Equipment tips for a profitable 2013

January 8, 2013 -  By

Greess_0_110x150By Andrew Greess

Landscape management professionals should use this slower time of year to ensure their spray equipment is in tip-top shape for the coming season. These tasks are all things that need to be done anyway.  You might as well do them when you are slow and when they will not have a negative impact on your customers or your schedule.

  • Inspections: Use slow periods to perform thorough inspections of vehicle, power sprayers, backpack sprayers and hand sprayers. Is everything clean, in the proper place and in good working order?
  • Clean it out. Run clean water through power sprayers, backpack sprayers and hand sprayers to prevent chemical buildup. Inspect and clean out spray tanks. Thoroughly clean filters, and replace bad filter screens if necessary.
  • Winterize it: The best way to prevent freeze damage is to ensure your spray equipment is not exposed to freezing temperatures. If you can’t do that, do the next best thing: Get as much water as possible out of sprayers. Use an air compressor to blow the water out of the hoses. Open all valves.  Remove filters, spray guns and anything else you can to prevent freeze damage. Run a little antifreeze through the system. The pump on a power sprayer is the greatest risk; remove it and store indoors if possible. If not, hang a utility light over the spray pump or wrap it with an electric battery warmer to prevent freezing. Never put anything hot on a frozen pump in an attempt to defrost it, however. It won’t work and you may destroy the pump. Starting or using frozen equipment will result in expensive damage.
  • Be proactive: Slow periods are a great time for preventative maintenance. Because of hard use and harsh chemicals, all landscape management equipment needs maintenance. Don’t wait for equipment to break or wear out. Service it now so you don’t have downtime and missed appointments during your busy season.
  • Train, train, train. Use slow periods for training. Truck and equipment inspections will identify training opportunities. It is important to remember that just because you trained a tech on Day One, it doesn’t mean he is still doing it the way you want him to do it. Retraining employees will result in lower repair expenses, less downtime and fewer missed appointments. Plus, you can never do too much safety training.

Taking care of these items now will leave you more time for servicing customers and making money during the busy season.

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