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Keep Your Spray Equipment Clean or Ready FIRE

Posted by Andrew Greess on

In our latest Stupid Shit Techs Do video, we are going to focus on the importance of keeping your vehicle clean and safe.

Here are a couple examples of chemical covered equipment – a termite rig covered in termiticide & a weed sprayer covered in pre-emergent. Yuck!

So why is it so important to keep your vehicle clean? Besides the obvious of looking bad to your clients, it is dangerous.

This dual tank, dual reel sprayer that was in the back of a truck caught on fire. The tanks burned and melted; the motor of the sprayer burned. This sprayer was a total loss. Even the tailgate of the truck burned.

The tech that was driving the vehicle claimed a cigarette butt that was thrown out of the window of another car while driving down the highway and landed in the back of the truck and started the fire.

I however, do not think it happened like that. I believe that the truck was very dirty and had chemicals spilled all over it and the tech was smoking a cigarette and the cigarette butt got into the back of the truck and smoldered until a fire started.

This tech was quite lucky as there was no accident, no injuries and no firefighters were involved.

It is very important to keep your vehicle clean and safe. This company and the tech were lucky that this fire was confined to just the sprayer.

We recommend that you continually train your pest control techs on equipment safety. Inspect your vehicles to make sure they are clean, safe, and the equipment is in proper working order. Go along on appointments with your techs to make sure they are doing what you want them to be doing.

A little cleaning and preventative maintenance goes a long way. 

Keep watching for the next installment of "Stupid Shit Techs Do."

Andrew Greess: Hi, this is Andrew Greess from Quality Equipment & Spray, qspray.com, with the next in the series of "Stupid Shit Techs Do" that costs your pest and landscape company money.

Today's session is called "Ready, Fire, Aim." You'll see why in a minute. Basically, we're going to talk about how it's so important to keep your vehicle clean and safe.

Here's some examples. This was a termite rig that came in absolutely covered in termiticide. The black stuff is termiticide. Here's a weed sprayer. It came in covered with herbicide, or a pre‑emergent.

Why is it so important to keep your vehicle clean? Let's talk about that. Ready, Aim, Fire. You'll see why this is the fire.

This was a sprayer that a company asked us to take a look at. It was a dual tank, dual reel sprayer. The entire thing caught on fire, burned, and melted. It was a total loss. You can see the steel bands where the tanks used to be.

I'll show you some more photos here. Here's a melted tank. The side of the truck is all burned. Here's the tailgate. Even the tailgate burned. You can see the motor's burned. Here's what a melted tank looks like.

What happened? The tech claimed he was driving down the freeway. Someone in a neighboring truck flicked a cigarette butt at his vehicle, went in the back of his truck, and caught his sprayer on fire and melted everything.

Obviously, that's a load of malarkey. I think what happened here was the truck was filthy with gasoline or, perhaps, some chemicals that were solvent‑based, a solvent‑based pesticide or solvent‑based herbicide.

The tech was smoking a cigarette. Flicked his cigarette in the back of the truck, got in the truck, drove off. Then, eventually, the smoldering cigarette caught fire and burned the entire sprayer.

This could have been a lot worse. No one went to jail. No tickets were issued. The cops did not show up. The fire department showed up. They got away with one here.

They actually asked us if we would repair the sprayer. We said we'd build them a new one. I didn't really want my guys touching this equipment. Who the heck knows what kind of chemicals were on it? We didn't get this job, but that's probably OK.

Clearly, keeping your vehicle clean and safe is absolutely critical. Don't do what this guy did. This could have been a huge, huge problem for this company, could have been a huge lawsuit, could have been huge fines. They got away with one here.

What are the key lessons here? One, of course, train your people. Number two, keep your equipment clean. Number three, just because you trained Joe on day one, doesn't mean he's still trained. You've got to keep training your guys. Number four, do inspections.

This truck had to be filthy for it to catch fire like this. Someone should've caught that and not let it get that bad.

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Thanks so much for watching. We appreciate it. If you think this had value, then please think about QSpray the next time you need equipment for your pest or landscape business.

Thanks so much for watching. Have a great day.