Press Release: Maintenance Handbook for Non-Engineers

Specialist insurance provider to the port, terminal and freight transport sector, TT Club has published a new 76-page handbook 'The Importance of Maintenance - a handbook for nonengineers'.

Produced in association with ICHCA International and PEMA , the publication is a comprehensive guide for good practice in maintenance procedures.

A key driver in the development of the handbook was the identification of maintenance issues as a recurrent contributor to costly insurance claims both for catastrophic as well as attritional claims. Analysis by TT Club has shown that, in the port and terminal industry, attritional claims, resulting from the application of inadequate or incorrect maintenance procedures, cause about 25% of the cost of equipment damage. Furthermore, about 50% of quay crane claims arising from catastrophic weather issues, where cranes are blown along their rails, are exacerbated by poor maintenance of gantry motors or brakes. Poor maintenance should clearly be a prime concern to those aiming for the optimum performance of their assets.

This handbook seeks to help management in port facilities and other businesses involved in cargo handling improve control of their assets in straightforward and cost-effective ways.

Asset management is crucial to any business and maintenance of fixed infrastructure and mobile equipment is an integral and important part that maximises an asset's useful lifetime and minimises its cost, whilst also enhancing its safety.

"The handbook concentrates upon two stages of the asset lifecycle - maintenance and monitoring - but gives a concise picture of the entire lifecycle," explained James Callahan, TT Club Board Member and Chairman, President and CEO of Nautilus International Holding Corporation Los Angeles. "It was specifically written with non-engineers in mind and, therefore, not intended to be very technical. Rather, the aim was to emphasise certain key processes that will, ultimately, protect your bottom line and improve profitability."

The handbook highlights the need to balance the requirements of the operations and engineering/maintenance departments. While the engineering department is usually responsible for asset life cycle management, the operations department seldom has any significant involvement. As Laurence Jones, TT Club's Global Risk Assessment Director argues, "This is a misguided strategy as the operations department has an integral role to play. We would urge port and terminal facilities to overcome inevitable cultural departmental differences and to implement an integrated maintenance policy and strategy."

Having dealt with effective maintenance, the handbook considers the use of key performance indicators (KPIs) in monitoring asset performance from the perspective of both the engineer and the operational manager. In effect, the employment of such KPIs provides benchmarks of the asset status, availability and fitness for purpose.

Rather than a reactive, tactical, approach to investment in maintenance, the TT Club argues for a preventative strategy to drive day-to-day decisions about how to sustain assets - from servicing intervals and frequency to a responsibility hierarchy. The handbook explains software tools that can aid the administration of planned, efficient, cost-based maintenance schedule, but it emphasises that the fundamental issue is one of management attitude.

From on-the-ground experience, Jones says, "Maintenance performed too infrequently will lead to a loss, resulting in unplanned down-time. Additionally, the cost of unexpected failure and repair can be up to six times that of planned preventative maintenance. Costs saved by delaying routine servicing are short-term savings that are likely, eventually, to incur financial loss."

The handbook brings together the practical experience of those in engineering, maintenance and the operation of ports and terminals, with the TT Club's claims and loss prevention expertise. The TT Club has also deliberately consulted widely with manufacturers and safety experts. The result is a cogent argument that from the strategy/policy level through to the detail of the maintenance plan, effective maintenance is the key to protecting and improving profitability. As Callahan concludes, "Maintenance is the bedrock of efficient and effective asset management."

'The Importance of Maintenance - a handbook for non-engineers' is available both in printed form and as a pdf document. Copies of both are free to Members of the TT Club, PEMA and ICHCA International, and can be purchased by non-members at £36 through the Publications section of the TT Club website (


Staff Author

TT Club