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Techs Not Reporting Issues Is One of The Stupid Things Tech Do

Posted by Andrew Greess on

This next installment of Stupid Shit Tech Do has a couple points that we want to touch on. Both of important tips come out of the same piece of equipment that was brought into our shop a couple of years ago.

A diaphragm pump was brought into our shop because it was not working. The tech also mentioned that the filter was on too tight and he had not been able to check in for 2-3 weeks. When we opened the filter we could see that it was completely covered in orange pre-emergent.

Because the tech had not cleaned out the filter, the pump was dry, it didn’t have any water and it got very hot. It got so hot it destroyed the diaphragms and was running pre-emergent instead of oil. The metal rods all got to hot and scored. This pump ended up being a total loss. Why?

Because the Tech did not report the problem to his boss! It is as simple as that. If he had simply reporting the minor problem of the filter being on too tight his boss could have quickly rectified the issue, but the problem went unreported for weeks and the issue got worse and worse ending in a total loss of the landscaping spray equipment.

Point #1 of the story is to train, retrain and remind your techs to check their equipment regularly. If there is ANY problem – major or minor – report it ASAP. Minor problems turn into major problems quickly. Or to put it another way, inexpensive problems turn into expensive problems very quickly!

Reporting small problems can save a lot of time and money down the road. Point #2 of the story is do not wait 2-3 weeks to check or clean your filter. Checking the filter needs to be done on a regular basis. The filter is a critical piece of your spray equipment.

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

Andrew Greess: Hello this is Andrew Greess with Quality Equipment & Spray, Qspray.com with the next edition of our series Stupid Shit Techs Do that cost your pest and landscape company money.

Today we're going to talk about reporting problems specifically around the filter. And again the goal here is to share examples from our spray equipment repair shop so that you can avoid these problems in your company and hopefully save time money and do a better job for your customers.

So today we're going to talk about an issue that revolves around the filter and this is a critical piece of equipment. If you've watched any of my stuff before you've heard me say - it's critical to check the filter regularly and it's really critical to make sure that when you're buying a sprayer, you can check the filter. And that's the subject for a whole other video but for now we're just gonna say, check the filter!

So a couple years ago, a landscape technician came in and said my pump doesn't work. And by the way, I can't check my filter it's on too tight. We said, well how long has it been since you checked your filter? He said well couple, a few weeks.

So we took a pair of channel locks and open the filter took about three seconds and this is what we found. And for any of you landscapers, you probably familiar with this orange stuff - it's pre-emergent and you can see how thick and caked on it is in there. Here's a view inside and you can see it's got to be quarter to a third of an inch thick.

So what this meant was because it had been weeks since the tech checked or cleaned his filter, the pump was run dry. The pump was starved for water. And when a pump gets starved for water, it gets hot. And so in this case it was a diaphragm pump and because it got so hot the diaphragms were trashed and destroyed. And once the diaphragms are destroyed, all the oil runs out of the pump. The actual chemical you're spraying, in this case pre-emergent, replaces all the oil and now you're running your pump without any lubrication. And you can guess what will happen.

It's kind of the same things it was would happen if you ran your car without oil. Stuff starts going bad. And here's a picture of the shaft and this is stainless steel. It's a beautiful piece of equipment. It's supposed to be smooth as a baby's behind and you can see it's totally scored out. There are pieces of metal welded to it or fused to it. Here's the connecting rod, same thing you can see pieces of metal fused to it. It's totally scored.

This is supposed to be perfectly smooth. We trashed here. And lastly here's the rag we used to clean the pump and you can see metal fragments all over this and unfortunately for this company this pump was a total loss.

So you may say that this was an issue of the tech not checking the filter but I think the really critical thing here was the tech did not report the problem. If the tech had said to his boss at the end of the first day - I can't check my filter. The boss could have taken care of it. He could have put a pair of channel locks on it to open it. He could have called an equipment shop like ours. He could have done a million things and got it checked.

So what are my recommendations? You've heard me say this before, you got to train your techs! Don't assume they know what to do. You’ve got to retrain them just because you train Joey on day one doesn't mean he's still doing what you want them to do. And here's the critical point for this issue of Stupid Shit Tech's do is you really got to make sure your techs are reporting problems and if they report it and it doesn't get taken care of, they’ve got escalate it. You can't live with problems because problems always get worse, always cost more. And again, if you're the boss or this the owner or the manager you want to do inspections and ride-alongs you can't allow these kinds of problems to get worse. They always get more expensive.

Hopefully you found this interesting and valuable if you did please consider Qspray.com the next time you need pest or landscape equipment.

Thanks so much for watching have a great day!