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Equipment Maint. Records: Using a barcode system

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by elitelawnteam1, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. elitelawnteam1

    elitelawnteam1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    I'm currently working on a concept to track equipment maintenance logs through quickbooks or another inventory control program. I have a desktop computer w/ wireless internet mounted to a cart, with a barcode reader, and thermal printer. I will have each piece of equipment loaded onto the system with the model# and serial# along with pictures, and a maintenance log, all in my garage. Each peice of equipment will have a barcode tag on it, so when it comes in to be maintenanced, all i have to do is scan it, and log what was done to it.

    It's kindof unnessesary for me, but I had the extra computer lying around and just bought a scanner, cart and printer $50 total on craigslist/harbor freight

    does anyone else have something like this? it seems better suited for large-scale operations
  2. elitelawnteam1

    elitelawnteam1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    btw, I'm also going to post pics when it's all ready and done
  3. Procareope

    Procareope LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Being a dealer, we have a ton of equipment to track. We use a system very similar to this. We tried using barcodes, but no matter where you put them, or which kind of tag you use, they always find a way to wear or disappear over time, and its difficult to reproduce or reassign barcodes when you have literally thousands of pieces of equipment to manage. We went back to assigning equipment numbers (vinyl decal, plus engraving the number onto the machine to prevent problem of tag wearing or being removed by LCO). Each time the machine is in the shop, everything is logged and tracked. Our computer software (Ideal software http://www.idealcomputersystems.com/) manages all of this which allows the information to be assessable at any terminal throughout the store and shop. System works great and allows us to provide our customers with a slew of information about their equipment.
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,294

    The first thing i thought of when i read this post was 'care of the barcode'. It seem's like this would be hard to do with landscaping equipment. It's a really good thing to track your maintenance, number's might be easier though.
  5. Brodie

    Brodie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    We are also trying a similar system to help us keep records to a standard that is compatible with our quality assurance, OH&S, and environmental systems that we are implementing.

    We tried the metal tags that get riveted to the machine but they have their limitations. The best solution I found was to have a list of barcodes on the shop wall with a corresponding number next to each barcode. The number is engraved into the equipment so when the machine comes in we look at the number on it find the barcode and scan it.

    We are also looking at putting regular service procedures on a barcode system as well so we just scan the tai completed on the machine.

    Few ideas not perfected but with time should come good.
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,231

    This sounds like a decent way to go about it. Also are you guys doing trucks/trailers the same way? With DOT maintence records needed for most guys it is a neccesity
  7. elitelawnteam1

    elitelawnteam1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    I know that barcodes need to be clean in order for them to be read correctly, but I figure that If I stick them (under the seat of a zero turn, or somewhere that doesn't get really dirty or exposed, I'd be okay. Plus I can always re-print them every few years or so if I have to.
  8. Brodie

    Brodie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    We do the trucks and trailers in the same way. Being in Australia we don't have DOT regulations, I'm not sure what your regulations are but we do comply with all of our requirements.

    Good idea in theory, you are correct in saying that the barcodes need to be clean to read. If you can find a place that does not get dust or dirt good luck to you. Could always have the barcode on the keyring of each unit.
  9. elitelawnteam1

    elitelawnteam1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    I don't mow in really dusty/dirty conditions. To be honest, I was more concerned about water. But because they are printed on a thermal printer, there is no ink to wash away.

    I'll post some pics when I get some time next week

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