InTents August/September 2020 - 25

T

he old saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"
takes on new meaning in times like the current challenging business
environment. When tent rental operators are counting every penny,
the need to get the longest possible life out of tents and the equipment
used to install them is obvious. But even when the jobs are rolling
in, proper tent and equipment maintenance can be the difference between profit
and loss. In fact, it's on the busiest days that it's most tempting to cut corners.
"It pays to instill good work habits in your team to head off a lot of costly
maintenance issues down the road," says Dan Dunstan, western U.S. sales
manager for Rainier Industries Ltd., Tukwila, Wash., which provides a full range
of tenting products.
FOLLOW A ROUTINE
The following care and maintenance
practices should be routine for every
installation.
Use tent bags and drop cloths,
and handle all components with
care. Never drag a tent or the tent bag.
"Always have a drop cloth down-no
exceptions," says Kyle Tegner, president
and CEO of Special Occasions Parties
and Events, a full-service event company
in Corvallis, Ore. "Drop cloths will solve
half of your maintenance issues." That
includes preventing scratches, burrs
and other damage to aluminum parts,
which can injure installers' hands.
"Don't throw tent equipment around,"
Dunstan adds. "Metal components aren't
indestructible." Not only will proper
maintenance protect your equipment
and help prevent accidents, but it can
enhance the image of your company,
Dunstan notes. "Scratched, damaged
equipment looks unprofessional."
Stop trouble before it starts.
Before heading to the jobsite, don't
forget to tuck a rag in your back pocket.
"Then you can easily wipe off any mud
that might splash on the tent fabric at
the jobsite," Dunstan says. Also, watch
out for nicks in any of the tent's metal
components. "Pull out your metal ile
and take 30 seconds to ile off the nick so
it doesn't cut the fabric," he says.

Pack the right tools. Bringing the
right tools to the jobsite makes repairs
faster and easier. If your tents include a
keder system, a keder repair tool to open
up the metal track can be invaluable. A
can of liquid vinyl can help you repair
rips of less than ¹ ₈ inch, while adhesive
peel-and-stick patches offer a temporary
ix for larger fabric tears. "Time is money,
especially with the tight schedules in this
business," Dunstan says. "If you have the
right tools on hand, you can avoid the
hassle of going back to the shop."
Keep an eye on tent jacks. Take
the time to thread the straps properly
on tent jacks. Don't drag the straps
across the ground. Damaged straps can
compromise lifting capacity, causing the
tent roof to collapse. "Straps tend to ly
really quick, since they're like a rubber
band under tension," Tegner says. "Every
time I pull out a tent strap, I give it a
quick, visual once-over." These straps
can last a season or two with proper
maintenance, Dunstan notes.
Set up a simple maintenance
system. Members of Tegner's installation
crews use a simple, inexpensive system
of color-coded zip ties after an event is
over so warehouse crews can tell at a
glance what needs to be done with the
equipment before storing it. "We use
green zip ties for items that are good to
go with no repairs or cleaning needed,"
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InTents August/September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents August/September 2020

InTents August/September 2020 - Cover1
InTents August/September 2020 - Cover2
InTents August/September 2020 - 1
InTents August/September 2020 - 2
InTents August/September 2020 - 3
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