looking good. Developing a regular maintenance schedule is well worth the time and effort. Whether it is computerized or some type of manual record keeping, knowing what needs to be done and what has been done is going to save you money in the long run. Missing a scheduled maintenance procedure can be costly. Having good records at trade-in time can increase the value of your equipment. When those that have input on your budget and how it is spent see how well you maintain your equipment they may be more likely to agree when you say you need something new. They might see it as an investment rather than another expense. A portion of your annual budget should be directed to the proper care and maintenance of each piece of equipment. Another segment should be set aside to purchase new equipment. The better you maintain your equipment, the more you should be able to set aside for new. Having the right new equipment can be a real labor saver.

If your shop area is a mess, it is going to be harder to find what is needed to complete a repair or maintenance project. It is hard to keep equipment clean in a dirty shop or storage area. If you don’t clean up after yourself, or don’t put things back in their place, why would you expect anyone else to? If your shop area is well organized and kept clean, everyone using it will do so more efficiently. They will be more inclined to help keep it in top form.

I have seen situations where the only place to store equipment is in the open or with enough exposure that keeping it clean is a challenge. Covers or temporary shelter could be a big help. By doing the best job you can with what you have, the better chance you have of convincing those with the money that you need upgraded storage areas.

If you have ideas for more efficient care and maintenance of your equipment or shop area, please let me know. I would love to share your tips with SportsField Management readers.

To contact the author, e-mail stevetrusty@sportsfieldmanagementmagazine.com .