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Brian Bothun
Posted: Apr 30, 2011 12:39 PM
Spray bots
Might be a dumb question but why aren't all the roofers using spray bots? An outsider looking in seems like it would be a practical tool in order to lay the flattest roof possible.

On the other hand I can see on small roofs it not being feasible.

I'm not a roofer just curious as to why not everyone uses one..

Like everything else in this business i'm sure there not very expensive..
Benjamin Skoog
Posted: Apr 30, 2011 08:26 PM
They can lay out a fairly decent roof but you still have to have an operator and he has to be very aware (this is very hard after standing behind the robot for hours just steering the thing straight). If your operator cant drive it straight and doesn't line up the marriage lines, you will have to hand detail all the low areas. You still have to hand detail all the penetrations. If you go off-ratio you cant feel it like you can holding it by hand and you may make a bigger mess on the deck. In theory they are great machines provided everything can go smoothly but I would be pro-hand spraying. A skilled applicator can spray up to 12 sets in a day and lay it flat.
Posted: May 01, 2011 11:27 AM
Being expensive or not is a relative term too. If you have 10 crews running constantly, then it might not be very expensive but at $15,000 - $20,000 then for most of us it is pretty expensive. Unless it is a huge roof with just about nothing poking up then it might be good but very few are like that when I have done bids. By the time you do the details, move it all around, get it up there and programmed, you can get a fair amount already done so is it really worth the cost for most roofs?
Rodney Schares
Posted: May 01, 2011 01:12 PM
12 sets in a day?Thats impressive.The most I have done on a roof in a day with an 03 chamber was 3 sets .Then had to put down the coating too.This was consistent and constant triggering and I was ready for bed a new new right arm.
Brian Bothun
Posted: May 01, 2011 01:25 PM
My comment about them not being expensive was sarcasm.
John Shockney
Posted: May 01, 2011 04:39 PM
I’m impressed that you spray 3 sets a day.

Rodney Schares
Posted: May 01, 2011 07:11 PM
I do not spray three sets daily, that was a one time thing.330 gallons of foam is alot to put out in my opinion for one guy.Wouldnt want to have to do that everyday.
Posted: May 02, 2011 08:38 PM
Nothing like dropping a $20K robot off of a roof! You really need a decent size roof with no penetrations to use a robot. Not to mention a skytrack or something else to get it to the roof. 200-250 pounds is tough to climb a ladder with. I don't care how strong you are, all it takes is one wrong move and you are laying on top of a robot on the ground.

An 04 chamber will put out a set of material in 25 minutes, an 03 in 50 minutes, 02 in 90 minutes.

That is not using math, that is actual time with the trigger pulled and a man spraying.

If you figure out the math, it takes much less time than that.

