Many spray-equipment problems we see are significantly worse than they should to be. In too many instances, spray techs ignore problems with the hope they’ll go away. As a business mentor once told me, hope isn’t a strategy.
Much like the slow drip of your kitchen faucet, spray equipment problems always get worse. They don’t get better, and they don’t go away. Small problems inevitably become big problems, which cost more and take longer to fix. Another spray equipment caveat: Water (or oil or any other fluid) that’s anywhere it’s not supposed to be is always a problem and shouldn’t be ignored.
Common problems that get worse with time are:
- Backpack sprayers and compressed air sprayers. Leaks, lack of pressure and other small problems become rebuilds because a tech ignored the problem or used force on a sensitive piece of equipment.
- Spray pumps. Most power spray pumps have a way of telling the operator the pump requires attention. For example, gear pumps and roller pumps will leak. Diaphragm pumps have a reservoir that shows the oil has turned a milky white. In each of these cases, if the pump is serviced promptly, a repair kit is usually all that’s required. If the problem is ignored, the pump can be a total loss.
- Engines (or any piece of equipment) leaking oil (or other fluids) is a problem and must be dealt with promptly.
- Hoses, fittings, O-rings and gasket problems often begin with a slow leak. If ignored, leaks become considerable problems, resulting in significant downtime and chemical spills.
Easy steps to take to prevent these issues are:
- Train technicians regularly to explain proper equipment operation techniques and trouble signs.
- Encourage technicians to report, rather than live with, spray equipment problems.
- Supervisors and managers should spot check trucks and test equipment.
- Regularly clean backpacks and compressed air sprayer to prevent debris from damaging systems.
- Regularly check and clean filters to prevent system damage.
- Perform preventive maintenance on equipment to prevent problems.
These simple steps will reduce equipment problems, repair expense, downtime and missed appointments. Employees, managers, owners and customers will appreciate the effort.