Repair and Maintenance – Should it be one budget item?

I was meeting with a Superintendent friend of mine and we were discussing repair and maintenance budgets and what drives them. In a day and age where we are all trying to find ways to save money it really helps if you know where your money is going. Some golf courses I know bulk over $1 million in operation costs to a few line items on the budget. How do we know where our money is going and where the opportunities are to save it if we can’t code it into different areas. Personally I see this with machine Repair and Maintenance as well. Not just so we know where the money is going but also to defend our budget and have some validity to it.

The reason I say that is every machine has a cost of regular maintenance. That is changing the oil, filters, belts, tires, etc. The manufacturer outlines the services that need to be done and at what hour interval it should be done at. If you do a quick evaluation of the hours accumulated on a machine per year you could also determine the number of services that machine would receive per year as well. Then associate each service with a cost. If you do that for your fleet that would give you a maintenance cost for your equipment over a given year. This price would only fluctuate with the costs of parts or a change in the number of hours equipment is used. You could use that every year as your base line for your repair and maintenance budget. This leaves you only trying to figure out what repairs would be done throughout the year.


Maintenance Costs: $18,500

Repair Costs: $23,000

Total R&M: $41,500

For those that have large R&M budgets this could really help sale the need for an equipment replacement program and those of you that never have the money you need you can establish a minimum cost. I compare it to our cars. If I take my car in as the manufacture states that is a maintenance cost. To have the brakes done and tires replaced, oil changed, transmission and AC service. If I have a window regulator go out that is a repair. So if we only budget for the service how do we fix the window when it needs to be repaired? Now how many cars do we have 90 – 100? They all need some budget for repair.

I think a lot of time we do a poor job of explaining things where people can understand what it is we are doing and if we can learn to get things to a level where they can understand it the job doesn’t become easier it becomes doable.


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