Extend Hopper LifeStan Bozek, production manager of GTS, and Bill Henderson and Tim Dempsey of Commercial Outdoor Services both sent us their ideas for increasing hopper wear life:
Stan: "Whenever we get a new sweeper at GTS, we coat the inside of the hopper with aluminum mobile home roof sealer. We then apply an additional coat periodically whenever it starts to wear. Most of the time it lasts about 6 months, and less than a gallon at a cost of about $20 will coat the hopper."
Bill and Tim: "We have found that painting the interior of our hopper with epoxy paint is an excellent way to give it extra life. The only drawback is the cost. We are now also experimenting with a rubberized paint called Color Guard® which initial tests over 9 weeks of use looks even better. Because of the cost of these, however, we paint only the high wear areas."
Editors Note: Another good system is to bolt a sheet of rubber, about 3/8" thick, across from the blast intake. This works much better on sweepers which have a flat surface there, though. If you do try using a rubber sheet, be sure to spacer it away from the inside hopper surface. Doing so will allow you to keep the surface behind it pressure-washed, so that there won't be a build-up behind it.
You may also want to try a spray-on bed liner, like are used on pickup trucks. If you do that, though, we've heard that the best way to get a uniform coating is to weld some small 'marker strips' of metal in various places on the hopper interior. Make each of these the height you want the spray liner to be. That way, when the installer sprays it on he'll get the right thickness throughout the hopper interior.
Have an idea that would be helpful to others in the industry? Please let us know what it is.
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