These simple tips can reduce equipment problems, missed stops and unnecessary repair expenses.
Swivel: The swivel on the side of your hose reel allows the drum to turn when rolling and unrolling the hose. The swivel contains rubber o-rings that are exposed to heavy use, chemical exposure and temperature extremes. The o-rings will wear out, allowing chemical to leak. The leak starts as a drip, but quickly becomes a steady flow. To prevent problems, consider the following:
- Standardize swivels on all vehicles for ease of maintenance.
- Use Viton o-rings for longer life.
- Keep an extra set of swivel o-rings in stock so that repairs can be completed promptly.
- Ensure technicians know that even small leaks must be reported and repaired immediately.
Hose: A few simple tips can extend hose life and reduce chemical spills.
- When rewinding hose, run the hose through a rag to remove grit and debris that will reduce hose life.
- Inspect hose, particularly the first 20 ft. for wear and damage. If it looks bad, don’t wait for it to leak — cut it off. This will prevent chemical spills and downtime.
- Reversing the hose periodically will even the wear and can extend hose life.
Reel safety: Manual reels
Inspect the reel lock. Is it there? Is it intact? Does it operate properly — that is, does the lock fit completely and securely into the receiving hole on the reel disk?
Instruct technicians to check and secure the reel after each stop. Failure to do so can result in the hose unrolling on the road behind the vehicle, leading to equipment damage, downtime, repair expenses and lawsuits.
Our experience is that these reel locks have more problems on trailer sprayers, possibly due to increased bouncing from a rougher ride.
Reel safety: Electric reels
Electric reels do not have a reel lock. If they did, you would be buying a new reel every time your tech burned out the motor trying to rewind a locked reel.
Because there is no lock, it is critical that the spray gun (and other tools) be well secured in the vehicle. If the gun were to bounce out of the truck, there is no brake to prevent the entire hose from winding out behind the truck. This is particularly important for trailer sprayers.