Train Trouble: The Unique Enterprise Asset Management Challenges Posed by Locomotives

Trains are sometimes thought of as the technological ancestor of cars and trucks, but locomotives are considered more advanced than automobiles in a couple of important respects. Diesel-powered locomotives are far more fuel efficient at transporting heavy loads, and in some circumstances they can transport material more quickly than trucks or cars. The unique advantages offered by locomotives come with a unique set of challenges. If your company's operations rely on the availability of locomotives, then your strategy for enterprise asset management should include practices that account for your locomotives' needs.

Fuel cost tracking is a critical part of managing any asset that depends on an engine. Although diesel locomotives are far more fuel efficient than automobiles carrying the same weight, it is still possible for a poor fuel tracking system to run up unnecessary fuel costs. In order to make the most efficient use of your fuel budget, you will need to have information about how fuel costs vary by season, location, and the types of engines that will be consuming the fuel. Current events and technological advances can also affect the cost of fuel, so you will need to keep track of these elements as well. 

Just like a good meal starts with good ingredients, a high-quality locomotive is built of high-quality parts. Vendor tracking is a vital way to make sure that you can always get hold of the right replacement part at the right time and at the right price. To get an accurate picture of which vendors can provide the best parts and services at the best times, you will need information about your company's past history with the vendor as well as information about the kinds of parts available from certain vendors and the shipping processes involved with getting these parts. 

In addition to vendor tracking, maintenance tracking is needed if you want to ensure that you always have the right parts on hand. Many companies are painfully familiar with the process of dealing with a locomotive breakdown, finding the right repair services and replacement parts, and getting the locomotive back in use. Planning on maintenance ahead of time can prevent these costly breakdowns, ensure that you have your replacement parts when you need them, and ensure that your trains have access to the best repair technicians available. Preventative Maintenance tracking involves gathering information about the condition of your locomotives' components, the locomotives' workload, the rate of wear and tear you can reasonably expect from certain parts in certain conditions, and the schedule of each locomotive's periods of use. 

Diesel may be enough to keep your locomotives' engines running, but keeping a whole company running requires a vast amount of information about important assets like locomotives. Every kind of asset has its own unique maintenance needs and ideal strategies for cost-effective use. A smart enterprise asset management plan analyses this information and uses it to accurately predict where money can be best spent in the future.

Reduxo is committed to making the process of enterprise asset management easier for businesses across Australia. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about the ideal maintenance software and strategy for your company's assets.

Computerised Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) focuses on a parts, inventory and preventative maintenance strategy

Go by the numbers

Go by the numbers

Above all, the right Computerised Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) platform will help to increase overall efficiencies throughout the warehouse or facility. In short, understanding how to use the CMMS modules will ultimately deliver a profitable outcome: accurate tracking of assets and preventive maintenance cycles translates to better profitability.

Go by the ‘numbers.’

A detailed inventory or audit of all the equipment and related apparatus helps prioritise what should be monitored in relationship to its role in reducing downtime. ‘Numbering’ by hierarchy, or by the importance of each items and part, is a common approach to implementing a CMMS program, including a bill of material (BOM) referencing all the tagged and numbered pieces of equipment.

Preventative Maintenance (PM)

A schedule must be created showing which PM tasks should be performed and when. Will a given project require a different monitoring of assets? Too, will you be producing reports daily, weekly, etc.


Again, use a numbering or barcoding scheme with detailed information about a part, including its warranty, location of spare parts in the facility (bin and aisle) and the vendor contact information.

Key to any Preventative Maintenance and parts inventory program is availability when needed, where is that part?  Moreover, are key people given access via mobility to find that part when critical maintenance need to be done?

Moreover, with multiple locations, make certain procedures are consistent in each facility---are the parts named and numbered the same, for example?

Keeping track of parts, issuing reports on critical equipment and their lifecycles is what Reduxo is all about. Contact us and let us help you in setting up your CMMS strategy.