A B&G sprayer is the lifeblood of our industry. However, our repair shop sees these valuable pieces of equipment abused in numerous ways. Here is a list of key pointers on how to maintain your sprayers to help you get the most from your pest control equipment investment.
Train your technicians in correct B&G Sprayer operating procedures.
#1. Check It Out – Have your technicians do a quick check of their B&G Sprayer before leaving their starting point (home or office). This can be as simple as a quick visual inspection then pressurizing the unit, and a quick spray to ensure proper operation. If you don’t want to discharge the product, have your techs team up and spray into each other’s sprayer. My philosophy is if you are going to have a problem, have it somewhere you can do something about it, rather than out in the field.
#2. Take it Easy – Make sure technicians are not over-pressurizing B&G sprayers. Using the right amount of pressure is an important part of understanding how to maintain a sprayer. Over-pressurizing will cause parts to fail, lead to downtime, missed appointments, and increased repair expenses. If your backpack isn't spraying, don't pump it up more. You will break it. It is easy to turn a $3.00 o-ring replacement into a $50 repair. I like the following analogy for this situation. I went to France. The waiter didn't understand English, so I yelled louder. Don't overpressure sprayers!
#3. Take the Pressure Off – You will get longer life and fewer problems from your B&G 1 Gallon Sprayer if your technicians relieve the pressure in their unit. As part of their training about how to maintain sprayers, they need to know that the pressure should be released at the end of the day, and optimally at the end of each stop. Leaving your sprayer under pressure for extended periods will reduce the life of components such as hoses, gaskets, o-rings, etc. Just like your body, which needs recreation or relaxation to relieve the stress of the workday, your B&G sprayer needs relief or something will blow. Relieving pressure will also reduce the risk of wands bursting in freezing temperatures.
#4. It’s a Spray Wand not a Crowbar – Our repair shop sees many spray wands and tips that are damaged from opening cabinet doors, being dragged on the ground and other inappropriate uses. Teach your technicians everything they need to know about how to handle and maintain your sprayer with care.
#5. Tip Cleaning – Follow manufacturer directions for cleaning tips. This usually includes using a soft bristle brush and mild cleaner. Wire brushes, pins, pocket knives, etc. will destroy tips.
#6. Freezing – From our Department of the Totally Obvious, do not expose your B&G equipment to freezing temperatures. It will cost you money. PCOs in moderate climates, where freezing is not a regular occurrence, need to be particularly sensitive to this issue.
#7. Check that Filter – Make sure technicians are checking and cleaning filters to prevent clogged tips and debris that can damage sprayers. You will probably need to show them where the filter is located while training them how to maintain your sprayer.
#8. Keep It Clean – Chemical and debris build up in sprayers. Eventually this debris will cause problems. Rinse sprayers out with clean water. Run clean water through hoses, wands, and tips.
You may be surprised at what you find in the unit. Aside from chemical buildup, our repair techs most commonly find labels and caps from pesticide bottles.
#9. Report It - Make sure technicians are comfortable reporting problems. Too many times, we see techs working with equipment that needs service. Instead of asking for help, they push their B&G equipment past the breaking point, turning a small repair into a major rebuild.
Be Prepared – Don’t Wait for Problems
#10. Preventative Maintenance - Money in the Bank – A basic component of understanding how to maintain your sprayer is not waiting for your B&G Sprayer to fail and cause you to lose productive time. Perform the required preventative maintenance (PM). Keep moving parts properly lubricated. The main challenge to good PM is that it requires finding and reading the owner’s manual.
#11. Emergency Repair Kit – Some parts, such as o-rings, check valves and gaskets can be easily replaced in the field. Prepare a small emergency repair kit for each technician so that they can perform a simple repair and continue their route.
#12. Eyes Open – Despite the best training, technicians don’t always follow company procedures. Conduct ride-alongs to observe employees’ equipment use in the field and remind them of proper operational procedures to maintain sprayers. Conduct truck inspections to ensure equipment is properly maintained.
#13. Proper storage – Make sure trucks are set up to provide a secure place for your B&G sprayer. We often see damage caused by sprayers bouncing around, or being placed where they are stepped on or damaged by other equipment.
#14. Tracking – Track equipment failures to see which parts are failing, which replacement parts need to be stocked or which equipment is not appropriate for your service program. Track failures by technicians to identify training opportunities.
B&G Sprayers are critical to your pest control company’s success. Invest the time to train employees on how to maintain your sprayers and other equipment. Follow up to ensure it gets done. This will keep employees productive and on schedule, your customers happy, and repair expenses to a minimum.