Introduction to Sealcoating Equipment
Guide: Sealcoating Equipment
by Brett Neal, PaveMan Pro
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Introduction to Sealcoating Equipment
2) The Sealcoating Machine
a) Major Sealcoating Machine Systems: The Material Tank
b) Major Sealcoating Machine Systems: Power System (engine)
c) Major Sealcoating Machine Systems: Pump System
d) Major Sealcoating Machine Systems: Sealer Agitation System
e) Major Sealcoating Machine Systems: Material Distribution System
f) Major Sealcoating Machine Systems: Other Features
Three things you already know about sealcoating equipment
1) Sealcoating equipment is designed to apply asphalt or coal tar based emulsions to asphalt pavement. Sealer is applied to protect and preserve aging asphalt pavement from the elements that cause it to deteriorate - mainly water. In addition, sealer is often applied to new surfaces to lock in the beneficial properties of asphalt that make it last.
2) Sealcoating equipment is used by professional pavement maintenance contractors. Because of the cost of such equipment and the time involved in learning how to professionally sealcoat, it isn’t likely that the private home or business owner would invest in such a set up. For the do-it-yourself type – the squeegee, brooms and buckets of sealer method is a more feasible option.
3) Therefore, sealcoating equipment is manufactured for the professional – or aspiring professional – sealcoating contractor. It is my opinion, therefore, that good sealcoating equipment should be designed to help the professional contractor do one thing. That is: Make sealcoating PROFITABLE.
What makes "good" sealcoating equipment?
If good sealcoating equipment makes sealcoating profitable, better sealcoating equipment should make sealcoating more profitable. Right? If only it were that simple.
What makes a piece a sealcoating equipment a good product has to do with the quality of raw materials and componentry used, the quality of workmanship in assembling it, and how well it performs on the job.
However, what makes a good piece of equipment GREAT for your business also depends on your companies current needs, futures goals and realistic budget. Fortunately, our industry has the equipment to match each of these.
All of this, of course is based on the assumption that you are going into the business of sealcoating because you believe it is profitable. The good news is – it is profitable. The challenge is – you need to make smart decisions every step of the way.
A key question: What do you want to do with your sealcoating equipment?
While some could easily go out and spend a fortune on the best, most efficient sealcoating equipment on the market, it is important to keep a sense of where your business is today and where you want it to be tomorrow. As a start-up business you need to decide the type of work your going to do to get your business off the ground. If you are an experienced contractor the question may be one of necessity. Perhaps you are breaking into new markets or expanding your services. Any way you look at it, these questions should factor heavily on discovering your REAL equipment needs and prevent you from overspending on equipment you don’t need.
Let’s take a look at a quick example that covers some of the factors one should consider before buying sealcoating equipment:
Say your niche as a professional pavement contractor is sealcoating driveways. You have decided to invest in a piece of equipment that will give you the capability to do more driveways in one day. But that doesn’t mean you will go out and buy a 2,000 gallon custom fabricated truck system with all the bells and whistles. If your niche is driveways you need a machine that will be compact, highly mobile, efficient, and have a large enough capacity to complete several driveways in one day. Anything beyond that could be more of a burden on your crew, and thus cost you more money in the end. On the other hand, to have a machine that is too small means you have to make unwanted trips back and forth to the material supplier which can be the biggest time killer of all.
You need a machine that’s not too big so that you can be highly mobile and versatile, yet not too small so that you can keep your machine on task and not sitting at the material suppliers front door. It’s up to you to weigh it all out.
You must also consider your company goals. If you are doing 1 driveway per day currently, how many driveways would you like to be doing per day in 2 years? This is important to consider when purchasing a machine because you will want to buy something that aligns with your company goals. Don’t buy a machine just for today, buy a machine for the future.
So now what?
With all of this in mind, we have created this guide to help sealcoating professionals navigate these sometimes difficult and confusing waters. With this guide you will be given the tools to assess the many different features and capabilities of the industries sealcoating equipment and make smart decisions about the equipment your company needs.
This guide will cover the major systems of sealcoating equipment and discuss the ways these systems can differ from one manufacturer to the next. While we, of course, have our own opinions about what we think makes great sealcoating equipment, we will most often refrain from expressing ourselves on the subject. That’s because at the end of the day, your business needs and goals are unique to you, and no two businesses are alike.
In the end, after you’ve done all your homework, we suggest finding other people in the business who you know and trust and have been successful. Ask their opinion, weigh the facts and make your decisions. So let’s get to it!