InTents August/September 2020 - 26

When our
crew members
understand that
proper equipment
maintenance means
less money is spent
on repairs, they
know more money
is available in the
bonus pool for
jobs done right.
-Kyle Tegner,
Special Occasions
Parties and Events

says Tegner, whose family has been in the
event business for 35 years. "We use red
for items that are dirty and need to go
through a complete cleaning cycle, and
we use a combination of red and green
ties if a tent is wet and needs to be dried
before storing." Crew members in the ϐield
also make written notes on the condition
of tents being returned to the warehouse
if there are any repairs that need to be
made. Consider designating a staging
area in the warehouse for equipment that
requires repairs, Dunstan says.
Dry fabric to prevent mold
and mildew. While cleaning is a key
preventative maintenance step, never
put a tent away wet. "It's very hard to get
rid of mildew once it starts," Tegner says.
"Mildew and leaf stains are our big enemies
here in the Paciϐic Northwest. We never
fold up tents with leaves inside, since the
leaves can deposit stains on the fabric."

TEACH BEST PRACTICES
Because the tent industry uses a lot of
seasonal labor, getting every member
of the crew to follow basic preventative

maintenance practices is challenging.
Tegner recommends designating a
leader on every crew to help the team
follow best practices. "Look for someone
who's a good communicator," Tegner
says. "Also, look for someone who
can get along with others and pays
attention to detail in their own work."
A leader who can explain the "why"
behind the "how" is vital. "When our
crew members understand that proper
equipment maintenance means less
money is spent on repairs, they know
more money is available in the bonus
pool for jobs done right," Tegner says.
To keep these messages top of mind, the
training programs at Special Occasions
focus on proper equipment maintenance.
Twice a year the company provides "tent
school," which includes hands-on learning
through Tenting 101 (fundamentals)
and Tenting 110 (best practices). The
company has also created online training
modules and apps. "These allow our
employees to access the information
anytime to refresh their memory
about speciϐic topics," Tegner says.

CLEAN UP YOUR ACT

H

ow long can a tent stay in service if it's cleaned and maintained properly? "The cleaner you keep your tents,
the longer their lifespan," says Jenny Cole, operations manager for Charnecke Tents Inc./CCC Washers Inc.

in Rosholt, Wis. "Over 80 years of experience have taught us that tents stay looking great for years when they're
cleaned regularly."
Cole offers the following tips to help you maximize your investment:
*
Stop problems before they start. Use a drop cloth every time. "Drop cloths help keep tents clean and help
prevent damage," Cole says.
*
Choose the right cleaning equipment. While some people opt for floor scrubbers or floor buffers, tent
washing machines are gentler on tents, Cole says. "Our tent washers include light, regular and heavy-duty
wash cycles, along with a rinse cycle," she adds.
*
Inspect to protect. After tents are prepped with cleaning solution, washed and rinsed, conduct a final
inspection before storing the tents. Look for missing buckles, areas where grommets have been torn off and
other areas that need to be repaired.
*
Store tents properly. Make sure tents are dry before storing them on racks, and don't store the tents on
concrete. Moisture can wick up from the concrete and encourage mildew to grow on tent fabric.
"When you follow all these steps, your tents can last 10 to 20 years or more," Cole says.
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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
InTents August/September 2020 - 4
InTents August/September 2020 - 5
InTents August/September 2020 - 6
InTents August/September 2020 - 7
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