FREE copy of the Uptime Elements Implementation Guide once you subscribe to Reliability Weekly

In the early 1970s, when the Vietnam War was winding down, I was ordered from my Depot Level Maintenance Mechanic Job in the US Army to a place far away in Bindlach, Germany where I was assigned to Bravo Troop, I/2nd Armored Calvary Regiment (Border Patrol).

At the time all I thought was that going to Germany would be one ‘awesome experience'. Little did I know how it would shape my life forever! Bravo Troop was a US Army Calvary Unit with the sole mission of identifying when the Soviet Union (known as Russia today) and their Eastern Block Partners were coming across the border. At the time, I had no idea why was I sent to this peaceful place as a Maintenance Mechanic to maintain Personnel Carriers and M551 Sheridan Tanks.


I was, what we called at the "tip of the spear", I had no idea my training and experience in maintaining a high level of Equipment Reliability for the US Army would establish my Maintenance foundation for the rest of my life. While in the US Army Maintenance School some very clear principles were taught to me that I have carried with me through the rest of my life.

1. Effective Preventive Maintenance Procedures and following a tight compliance window to execute must be followed if you expect certain results.

2. Having and following good repair procedures was critical. I wondered why we had very few spare parts available and yet equipment reliability was high. Oil analysis of our engines and transmissions allowed us time to order a new engine or transmission far enough in advances before our key assets (M551 Sheridan Tank) failed. I think back now about and understanding the P-F Curve and Condition Monitoring was a key element to our success.


3. Having the discipline to not question known best maintenance practices was also a critical principle I learned and it stuck with me to this day.

Our tanks could be on patrol, maneuvers, or other assignments for as long as 90 days without stop and never fail. Following known best practices in Condition Monitoring was critical to high equipment reliability. When oil analysis detected a defect we knew we had to wait three weeks for a replacement engine or transmission to arrive, upon arrival neither rain or snow stopped us from replacing it to a specified standard. Our motor sergeant and platoon leader would identify a time and location when a motor or transmission would be replaced and our job was to be on time and execute the change out to a specific standard (30 minutes of less). Discipline was the key to our success.
Today, many people think discipline has a negative connotation in the work place, I disagree. If the equipment must run when it is expected to run then discipline is a requirement and not an option. If consequences of a failure are high then there is only one option: to follow the basic principles of Maintenance: "to maintain, keep in existing condition"
Based on my experiences, my recommendations are simple:

  • Go back to following the basics principles of maintenance,
  • Have discipline in order to be successful,
  • Following Effective Procedures is critical to optimal reliability,
  • Do not question good data.

Maintenance is not a process to be taken lightly. If you expect specific results insure your maintenance process is in place and followed. It is easier to change a process than trying to change the way people think. If you want maintenance to provide the results management is expecting then it is time to focus on the end result, maintainability equals optimal reliability.

If you have questions or comments send them to me at

Upcoming Events

August 8 - August 10, 2023

Maximo World 2023

View all Events
80% of newsletter subscribers report finding something used to improve their jobs on a regular basis.
Subscribers get exclusive content. Just released...MRO Best Practices Special Report - a $399 value!
Internet of Things Vendors Disrupting the Asset Condition Management Domain at IMC-2022

Internet of Things Vendors Disrupting the Asset Condition Management Domain at IMC-2022 The 36th International Maintenance Conference collocated with the RELIABILITY 4.0 Digital Transformation Conference [East]

Asset Management Technology

The aim of the Asset Management technology domain is to assure that IT/OT systems are focused on creating the value from the assets and that the business can deliver to achieve organizational objectives as informed by risk.


TRIRIGAWORLD AWARDS honors excellence in space optimization and facility management, A event to further advance asset management

IMC-2022 Who's Who: The World's Best Run Companies

The International Maintenance Conference (IMC) provides a fresh, positive community-based curated experience to gain knowledge and a positive perspective for advancing reliability and asset management through people, their managers, the strategy, the processes, the data and the technology. The world’s best-run companies are connecting the workforce, management, assets and data to automate asset knowledge that can be leveraged for huge beneficial decisions.

Uptime Elements Root Cause Analysis

Root Cause Analysis is a problem solving method. Professionals who are competent in Root Cause Analysis for problem solving are in high demand.

Reliability Risk Meter

The asset is not concerned with the management decision. The asset responds to physics

Why Reliability Leadership?

If you do not manage reliability culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening!

Asset Condition Management versus Asset Health Index

Confusion abounds in language. Have you thought through the constraints of using the language of Asset Health?

Seven Chakras of Asset Management by Terrence O'Hanlon

The seven major asset management chakras run cross-functionally from the specification and design of assets through the asset lifecycle to the decommissioning and disposal of the asset connected through technology

Reliability Leader Fluid Cleanliness Pledge

Fluid Cleanliness is a Reliability Achievement Strategy as well as an asset life extension strategy