Power spray equipment must be designed for easy access by the spray and maintenance technician. The spray tech will be using the equipment every day. The sprayer must be easy to use and support the tech’s productivity. If key components are difficult to reach or use, the equipment is hindering, rather than helping, productivity. For example, is it easy to pull start the engine? Is it easy for the tech to check and clean the filter? Is it easy to crank the hose reel? These are the types of questions to think about before the sprayer is purchased.
All spray equipment needs maintenance. The sprayer must be designed so maintenance is relatively easy. Is should be easy to change the engine oil and remove the pump so it can be rebuilt. Bad design means that repairs will take longer than necessary, resulting in more downtime and costly repairs. Remember, equipment breaks down during the busy season, when downtime hurts the most.
Other features of effective and efficient design are:
- Designed for hard use. Put heavy-duty components in key places that can stand up to pressure, harsh chemicals, temperature extremes and long operating hours.
- Ease of cleaning. Most technicians don’t like to clean their equipment. If it’s difficult to clean, they won’t do it. Equipment that’s regularly cleaned has fewer problems than filthy equipment.
- Use of good valving to mitigate spills. This is covered in the safety section.
- Heavy stuff by tailgate. Put heavy items, such as a backpack sprayer, to be lifted out of the vehicle at the rear of the truck so technicians can ease the equipment out over the lowered tailgate. Lifting items over the side of the truck puts stresses on one’s back.
- Commonly used items are easiest to reach. Ensure items used every day are near the side or rear of the vehicle and are unobstructed for easy access. A technician shouldn’t have to spend time reaching for everyday items.