Because maintaining pavement leads to doing well in a down economy and getting into the business needs a relatively small investment, engagement, from both full- and part-time, contractors could be very intense this year. “All it takes is a blower to clean the pavement, a squeegee or brush to apply the material, and a source for product and you’re in business,” says Steve Rapp, Equipment Division Manager for SealMaster. “Of course, this is an unrealistic scenario for the serious contractor, yet it demonstrates how important it is to be competitive, in terms of equipment being used and material being applied.
“Spraying is particularly beneficial when sealing rough areas where normally a squeegee would fill in voids, wasting material. Conversely, there are applications where a squeegee ability to fill in voids can be useful,” adds Rapp. Depending on the Seal-Rite machine or other such machines, contractors can choose between hand-agitated and power-agitated tanks. Hydraulic agitators are easy to use; just an arrangement of the lever to engage the agitation for three to five minutes and the material is mixed. After a long day, it might be fascinating for employees to slack off a bit when operating with hand-agitated units. The only issue when using power-agitation is over-mixing. Making so won’t harm the mix, but it just creates unnecessary wear on parts.
Still, the greatest decision they will have to select is tank size. The decision is less about gallons per se and more about taking the long view. Workers will never outgrow a large tank, and holding excess capacity reduces road time and another downtime – two negatives in any service business. Balance the equipment to the application and then allow for expansion and growth. Doing so will help seal an expenditure in the business of sealing properties.
“From a property owner’s perspective, seal coating is protecting an important investment,” says Seal-Rite CEO Brent Loutzenhiser. He also advised that whether you are buying your first machine or upgrading to a larger unit, the decision should not be made in haste. “Do your homework,” he says. “Determine the types of jobs you will be doing: primarily residential driveways, primarily commercial parking lots, or a little bit of both. If you’re just starting out, will you be working part-time or full-time? How far are you from your material supplier? Being close and making fewer trips to get asphalt sealer equipment will give you a definite advantage over a competitor who is two hours from this supplier.”