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Survey: Nearly Half of Managers Do Their Own Basic Equipment Maintenance

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — A large share of Wire subscribers don’t mind rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty, based on the results of this month’s AmericanLaundryNews.com survey. Nearly half of the respondents perform all (19.4%) or most (27.8%) of the basic equipment maintenance for their facility.

Equal shares of 13.9% do “some” or “very little” of their laundry’s maintenance. Only 25% don’t perform maintenance.

More than one-third of respondents (35.1%) admitted that their equipment maintenance efforts have backfired at some point and ended up requiring repairs or even replacement. Some examples:

  • a tunnel’s CPU went down, stopping production for days.
  • a motor replaced in a dryer turned in the wrong direction.
  • over lubrication of a washer’s inner seal allowed grease to contaminate the drum and basket.

Most laundries, at one time or another, require attention from a maintenance or service technician. Respondents have mixed feelings about those occasions.

The largest share, 37.8%, called them “average” and said it depended on the job and who did it. Twenty-seven percent called them “great, they always get the job done,” while another 29.7% ranked them as “good, they get the job done most of the time.” Equal shares of 2.7% described service visits as “poor” or said they never call on repairmen.

Regardless of who performs equipment maintenance in their laundry, 78.4% have a formal schedule for completing the tasks. Approximately 53% say they or a staff member have attended a service school offered by an equipment manufacturer or distributor.

It’s easier to perform basic maintenance on laundry equipment today that it was in the past, according to 37.8% of respondents. It’s no different, say 32.4%, while the remaining 29.7% believe it’s more difficult to maintain machines today.

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take a brief industry survey anonymously online each month. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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