HVACR Business

MAR 2014

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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HVACRBUSINESS.Com HVACR Business m a rc h 2 0 1 4 19 QUICK ON THE JOB Large Diameter Tubing Cutter PRECISION FLARE CUTTING ACCURATE CUTTING Form-ula for Success Calc-u-now or Calc-u-later Pain in the back meets Catch 22 One size doesn't fit all tools, both digital and mechanical (hand tools), can save time and physical effort, as you have less to cart from the truck to the worksite. While many of these combo products have you saying "Why didn't I think of that?," other combinations may force you to say "What the….?" Before you purchase, be sure to walk through the way YOU would use a new combo product in your mind. Involve your technicians' opinions too. Additionally, look for peer reviews, either locally or on the Internet. Calc-u-now or Calc-u-later: Digital tools now focus on more than just lone measurements. Rather than using look-up tables, charts, slide rules or off-line calculations for superheat, subcool, enthalpy, or even target evaporator exit temperature, you will fnd these application specifc results right on the digital or graphic display. This goes back to the speed issue: in this case, the speed of gathering real-time and relevant information to get the job done. Pain in the back meets Catch 22: You don't want to be walking back to the truck to get that one odd tool, but you cannot carry your whole truck to the worksite. Enter the back and time savers. I have seen the lowly tool bag/ bucket get a makeover over with rugged, well thought-out designs and ergonomic features. In fact, ergonomic is what the E in the leading brand stands for! And it's not all about physical efforts and pain; it's also about safety and lost time due to injury. A new strap quickly connects to refrigerant cylinders and frees technicians' hands to carry tools and climb ladders improving safety while the extra "hand" can reduce time on site and increase productivity. One size doesn't ft all. While I have covered the highlights in the latest tools that can make a performance difference, I realize not all of these are for everyone and that one size does not ft all. Take your time to investigate the new products, read reviews, ask questions, and learn about how they can help your bottom line. But also keep in mind that a desired new tool can brighten a technician's outlook and show you care. Be sure to involve the technicians in the decision-making and monitoring of productivity gains, and you will reap the benefts of employee engagement. n Bill Spohn is CEO and co-owner of TruTech Tools, LTD. He holds BSME and MSME degrees from the University of Rochester and is a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Pennsylvania. Over the last 25 years, Bill has built his career on creating, designing, and marketing a wide array of test and measurement products that work for technicians in the feld. As co-owner at TruTech tools, Bill is responsible for setting and maintaining the strategic direction, and marketing and business plans. He has lectured to a wide variety of audiences on the applications of testing and measurement instrumentation in building science, weatherization and HVAC. Bill has worked with BPI, RESNET, GAMA, AHRI, OMA, RSES, NATE, and ACCA Technical Committees and holds three U.S. patents. Take your time to investigate the new products, read reviews, ask questions, and learn about how they can help your bottom line. Today's technicians are required to be effcient, multi-tasking problem-solvers. In order to deliver, they need tools that will help them get on and off the job, and make the right diagnosis with the fewest callbacks. Jobsite effciency Even with new, effcient two-in-one type tools, technicians can make a lot of trips up and down the ladder. And while it may be good exercise, it isn't the most effcient way to get in and out of a jobsite. Having the right backpack storage solution specifc to HVAC/R techs can be key. Technicians should look for those with added features such as padded pockets for meters and a hanging hook for manifolds. It should also allow techs to use both hands to safely climb steep ladders, all while carrying up to 50 pounds worth of tools on their back. Problem solving For the most part, technicians get the most satisfaction in being the problem solver – coming to a customer's aid by fxing their AC or furnace. However, the methods for becoming the temperature hero have changed. With the introduction of high-effciency systems and high-pressure refrigerants, the days of "beer can cold" and "eye-balling" the gauge needle are gone. In order to properly diagnose a system, techs need accurate temperature and pressure measurements. But because no two technicians approach their job the same way, a variety of products are available on the marketplace. Technicians should research products and choose the ones they are most comfortable using. improved Productivity In the HVAC/R arena time can be as valuable as money. Down time driving across town to pick up different parts or tools reduces the number of calls a technician can make in a day. Today's technicians are tasked with getting more done in less time. In order to perform, they need tools that are up to the challenge. By seeking out tools that reduce trips to the truck, provide more information in the trouble-shooting process, and help save time and money, technicians are truly investing in their success.

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