Acquiring a set of factory-built forms represents a sizable investment on the part of the contractor, and if he is to reap the maximum return on this outlay, it is imperative that he adopt good maintenance procedures right from the start. There was a time when taking care of forms was looked upon as a kind of "busy work"- something to give a good crew to do during slack periods to hold them together. But today more and more cost conscious contractors are making maintenance a part of the daily routine- done so often and so regularly that it becomes a habit. Cleaning is undoubtedly the most important part of this routine. The frames and metal parts, if any, should be thoroughly scraped to remove any concrete deposits which may have accumulated. Frames should also be inspected for wear and tear. On a wood frame look for split or damaged lumber that should be replaced. Next the plywood face should be cleaned. A good scraper is the best tool for this job, but care must be taken to avoid gouging or damaging the face. When the plywood face is thoroughly cleaned, a good oil preservative should be applied. Once the forms have been cleaned and the preservative applied, they should be stored in a clean, dry place and at a slight pitch for run off. Maintenance is not something that should be taken care of after a job is completed. Like safety, it should be practiced during every working hour. For example, forms should never by dumped or thrown from a truck; they should be passed from man to man or to the stack. Every time you throw or dump a panel you run the risk of weakening it, jarring it out of alignment or even breaking a corner that will have to be replaced.