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How to Write a Preventive Maintenance Program

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Preventive maintenance is maintenance performed on equipment in order to keep it functioning properly. A good preventive maintenance program can reduce down time, thereby increasing productivity. It can also help to prevent costly repairs to equipment by reducing the possibility that equipment will experience a major breakdown. In a way, changing oil regularly in an automobile is a preventive maintenance program because it helps reduce engine wear and keeps the engine running smoothly. In order for everyone to understand the elements involved in the preventive maintenance program, the program should be written down in concrete steps.

Decide on which equipment to include in the preventive maintenance program. Equipment that is inexpensive or not designed for a long life may not benefit from preventive maintenance.

Consult with the manuals associated with all of the equipment for maintenance instructions. Create a table that includes how frequently equipment maintenance needs to be performed, what type of maintenance is required, the length of down time for the equipment in order to perform the maintenance, and the materials required to perform the maintenance.

Set up a schedule based on a yearly timeline. At periodic intervals, include dates for which preventive maintenance should be performed on a particular piece of equipment.

Include tags that have check boxes on each piece of equipment in the preventive maintenance program. The tag should also have a line for initials and dates to show that someone has performed preventive maintenance activities on the assigned dates.

Include an annual inspection of all of the equipment to check for problems that may be developing but have not yet fully materialized.

Document the tables and instructions for preventive maintenance in a word processing file. This file should be a formal document that is read-only so that somebody cannot inadvertently alter the document. Print the document in order to have a hard copy.

Distribute the document to all people who use the equipment or are assigned to perform maintenance tasks on the equipment.


If a preventive maintenance program already exists but is older than five years, the program may need updates based on new equipment and operating procedures.

In the documentation, include instructions for equipment operators to check for equipment wear or other problems that need addressing in order to keep the equipment functioning.


Safety rules should be included and highlighted in written documentation. Not following safety procedures with equipment, including equipment that is moving or is powered by AC voltage, can result in personal injury.