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What size maintenance staff? Answered

At an industial facicilty that cuts and welds polypropylene sheet to make huge tanks for steel mills and other industries, three buildings, 24000 sq. ft fabrication area, 4000 sq. ft for mixed sizes of offices, 5 propane forklifts, 1 mobile crane, 4 overhead cranes, 2 utility trucks, 2 heavy duty pickup trucks, several powertools, several extrusion machines, various rigging lifting and handling apparatus, a 25HP rotary screw compressor and a 10HP dual piston compressor, various shop machines and saws, seveveral pneumatic presses and fusion machines, and tons of other miscellaneous stuff. How many guys do I need to maintain it all?


Funny how you don't realize how many mistakes are in a post until after you hit send. Anyway, thanks for all the answers. Additional info, there are about 28 fabricators across two shifts, groundskeeping is done by a relative of the owner, and we have had more bad experiences with outside contractors than good. Some won't even visit our remote location. Because alot of the fusion equipment is made in Germany, there are no contractors in the state for service. There is also a large CNC router that runs 16 hours a day, five days a week. I am a friend of the owner, but he has delegated management to two individuals who have no clue what it takes and aren't open to suggestions. I just want to make things work. The owner will see the answers here and hopefully he will see some reason.

Understood. Then (imo) it's of tantamount importance that you find at least one more well-rounded person to assist you. Two shifts and one guy are a recipe for an early grave, or at the very least, a loss of morale and eventual burnout. Dedication and expertise only goes so far. Even money doesn't always cover the bases . We all have our limits.

good luck!

Where is the plant located? (and yes, it really does make a difference)

It is in a rural area, 32 miles from metropolitan Pittsburgh.

Ah. towards Somerset, I'm guessing. Can't be sure, but I know of one plant located somewhere close to there that does this kind of work...

Anyway, at my last 'brick and mortar' job, located in a suburb of Cleveland, we had three locations that each specialized in a different area of the company's products. If I'm not mistaken , the company's holdings were about three times your facilities

We had a staff of ?seven (or possibly 8) full time general maintenance employees, responsible for building maintenance (dealing with plumbing issues, electrical systems, lighting, equipment moving, furniture, stowage of building related chemicals, hardware, etc, and housekeeping). Specialized machine service was usually provided by outside contractors, as was grounds and paving (of course)

If you are where I think you are, it's likely you have many in the area who come from farming backgrounds, so the level of "qualification" MAY be intrinsically higher amongst those potential (or existing) workers and your need for specialized machine service bureaus might not be as high as it would be in a more urban setting, although you probably won't be able to get away from some need... I can't say either way for certain. You'll need to figure that one out based on local employment pools and your existing employees. It sorta depends on how old and/or prone to failure the machinery is, and how mission critical each unit is to facilitate continuous production.

Also, take into account the shift situation. If you're running three shifts, then you need to ensure that there is sufficient staff on hand to cope with situations as they arise, so there will be a multiplier in effect, even if you have an oncall program

At a guess, you'll need at least two, if not three building maintenance staff depending on the workload (A tough call from a remote location and a general description). This is for a single shift operation. Bodies and arms and legs DO count. one man jobs can be a real bear and are quite often impossible with one person, two man jobs are often far bit easier, three guys can handle most situations without breaking their backs (figuratively and literally)..

Depending on the number of employees at the plant, you might also need one or two dedicated to the housekeeping duties We had two full time housekeepers, but then we had roughly 300 employees. I don't know if you're talkng about this.

I might be a bit off in my estimate, but whadja expect for free? I'd really need to review the plant, your employee numbers, and operations in general DIRECTLY to come up with a more accurate figure.

best wishes

How many are on staff now, and are they keeping up with all the work?

One, me, and no. That's why I'm asking. I need to prove a point to the brass that one or even two can't do it.

Contract out your maintenance, the tax should be recoverable under business activity. I.e. no guys required.


Get a regular maintenance schedule set up - Stopping problems is far superior to fixing them.

Any reliable chief maintenance engineer should be able to organise their own dept if you let them so employ a good one and rely on them.

I have known businesses that hire the equipment that require maintenance in line with the OP - the argument being that it is cheaper and often quicker. Have you considered doing a side-by-side management costing?

You need a very mixed skill-set to deal with it all - motor mechanics, machine tool specialist, electrician.

How old's the kit ? How reliable is it ? Can you out-source it to local companies ? Some of this stuff is safety critcal and your local authorities would look better on you if your fork-lifts and cranes were maintained and/or checked by specialists.