Also, airless machines have an hydraulic pump, which is different than the motor. It has a piston and seals inside. I have had the piston replaced, but generally speaking all you need to do is replace the seals. I replace mine almost every spring; this is probably more often than necessary, but I feel good about it.
I want to say this, too: I have replaced my own seals on the job. I have also taken the bottom half of the pump off to clear a clog on the job (I found a “paint skin” and put it all back together in 30 minutes.) But I’m not bad with a wrench and I believe that anyone can do anything. So…don’t be afraid to work on an airless, they’re just not as easy to work on as a conventional.
What To Buy?
Everyone wants to know which type of striping machine to buy. The answer is simple: Buy either one you want! They cost about the same. Both the conventional and airless striping machines certainly have a place in the market, but neither of them is the “be all…do all.” They’re just different.
But if you're in the market for a striping machine try this first: Call every good-sized paving contractor in your city. Why? Because I stripe for two different paving contractors and both of them have striping machines sitting in their shop. I could buy a machine from either contractor and pay half price.