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Get your Customers to help!

By: Jerry Lemon for MACS ACtion Magazine Jul/Aug 2023 Issue

Everyone I know doing A/C service on HD trucks and Heavy Equipment is slammed with work. It seems rather counter to making money, but you can get your customers to help relieve some of the load by having them do the simple things.

Encourage Customers

Encourage your customers to regularly inspect their equipment for easily handled issues. Get them to inspect and change belts. Moreover, have them keep the belts tensioned properly by checking the belt tensioners and idler pulleys to ensure there are no issues. I had one equipment customer that was so fed up with belt problems caused by failed tensioners and idlers that, during the off season, they replaced all the tensioners and idlers with new ones. That may be a bit overkill, but, to them, machine uptime was critical during the construction season. This uptime is even more critical for mining and quarrying customers.

Make Recommendations

Recommend your customers regularly inspect and change the filters on their trucks and equipment. This is one of the easiest things customers can do to help keep their A/C systems working during the season. Make sure they understand that there are two filters. On most trucks and equipment there is the inside recirculation filter and the outside fresh air filter. Take the time to go through the vehicle or equipment with them so they understand what they’re looking for with respect to the filters, such as when to clean and when to change.

A dirty cabin air filter – An easy fix!

Finally, have them properly clean the heat exchangers — both the evaporator and condenser — to ensure proper operation. It is one of the easiest things your customers can do. It is also one of the most critical to help prevent system failures. Show your customers how to clean the condenser. Make sure they understand that all the heat exchangers and radiators in the stack need to be clean to ensure good airflow.

In most cases, they can do this during regular PM schedules, and it will be more than sufficient. For customers that work in high dust or debris environments, they will have to clean on a more regular basis. Many of them will be doing some of this cleaning during their regular maintenance but may need to be shown how to clean the coils so that the airflow is maintained. For the evaporator, it can be more complicated. If the coil is accessible, as with some equipment and trucks, have customers clean it with either air or a regular garden hose. Pressure washers are not normally recommended. They can easily damage the fins, and there is often not enough room to get good access with the wands.

Inspecting an evaporator.

Why Teach Customers?

What does teaching your customers about this basic maintenance do for your business? First, it will help cut down on the calls for these simple operations, leaving your techs more available for the heavy work. Second, it invests customers in their own equipment. This helps them understand what can be done to keep that equipment working well. In my experience, most operators will appreciate the advice. However, not all customers will view it as an option they want to pursue. For example, many fleet operators will not see it as something they want to do and will expect their service provider to look after all these aspects of maintenance.

For your business, this is just one more thing that can help you through your busy summer service season.

Learn More

Check out more like this in our ACtion Magazine Jul/Aug 2023 Issue

Get on-demand training from Jerry ($): Field Service Tools & Techniques for Off-Road A/C Service

Don’t forget to check out the MACS page for all things Mobile A/C

Jerry Lemon – Author

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