Backpack Sprayers

Replace the tips. One study reported that brass tips wear out at about 10 percent per year. This means that every year a tip is putting out 10-percent more product than it was the previous year. New tips are cheaper than a 10-percent increase in product cost.

Preventative Maintenance = Money In The Bank

Don’t wait for a sprayer to fail, thus leading to downtime. Perform the required preventative maintenance. This usually involves:

  • A tear-down
  • Thoroughly cleaning of the tank and all parts
  • Replacement of O-rings, gaskets, and worn parts
  • Lubrication of moving parts.

Observe employees. Despite the best training, technicians don’t always follow parks and recreation department procedures.  Supervisors should conduct ride-alongs to observe employees using equipment in the field. Conduct truck inspections to ensure equipment is properly maintained.

Store equipment properly. Make sure there is a secure place for sprayers on the trucks. They are often damaged from bouncing around, being stepped on, or damaged by other equipment.

Provide occasional training. Just because techs are trained on their first day doesn’t mean they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.  Provide periodic reinforcement training to emphasize good practices.

Keep track of parts. Track equipment failures to see which parts are failing, which replacement parts need to be stocked, or which equipment is not appropriate for a service program. Track these failures by technician in order to identify training opportunities.

A backpack sprayer is critical to a department’s success. Invest the time to train employees, and properly maintain equipment. Follow up to ensure the task is completed. This will keep employees productive and on schedule, and repair expenses to a minimum.

Andrew Greess is the President of Quality Equipment & Spray, which designs and builds custom landscape spray equipment. He can be reached at www.qspray.com, or follow him on Facebook. For more information or to share your thoughts, check out his blog at www.sprayequipmentblog.com. 

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