Every pilot has a checklist and goes through a pre-flight routine BEFORE taking his or her plane into the air. The checklist helps the pilot find problems on the ground, where they can be more easily and safely resolved.
I believe Pest Control technicians should do the same thing.
Pilots Do It – So Should You!
Before getting into the truck and heading to the first stop, a few minutes spent checking equipment can save time and money, as well as preventing downtime that impacts productivity and profitability, and hinders your ability to provide timely service to Clients.
Have Problems Where You Can Solve Them
Here’s the key point. If you are going to have an equipment problem, I believe you are better off having the problem at your office (or at home if the vehicle is taken home), rather than in the field. At the office, you are better prepared to make a repair, clean up a chemical spill, find a replacement part, substitute a piece of equipment, make a management decision on how best to proceed, etc. Conversely, in the field, repairs are more difficult, time-consuming and expensive, and the impact of a chemical spill can be disastrous.
I recommend you create a custom Pre-flight Checklist based on your Company’s truck and equipment.
Train your technicians on the checklist’s use. Don’t just throw it at them. Follow Up. Do reinforcement training. Check and see if they are actually using it.
If exposed to freezing temperatures, let equipment warm up so any ice will thaw. Running frozen equipment will cause damage, leading to leaks, downtime and increased repair expenses.
Follow label directions. Do not apply pesticides incorrectly when testing your sprayer. If you don’t want to spray product as part of your test, spray back into the tank (for power sprayers) or into another sprayer (for manual sprayers).
You can download a sample Preflight Checklist here: https://www.qspray.com/preflightchecklist/
Some Final Thoughts
Add items to the checklist that are appropriate for your company.
Technicians should report any problems or exceptions they find to their supervisor.
Supervisors should have a vehicle inspection checklist that includes all the items on the technician checklist plus additional items that are critical to your company’s success.
These few minutes in the morning spent checking equipment, will prove to be the most productive of your entire day. Please email me any comments about successes or failures you have had with checklists in your company.
Andrew Greess is the President of Qspray.com, the leading website for professional grade Pest & Landscape Spray Equipment. For more great suggestions on improving your equipment productivity visit SprayEquipmentBlog.com or follow Greess on FB & Twitter.