While winter is in full swing at the moment, before you know it, spring will be here and with it, the busy season for vacuum truck operators. Maximizing the efficiency of your crew means more money in your pocket, better customer service, and improved productivity. However, getting your crew to operate in a more timely manner is always easier said than done, so you have to make sure that you have a game plan. That is why our team here at Flowmark has taken the time to compile a few tips to improve your efficiency and in turn, boost your business. Continue reading to learn more!
#1.) Expect the Unexpected
When you have a long service route ahead of you, it’s best to be prepared for any curveballs that might get thrown your way. Having to reroute and head back to the shop unexpectedly in between service calls can really slow down your day. On top of that, it can leave customers feeling dissatisfied with your service, especially if their scheduled time gets pushed back. The best way to mitigate this is to prepare your fleet in advance for the unexpected.
For example, equip your vacuum trucks with an extra pump hose and a back up stinger. If you find yourself facing a major clog, you can simply swap out and continue your work. Also, issues such as hose cracks or damage can happen without notice, so having backup parts for your equipment is always a smart idea. Have a conversation with your crew or service manager about what backup parts you may need to order before the busy season begins. Their insight will be extremely valuable when it comes to making these types of decisions.
#2.) Have a Communication Strategy
Being able to properly communicate with your team while in the field is absolutely essential. Having a communication strategy in place will help you when unforeseen circumstances arise, such as inclement weather, equipment breakdowns, or if an employee injury occurs on the jobsite. As mentioned above, the unexpected can pop up at any time. Equip your team with company cell phones, walkie-talkies, and the training to know what to do in various situations. Include this training in your onboarding process for new employees, but also take the time to periodically review it with your team. Don’t be afraid to make changes and adjustments as needed.
#3.) Keep a Routine Maintenance Schedule
When you think of the most costly delays that your crew can face, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? It’s probably when your vacuum trucks break down, leaving your routes unserviced and a hefty repair bill looming in the near future. While things can happen without warning, if you are keeping up a proper maintenance schedule, you can do your best to anticipate any issues.
That might leave you wondering what a proper maintenance schedule looks like. It is no secret that vacuum trucks are made up of many different variables and moving parts. Some need to be serviced more often than others. Here is a quick guide to routine maintenance:
- Properly shut down your vacuum trucks at the end of each day. Ensure that no lights are left on, the engine shuts all the way down, and do a quick inspection to look for leaks.
- Be sure to drain the valves at the end of each day. Leaving water in the lines can cause unnecessary damage and wear and tear. You want all water and debris drained out so that air can circulate through the lines.
- Prior to leaving the shop in the morning, do a quick sweep of your truck’s tires. Look for any low tire pressure so that you can remedy this prior to heading out for the day.
- Safely store your vacuum trucks in your shop or garage overnight. This will prevent damage from weather as well as prevent theft.
- Maintain the appropriate fluid levels in your vacuum trucks. This can include everything from your window washer fluid to antifreeze to your engine oil. Keeping up on your trucks’ fluids will prevent damage and help you spot a leak if one occurs.
- At least once a week, you should flush out the vacuum pump. This will help to clear out any excess debris and improve the overall performance and longevity of your vacuum trucks.
- Check and clean out your water and final filters on a routine basis. Doing so will allow things to run as smoothly as possible.
- In this day and age, when your electrical system goes down, you are basically inoperable. Do a monthly inspection for any loose, damaged, or frayed electrical wiring within your vacuum trucks to prevent breakdowns or setbacks.
- Because hoses are made up of materials such as rubber and fabric, they are all the more susceptible to wear and tear. That is why it is a good idea to inspect them on a monthly basis. Also, prevent premature damage by rotating the hoses.
- Maintaining your body hoist is also one that you must have on your monthly checklist. This should include inspecting the upper and lower trunnion ends on the cylinders, lifting levels, frame, valve, as well as the cross shafts.
Prior to setting up your maintenance schedules, talk it over with your crew and technicians. They will help you to come up with a plan that works well for your business, your fleet, and your timeframe. Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep your crew operating at its full potential.
#4.) Purchase Vacuum Trucks from Flowmark
Above all else, don’t waste your time or money by purchasing subpar equipment. If you want to be the best in the business you have to have the best quality equipment for the job. This means purchasing your fleet of vacuum trucks from Flowmark.
Here at Flowmark, our machines are manufactured right here in the heartland of the United States and are built to last. On top of that, we strive to provide our customers with the best customer service, access to our Flowmark Parts Store, and the integrity of our small, family owned business. To learn more about our vacuum trucks or to get a quote, be sure to contact us today!