I can spray 10-12 sets in a day, but on average, I am 3 sets a day with all of the other bs going on on a roof. One a wide open roof, you can rock and roll if you have no wind, someone holding your hose, etc...
Benjamin Skoog
Posted: May 03, 2011 12:39 AM
I would have to say my record for a day is 10 sets but the largest chamber I have used is 04. I knew a guy who used an 05 fusion ap and he would empty his 6 kit tanks by lunchtime, have his guys fill it up while he takes lunch, and then empty it after lunch. That is production!
Posted: May 03, 2011 07:00 AM
Nothing like numb fingers and sore shoulder at the end of the day. I yearn for a wide open roof again. Seems like all I am getting these days are penetrations and old air conditioners and wet insulation.
Dennis Davidson
Posted: May 03, 2011 08:14 AM
I have to disagree about using the robot to install foam. The "Spraybot" is a registered trade name for a specific robot which I have used several times. One of the nice things about the "Spraybot" is can be disassembled into four sections which can easily be carried up stairs, pulled up the side of a building or even carried up a ladder. It's great on large roofs but I've also used it on small roofs with penetrations and even on metal roofs and it's tall enough to go right over most soil stacks. I personally think it's one of the greatest tools that's come along in years and that's what we need to remember, it's a TOOL to help the applicator, NOT something to replace him. You still need a qualified applicator to watch for problems and to do the detail spraying, but to not have to swing that gun all day and be worn out is a blessing to me! As far as the price goes it's really no different than buying a better foam machine or a better gun to increase production and accuracy. If you put a "Spraybot" next to a human and both sprayed X number of set out, the "Spraybot" will have more square footage with the same amount of material simple because of it's consistency and that's saving money. And, it will lay down as much foam or coating as your machine can process simply by adjusting the speeds on the robot. How many humans do you know that can consistently lay down a 2" or even a 3" pass all day long, everyday.
We were able to trained a new guy to control and guide the "Spraybot" in just 15 mins. and he was able to accurately operated it the rest of the day keeping all the pass lines straight. If you look up "Spraybot" on the web you will find a video of it being used on a small roof spraying a 1 1/2" pass with 20-25 mpg winds. I don't think any human can do that consistently. Even with the high winds, it laid down one of the smoothest roofs I've ever seen. I can say that because I was there and saw first hand just how well it worked. I've also used the "Spraybot" to apply polyurea. We sprayed 90 mils. and it was consistent from beginning to the end and that saved a ton of money in material.
But, what must be the single most important aspect of having and using the "Spraybot" is it keeps the humans farther away from the fumes and overspray thereby reducing the health risks from chemical exposure.
The "Spraybot" can't be used on every roof but even on a smaller roof it only take about 30 mins to disassemble it, get it on the roof and re-assemble it ready to go.
So as far as I'm concerned it's a healthier way to spray and it's a great money saving tool to have in my rig.
Benjamin Skoog
Posted: May 03, 2011 01:39 PM
MACS does have a good point you can spray when winds are higher just because you can add on a built in wind shield. I have sprayed alongside a spraybot before and when the wind picked up i was stopped and it kept going. Your yield will go up when you spray thicker passes only because the cellular structure enlarges. your foam is no longer gonna be the specified density.
Posted: May 03, 2011 05:32 PM
I'm jealous of that damn spraybot Dennis. In my situation, it is the Haves against the Have Nots and I am a Have Not.

Maybe I could talk you into a free sample at a dollar down, dollar a month kind of thing. I don't think you guys have one in Louisiana yet?
Dennis Davidson
Posted: May 04, 2011 09:03 AM
You shouldn't be to jealous, we don't have a very long roofing season here so we have to make the most of the time we do have. We need to be well equipped to do roofing here even though it sometimes takes a huge chunk out of our profits.
I don't sell the "Spraybots" but I do promote them. You'll have to talk to Sprayworks Equipment about any terms. Again I think they are a great tool to help the applicator and the contractor.
The cost is really relative to your production volume. If your putting down 100 sets in a year I bet the "Spraybot" would pay for itself the first year. If you think about it, what if you used a 1/2 set less out of every 10, that's around $10,000.00 per year in savings. Now add the labor and over head expenses your saving. You can even run a smaller crew and do the same amount of work. There's around another $10,000.00+/- in a year.(You might save enough time to do one or two more projects in the year) So, there's the cost of a bot! Here's another big plus. As I said before, we took a new labor with NO spray time at all and taught him to operate the bot in about 15 mins. So, here's the lowest paid person on the crew doing double duty. He's the bot operator and hose puller at the same time. You still must have someone experienced to watch for problems.
I know I'm saying a lot about this machine but I would be the same about any piece of equipment that helps the applicator or contractor to do their job better and to be more productive. And it's not just about the money savings it's equally about quality!
Now, if we could just create a gun that would spray a perfect pattern every day and never clog and....
Posted: May 04, 2011 03:42 PM
MACS, good points but for smaller roofing jobs and unless you do a lot of roofing, I don't see them as worth it. They are expensive and as you pointed out, if you do 100 sets in roofing you can make the money back in a year but only companies I know who do that ONLY do the roofing unlike the vast majority of us spraying right now.

I have looked at them and they do look nice though. I also agree totally with them being more consistent since a machine usually will be over a human. Now, if I could get that kind of a volume on roofing, I would seriously look at one depending on they types of them we got around here.
Dennis Davidson
Posted: May 04, 2011 05:34 PM
I through that figure out as one possible way to look at it. Only about a third of my business is foam roofing but I can also us the bot for polyurea and a few other applications. So that helps add to the cost savings. If your only doing a few smaller roof per year then it may not be a good fit.

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