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Some Spray Equipment Business Isn't Good Business

Posted by Andrew Greess on

I used to chase every job. I have finally learned my lesson that some work is not worth having. We were recently asked to quote a weed control sprayer. Because the specs were not tight, I wrote the prospect declining to quote. I thought he would be pissed. He was not. Here is the communication (names and product names changed or deleted):

Joe,

Thank you for including us on your bid list for the Weed Control Spray trailer.

The specs provided are not sufficient to ensure the sprayer purchased will do what the client expects.

For example:

- What type of herbicides, liquid or granular? Granular products are tough on pumps and would suggest a more expensive pump.

- Is agitation required? With granular products, agitation is probably is required.

- Not specifying the pump on a project like this is not a good idea, especially if you are not a pump expert. The wrong pump will cause problems for client and you.

- Is trailer for on road or off road?

- Any specs on the trailer? There are good trailers and cheap trailers. Example: we use 6” rectangular tube steel on many of our trailers to make them virtually indestructible.

- (Brand Name) Spray Head. There are multiple options available per their website.

o Which option?

o Which tip pattern?

o Does the client want to be able to spray on both sides of the trailer?

o How will the (brand name) sprayer be controlled? It appears they have a control box option. Is this what the client wants?

o Does the client expect the (brand name) control wiring to be run through the trailer wire harness? If so, the flat 4 may not be the way to go.

§ The downside of wiring through the trailer harness is that it can be difficult to wire the trailer without having the tractor present.

§ Also, will multiple tractors be pulling this trailer, if so, there are wiring issues that must be considered.

Joe, I am not trying to be difficult. I have been doing this long enough and we are busy enough that I have to spend my time on projects that I know we can be successful on. We have no desire to get paid for a sprayer the client is unhappy with (please google Andrew Greess or Quality Equipment & Spray to check our reputation).

I am happy to discuss this with you Tuesday in more detail. With the current specs and the May 30 deadline we will have to pass. I hope you will consider Quality Equipment & Spray for future sprayer projects.

Thanks.

Andrew Greess, etc.

Here is the surprising response I received:

Thank you, Andrew, for your thoughtful response and questions. You are exactly right that it is much better for all concerned to zero in on the correct usage and requirements rather than building the easiest and cheapest possible.

I will contact the client and seek out the answers and get back with you as soon as I can. As you can probably determine, the customer did not have a spec, but I wrote the spec up based on a discussion with the client.

What they wanted, was a replacement for a XYZ spray trailer with 200 gal. tank. The XYZ sprayer had a model number of ABC123 which indicated a government spec., but I could not find any info on that on the internet.

I will get back as soon as I have the information. Thank you. Joe Smith