Knowing exactly the right time to replace sealcoating equipment is critical to the financial health of your business. You don't want to replace equipment you could have maintained, and you don't want to lose money on equipment that is no longer worth maintaining, so finding the balance is key. Here is how to know when it is time to replace your system.
Your Company Is Losing Money Every Week
When equipment failure is preventing you from completing jobs, you are losing money. One single day of down time can cost you $500 in clear profit. If you lose one day a week to repairs, that's adding up to over $2,000 a month of lost profit, not to mention the cost of the repair. Right there is the money that could have been spent to replace sealcoating equipment with a base model spray system. Which leads us to...
Improperly Maintained Asphalt Sealing Equipment
Properly maintained equipment that's repaired promptly will prevent the expense of replacement. For instance, neglecting to keep the sealant in the tank properly mixed and stirred can result in a blocked suction port, resulting in running the pump dry. That lack of maintenance causes long-term pump damage.
Checking your pump to see if it's leaking and needing the seals replaced is important too. To test this, you simply fill the pump with water, put the plug in, and dry the outside thoroughly. If after 15 minutes you see any water around the outside of the seals, you have seal replacement to do. This video shows you exactly how to do this repair:
If bad maintenance is the reason you need to replace sealcoating equipment, be sure to have a schedule for repairs on the new asphalt sealing equipment to prevent early retirement of your next system.
It's Time To Expand
As your business grows, you will find your equipment needs to grow with it. Adding a better spray system with features such as a larger tank will help you get your jobs done faster, and add to your profit as you increase the number of jobs you can do a day. Remember, when you replace sealcoating equipment, it never hurts to keep the old asphalt sealing equipment as back up, spare parts, or for use by a second crew.
Some Reasons NOT to Replace
There are simple replacements you can do that mean you don't need a whole new system, such as:
- Hose Replacement – A nicked hose is easy to replace, and economical.
- Pump and/or Engine – The tank is durable for 20 to 30 years since it's 100% steel, so a replacement pump and/or engine can be a smart cost-efficient alternative.
- Spray Gun – The gun can be replaced easily and inexpensively, and is critical to professional sealcoating results.
Replace Sealcoating Equipment Money Factors
Replacing asphalt sealing equipment has the exact same factors as buying a new car or truck. Here's how to make a smart money decision:
- Track your maintenance costs: Keep a running total of how much you are spending to maintain your equipment. Do not include replacement spray tips; you'll need those replaced regularly on new equipment as well.
- Log profit loss due to repair: Every time you lose a day or a half day of work because your asphalt sealing equipment needs repair, track how much profit you've lost.
- Think before spending: Before buying any new part like a hose, pump, or engine, look at the system as a whole. Are you going to need to replace multiple parts soon? How much will you end up spending this year on replacement parts?
- Check your depreciation: If the business has already used up most of the depreciation value on your current system, it's the best time to replace sealcoating equipment for tax benefits. (learn more here or talk to your accountant)
- Add it all up: Your yearly maintenance costs, plus profit loss, plus known future replacement part costs tell you how much your asphalt sealing equipment is costing you. Compare that to how much it will cost to replace sealcoating equipment. Simple!
Do the Numbers
Knowing when to replace just got easy now that you can look at it with real numbers of costs and lost profits. Frankly, the biggest mistake businesses make is to forget how much profit they are losing when equipment fails. That's real dollars not going into your pocket that a new system would be earning.
The second biggest mistake is not doing the regular maintenance that asphalt sealing equipment needs, such as cleaning and replacing seals. Diligent maintenance equals a longer-lasting, durable system. The next free day you can't work because of weather, or repairs, sit down and run the numbers and see if it's time for you to replace sealcoating equipment.