As mentioned, truck-mounted and palletized stripers come with a variety of features. Bowman, for example, says that M-B Companies builds many trucks with rear shelters that enable the rear operator to remain more comfortable in less-than-ideal weather conditions. “Some states also require a data logger to be installed that records and saves the amount of paint, beads, paint thickness, GPS locations and so forth. Even if not required, contractors may want to employ data loggers to facilitate budgeting.”
Then, there is the all-important crew to consider. “What type of equipment has the crew used previously?” Bowman asks. “I have customers who prefer air spray paint trucks and others who prefer airless trucks. The difference in technologies is less important than the operator’s comfort level with it.”
“I would guess that a small percentage of our contractor customers opt for air spray units,” points out Kelly-Creswell company sales manager Don Hollon. “Airless lines are a bit sharper, but the units also are more expensive up front and replacement parts are more costly. Still, it’s an operator’s preference more than anything else.”
He continues, “You have to decide how many guns you will need. A typical configuration for our truck-mounted units would include three paint and bead guns in the center and one of each on the edge. The big concerns here revolve around both productivity and safety, being able to stay in your own lane of traffic.”
The company offers both pallet- and truck-mounted models. Hollon estimates that 75 percent of its sales go to contractors who want their machines customized for their application. Units can be outfitted with eight or ten guns for airport striping or mounted with a lazer pointer to replace a long out-front pointer. For small jobs, Hollon directs customers to the company’s model WV-50, a single-operator, self-propelled unit that carries 50 gallons of paint.
Hug Manufacturing also offers a full line of stripers, including two-truck mounted models and a palletized unit, all available with either airless or air spray paint systems. Company president John Hug notes that for contractors thinking about a pallet striper, a ¾-ton pickup with 8,800 GVW is required to accommodate the weight of the machine, along with the paint and beads. “One of the nice features about our pallet-mounted machines is that it weighs only 1,280 pounds, which leaves more capacity for paint and beads.” As he points out, a 55-gallon drum of paint weighs 750 pounds and the beads another 350 pounds.
Among other features, the company’s pallet unit can be fitted with either a hydraulic steerable or fixed paint gun carriage. Other options include a paint meter, a hand gun for stencil work, an intercom for two-person operation, hydraulic paint agitator and a storage cart for the striper when it’s not in use. Two 60-gallon stainless steel paint tanks and a 500-pound capacity bead tank are also optional.
Hug notes that an enclosed paint gun solenoid and stainless steel hose ends add to a striper’s durability, while Shinners emphasizes that protection of key components such as electrical and air lines, is important, as well. Special concerns
Shinners points to potential requisites when working with sub contractors as well as with city, county and state government agencies. Among them, he cites certification of equipment, workers and paint as three likely ones. “New paint high-build formulas,” for example, “are being specified that may require a double drop bead or element application requirements that can dramatically change the design of the truck you are considering.”
Bowman emphasizes that contractors need to be aware of the Federal Excise Tax (FET) applied to any chassis with a GVWR greater than 33,000 pounds. “I had a customer who was looking to purchase a paint truck with two 300-gallon paint tanks,” he recalls. “The setup required a chassis that exceeded 33,000 pounds. By recommending a Nissan UD with a GVWR of 32,900 pounds, which accommodated two 250-gallon paint tanks, we saved him $70,000 between the increase in price for the heavier chassis and the addition federal tax.”