Spray Equipment for Pest & Weed – You Need a Backup Plan

Posted by Andrew Greess on Feb 12, 2013

Your pest control spray equipment & weed control sprayer is important to your business. What is your plan if your spray equipment has a problem? I am amazed at the number of business owners that have a critical piece of equipment go down with no backup. We do our best to get them back in business as fast as possible, but sometimes, especially during busy seasons, it is difficult to do.

If you have a piece of equipment that is critical to your business then it is vital that you have a backup.

It doesn’t matter what the equipment is, truck, trailer, power sprayer, duster or B&G sprayer, Birchmeier Backpack, etc. If you can’t do your job without the item, keep a backup. We see businesses of all sizes, from owner/operator to huge national fleets that seem surprised when a key piece of equipment fails.

What happens when we don’t have the spray equipment we need to complete our jobs?

- Missed & cancelled appointments

- Unhappy customers

- Lost revenue

- Employee downtime waiting for equipment

- Employee downtime running around town trying to find a solution

- Wasted gas driving to repair location

- Overtime expenses

- Higher repair expenses.

Here are some of the operating conditions that require backup equipment:

- Equipment failure

- Equipment down for maintenance

- Equipment in the wrong location

- Equipment contains the wrong product (chemical)

- Equipment on a vehicle that was in a traffic accident

- Equipment misused by a technician who causes damage.

It gets worse. Equipment fails during your busy season, when you can least afford downtime. This is also the time when your customer’s pest or weed pressure is greatest so they may be less willing to tolerate delays. Demand for repair services is greatest – there may be a delay in getting a replacement. Many vendors cut back on inventory during the recession, which could mean getting replacement parts takes longer.

What do we do about this problem?

1. Identify critical equipment.

Review your pest control spray equipment & weed sprayers by vehicle, by service, by technician to identify the most important tools.

2. Develop a backup plan for each critical item

For some items it may be easiest to buy a replacement. For more expensive items, you may have to get creative. Look through that pile of used equipment in the corner and see if you can create something valuable out of it. Keeping a trailer in reserve can be cheaper than keeping an extra vehicle in the fleet. Keep an inventory of parts that are most likely to fail. When buying new spray equipment, keep the used sprayer as a backup instead of disposing of it.

3. Review your plan.

Review your backup plan annually to ensure it is still applicable. Test the backup equipment periodically to ensure it is functioning properly. Don’t assume that equipment sitting in the corner for years is still going to work.

A little time spent identifying critical equipment and developing backup plans will save time, money and stress during your busy season.

NOTE: This article talks about spray equipment because I am a spray equipment guy. It applies the same to all equipment: lawnmowers, vehicles, etc.