James also notes that operators should be aware of the safety check valve — usually not standard equipment, but an option or aftermarket addition to the compressor. The safety check valve is designed to immediately shut-off the air supply should a break in the hose occur. Having a safety check valve on a compressor is a wise investment for rental yards.
One set of instructions that seems like common sense but needs to be covered, is proper startup and shutdown of the machine, says James. "The proper sequence for startup is connecting the air lines, starting the compressor, then opening the service valves before working," he says. "When you shutdown, you go in the opposite sequence: stop working, close the service valves, turn off the compressor, then clear the lines of pressure. Never shutdown without closing the service valves.
"Also note to customers that the emergency stop should be used just for that — emergencies," he continues. "It shouldn't be used just to turn the machine off, as the compressor could be damaged."
Some more operational dos and don'ts for customers:
- Only use a hose fully rated for the pressure of the machine.
- Protect the hose. The hose can present a tripping hazard so it must be kept out of the way and protected from being damaged — especially from the tools being used.
- Never use a hose that shows signs of damage.
- Never point or direct an air tool at another person.
Don't forget to remind customers about the proper use of personal protection equipment. "Goggles, safety shoes, gloves and hearing protection are a must when operating construction tools," says Wagner. "Other applications may require additional gear."
Grau with MMD adds, "Keep in mind that released compressed air could send loose objects flying, so you will want to make sure your arms, legs and body are protected."
An important note regarding gloves — they should not be worn with any tools that could spin out of control, like an impact wrench.
Because some of your compressor rentals will be long-term, your customers might have to perform some maintenance to keep them running properly. Remind them that first and foremost, their primary responsibility is their safety. "The equipment's well being is secondary," says Wagner with Kaeser. "They should never attempt to repair or troubleshoot a compressor in a manner that could jeopardize health or safety."
Here are some maintenance safety tips for your customers to follow:
- Follow manufacturer's recommendations for proper operation and routine maintenance. Only trained technicians should adjust compressor components.
- Do not adjust safety, blow-off or control valves without referring to the operating manual. For example, improper adjustments can cause "air explosions" from the safety valve — startling and perhaps injuring even experienced operators.
- Do not change filters or check fluids while the compressor is running or pressurized. Spraying fluids such as oil can cause burns or serious injury.
With some informative instructions, common sense and an eye toward safety, your customers can have a safe, productive compressor rental.