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Vehicle Equipment Security Securing Your Backpack, Gas Can, Hose Reel

Posted by Andrew Greess on

Bungee Cords are an effective way to tie down items in the back of trucks or trailers. But, not when they aren't hooked on to anything, pulling them tight and actually securing the item! In an emergency braking situation or worse yet a collision what would happen to the items in the back of your work trucks? Are they secured properly or just wedged into a "that will do" position. 

The amount of times we've had repairs on backpack sprayers and B&Gs from something coming loose and damaging it while a truck was moving is too many to count. Even worse the backpack comes loose and crashes into other equipment on the truck damaging that. More often than we should we get calls and repairs telling us how a sprayer came loose, hit a pump and cracked that, unknown to the tech until he/she starts it up and gets a face full of chemicals. There are actual storage racks made for equipment to keep it stowed properly while driving, many even come with locks for added security against theft.

Hose reels too can come loose and we've seen many cases that resulted in the gun being dragged behind the truck. Of course, the spray gun is damaged and luckily for the tech and companies we haven't heard of a case involving damage to another person because of it. But how easily it could happen, one pot hole or raised edge is all it takes for that gun to pop up and hit something around the truck. Hose reels are great because they spin making it easier to wind and unwind our hoses. But it also means if not properly secured they can unwind while driving too. Taking steps to secure your equipment inside your truck can be less costly than the repairs to fix the equipment after it's been damaged.

Look in your truck, how can your equipment's security be improved?

Stay tuned for more videos on Vehicle Equipment Security...

Andrew Greess: Backpack, Gas Can, Hose Reel ...but here are some actual examples from our industry. This first one, there is a backpack there, and the arrows pointing at a bungee cord. Do you see it?

The bungee cord is not really attached to anything. You ever hear the saying, nice landing, wrong airport? Using a bungee cord and not attaching it is just crazy because it gives you the illusion that it's secured. I would even say the bungee cord is not the best way to do it, but it's better than nothing, although in this case, it's worse than nothing because you think it's attached.

Let's talk about all the risks that I see in this picture. Number one, the guy hit's the breaks, or the girl hits the brakes, and the backpack goes flying through the rear windshield and hits the driver.

I've never seen that happen very often, but it could, or it could just break the windshield and surprise you cause another accident, but more likely, you hit the breaks or you get in an accident, and this backpack goes tumbling, and now you have to repair the backpack because you've damaged the backpack. We see that all the time.

We're repairing backpacks, we're repairing B&Gs, we're repairing all kinds of equipment because either that piece of equipment came loose, or something else came loose and hit that backpack or that B&G.

For the weed guys, a B&G is that little silver can that pest control guys use, but here is another risk I see here. You hit the brakes, and now that backpack hits...The black and red and silver thing is a diaphragm pump. The weed guys might recognize that. The backpack hits the diaphragm pump and cracks it. You go to start your power sprayer, and now you get a face full of chemical at 200 Psi right in your face, because you have a crack in your pump, because you didn't secure your backpack. We see that all the time. I'm exaggerating a little bit. We don't see it all the time, we see it more than we should because people don't secure their equipment and it damages another piece of equipment. Does that make sense?

Here is another example. Gas can. This gas can, there is a piece of wood in front of the gas can keeping it from sliding around the truck, and at 25 miles an hour with no accidents, that's probably fine, but what happens when this guy gets in an accident on the freeway?

A six gallon can of gas going flying at 60 miles an hour, what is that going to do? I don't know. I don't even know, is it worse as a projectile or is it worse as a flammable object? I don't know, but it's scary, and that, in my opinion, is just unacceptable. Does that make sense?

That's the kind of thing. Just do a quick check of your equipment before you take off, and say, "If I get in an accident, what's going to happen?" It's scary stuff.

Here's another one. This was an organization that, I guess, was a little bit tight on money and didn't want to spend 15 bucks to fix their hose reel, so they put a cord around it. When you put a cord around your hose reel, things like this happen.

This might be a little tough to see. This bottom picture here, this is a green guard gun, it's totally trashed. This is all scraped up, and this is really tweaked here, the bolt is off, and this whole trigger assembly is out of whack. This gun is totally trash because it got dragged behind the vehicle because they didn't lock the hose reel.

This one is a little more fun. This one, some of you pest control guys will recognize that. That's a 36 gun and this got dragged behind the truck for, it had to miles because it was completely worn flat. The interesting thing was, the tech was not a very good tech because he didn't lock his hose reel, but he was a very good driver because it was a perfect wear pattern, absolutely perfect. This guy was just straight down the freeway, perfect driver, but think about that. If this is your hose and your gun dragging behind your truck, what if this had bounced up and hit someone's windshield? You're going to be on the news, you're going to get sued, you're probably going to get fired. Nightmare.

Another thing to check, check your hose reel. Make sure it's locked. Check everything, but that's just another perfect example of the kind of thing we see. Does that make sense?

If you missed the first 4 videos in the series, please check out those blog posts here:

Spray Equipment Safety Training Seminar Introduction

Rules for Spray Equipment Safety Seminar Discussion

What are the Safety Risk Seminar Topics?

Vehicle Equipment Security: Protecting Your Driver and Others

You can also check out the slides from the Spray Equipment Safety Seminar here: