Every week our pest control equipment repair shop sees equipment that puzzles us. Obvious design flaws that cause pest control companies expensive downtime, repair expense, missed appointments and lost revenue.
After seeing the same problems repeatedly, we began to document them so that you can learn from other's mistakes. This is the second in a series to explain some of the things to look for and what questions to ask before making an expensive purchase. Hopefully, some of these ideas will prevent you from getting bitten.
What Will It Be Like to Use the Equipment?
A while back a pest control technician brought his pest control sprayer in so we could service his spray pump. I took one look at his equipment and was stunned. Check out the photo:
Look at the blue arrow. It is pointing to the gas cap for the engine. The cap is buried tight under the hose reel. I asked the technician, "How do you put gas in it?"
His answer (drum roll please),
"We have to unroll all the hose. "
I couldn't believe it. Putting gas in the engine, a common practice that is probably done at least once a day, should take about one minute. On this sprayer, it probably takes 15 minutes to unroll, then rollup all the hose. Ridiculous.
Even with all the hose unrolled, it is still difficult to get the gas into the gas tank without spilling gas all over the place.
Why would anyone build a sprayer with this design? The only reason I can think of is to make is space efficient for shipping. The more box-like the power sprayer, the more sprayers they can fit on a truck. This keeps the shipping cost down, which helps keep the sprayer's final price down a bit. Sprayers should be designed for users, not shipping companies.
Purchase Price is Only Paid Once; Productivity Price is Paid Every Day!
The real question isn't why would someone build a pest control sprayer this way. The real question is why would someone buy it? We see this sub-optimal decision making all the time. Someone thinks they are saving money by purchasing a cheap power sprayer. The purchase price is low, but the costs of ownership, in this case, productivity, is higher.
The lost productivity is much greater than the upfront cost savings.
The tech also added that because it was an unusual engine, they spent 2 weeks looking for an air filter.
When purchasing a pest control spray rig or any power sprayer, know exactly what you are getting and think about actually using the sprayer every day. If you are buying the pest control equipment but you are not the one who will be using it, ask someone who will be using it for his or her input and advice.
Want more info on this subject?
Download our complimentary document, 15 Questions You Must Ask Before Buying a Power Spray Rig.