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Know the Top 10 Spray Equipment Productivity Tips

Posted by Andrew Greess on

Reduce downtime. Reduce repair expense. Reduce missed appointments.

  1. Check and clean the filter - There’s nothing you can do with spray equipment that will save you more money than this simple activity. Clogged filters can starve the pump, and damaged or missing filters allow debris to damage and clog the sprayer. We repair and replace more sprayers because of clogged or missing filters than any other reason.
  2. Release the pressure - After spraying, release the pressure by squeezing the handle of your spray equipment so the system isn’t under pressure. If you don’t want to waste the material, spray it back into the tank. The equipment will have fewer breakdowns and last longer if you remove the stress of constant pressure from the spray components. Never store equipment overnight under pressure.
  3. Don’t use higher pressure than you need - Don’t push equipment to its limits. Because techs run power spray rigs at high speeds to complete jobs quickly they tend to overpressurize B&Gs and backpacks. These actions will reduce sprayer life. A power spray rig can run at extremes for short periods, but it’s not designed to be run full capacity all the time. Running in the red for an extended time will shorten engine and pump life. Make sure operators know proper operating ranges.
  4. Clean it out - Rinse the system with clean water periodically to remove old chemical buildup and debris. Chemical buildup and debris can clog a filter, starve a pump, damage spray tips, and wreak havoc on other components. All of these items fall into the category of not good. When in doubt, rinse it out. Follow all labels and laws when cleaning spray tanks.
  5. Don’t wait for failure – perform preventive maintenance (PM) - PM will save time, money, equipment breakdowns and unhappy customers. Because equipment is running hard and pumping strong chemicals, it will need service, which will be much cheaper and less painful if you do it before you need it. Read manufacturer’s recommendations, then customize them for the particular use and application. A sound preventive maintenance program is your best friend for reducing equipment down time and improving productivity.
  6. Don’t ignore problems – deal with them promptly - We’re constantly amazed at the equipment problems spray techs tolerate. They’ll continue to use leaking pumps, hose and backpacks. Spray equipment problems always worsen and are more expensive to fix. Deal with problems and encourage employees to report problems so you can take the appropriate action.
  7. Emergency repair kits - Many simple repairs can be performed in the field. These repairs can allow technicians to finish their work before heading to the service site for more thorough repairs. Assess technicians’ skill and training to determine which parts you’re comfortable with them changing in the field. Tracking can go a long way toward understanding the causes of breakdowns. Track equipment failures by part to determine which items to consider stocking on trucks. Also, track equipment failures for each technician to identify training opportunities and failures by truck to set times for preventive maintenance and replacement.
  8. Preflight checklist - Every pilot has a checklist and goes through a preflight routine before he flies. Spray techs should do the same thing. Before heading to the first stop, a few minutes spent checking equipment can save time and money, as well as preventing downtime that hinders the ability to provide timely service to customers. Here’s the key point. If there’s an equipment problem, you’re probably better off knowing about it at the office than in the field, where most likely it will take longer and cost more to fix. Technicians should report problems or exceptions to their supervisor.
  9. Training and retraining - Ensure any technician using a power or manual thoroughly understands how to use it. Supervisors should observe a technician’s operating procedures and check equipment operating pressures and filters. Provide periodic retraining. Train operators to listen and observe sprayers so they can identify problems.
  10. Avoid freeze damageNever expose sprayers to freezing temperatures. Water freezing in sprayers will burst pumps, filters, valves, fittings and spray guns.