Vending Operator Basic Tools When servicing an account and before leaving, that machine needs to be clean and looking good! There are many different cleaning supplies to carry with you:
- Glass cleaner
- Paper towels
- Soft bristle brush
- Dow scrubbing bubbles
- General purpose cleaner
- Small vacuum cleaner
Vending operator Basic Tools The basic tools you need to service a vending machine:
- Phillips head screwdriver, #2
- Flat Head screwdriver, #1, #2
- ¼” socket set
- 11/32” Nut Driver, Deep
- 5/16” Nut Driver, Deep
- Channel Lock Pliers
- Vice Grips
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Electrical Tester
- Strip and Crimp tool
- Clear Tape, 4” wide
- Business Cards
- Money Bags
- Hand Truck
- Coin and Bill Counters
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See all five videos in the Top Vending Operator Tools series
Vending operator basic tools Tom: I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show here again with Larry Towner, the vending business consultant with Service Group International and we are continuing in this series of vending business tools. Thanks for being here Larry. What are we gonna be talking about today?
Larry: Well, today we’re gonna talk about the basic toolkit for a route man and/or a basic toolkit for an owner/operator.
Tom: What’s first?
Larry: Well, let’s talk about a route man’s basic toolkit. You’re all, if you’re an owner/operator, you’re running route anyway so you’re gonna need these things but one of the big mantras in the vending business is clean, filled, and working and so we’re gonna talk first about cleaning vending machines. There are, it’s really, really important when you go into a, into one of your accounts and you’re servicing an account, that when you leave, that machine is clean. You want it to be clean but at the same time, you wanna be very efficient in how you clean and how you get things done because you want it to be, you want it, it’s your place of business. It needs to look good.
Larry: The first thing that I always like to carry, there’s several different things in cleaning supplies that I always like to carry, but the biggest that most vending companies have is glass because of course, the front of a vending machine is a large piece of glass so I always carried some kind of a glass cleaner. I just used basically Windex or any kinda multipurpose glass cleaner is what I use but I also always carried a squeegee and I’m gonna tell you why I carried a squeegee. The squeegee allows you to take that glass cleaner and clean it much faster and much more efficiently than if you tried to use paper towels all the time. So I always carried glass cleaner and a squeegee, along with paper towels, I would use the paper towels to clean the edges and I would also rub the front of the machine down if it was particularly dirty with the paper towels and then use the squeegee to liquid off.
Larry: There’s all kinds of cleaning techniques but in my opinion, you definitely have to have a squeegee. It makes things go much, much, much faster. I also always carried a soft bristle brush because I would take, and in a dusty location, you can take a soft bristle brush and you can just brush the dust right off the tops and fronts of the machine and you just brush that stuff off and it takes that dust off. Then I would actually brush it first and then I would go clean the glass from there.
Larry: I also found, had great success with one particular product. It’s rare that I support one particular product but I got a tip from a guy one time to use Dow Scrubbing bubbles and what he told me to use Dow Scrubbing bubbles for was that Dow Scrubbing bubbles will remove scuff marks from the fronts of your machines down at the bottom. Now, we all know Tom that nobody ever kicks a vending machine. We all know this to be the self-evident truth but every [inaudible 00:02:55] like in a lot of my locations, I would go in and find black shoe marks on the fronts of my machine.
Larry: Now I don’t when that was happening but it seems like that people must have tripped or something. That’s had to be what it was.
Tom: Yeah, there’s no way they were kicking it.
Larry: No, there’s no way they were kicking it. But anyway, so in their tripping, and they tripped and they happened to scuff the machines up, I found that Dow Scrubbing bubbles, you spray it on there, you let it sit for a minute and then you take the paper towels off, and it really, really works really well at getting those scuff marks off the fronts of the machine. I suppose there’s a generic brand of something like it, but I just had such good luck with that Dow Scrubbing bubbles that I always had Dow Scrubbing bubbles with me to get scuff marks and it’s also a good general purpose cleaner, but it really works well on scuff marks. There’s other products out there. There’s some products called Spray Nine that I know people use. Joe at A & M Equipment uses Spray Nine all the time. It’s a great cleaner for inside your machine. You need some kind of a general cleaner also to use, besides the Dow Scrubbing bubbles, just some kind of water and type mix to clean with.
Larry: But those are the big things. You gotta have the ability to clean the fronts of the machines. And the fronts and the insides too. I used to carry, I also carried a small vacuum with me that I would have in the truck if I needed it to go vacuum out a machine. If a package broke open inside a machine and it spilled contents into the vend tray or did something like that, I would have a small vacuum with me and I could vacuum out the insides of the machines. So those are some of the real basic cleaning tools that you need.
Larry: Let’s go into just the real, actual tools you need if you’re gonna do basic service on a vending machine and the tools are very, very simple. You need a number two Philips head screwdriver. You need a number two flat head screwdriver. I always carried a number one screwdriver that would clip on my pocket, in my pocket with me all the time. I had a quarter inch socket set. I always had an 11/32 nut driver D, and I always had a 5/16 nut driver D also. You’re gonna use both of those if you’re gonna do anything on a vending machine, you are gonna run into those two things. I always carry Cannalocks. I always carry vice scripts. Needle nosed pliers. Electrical tools, I had an electrical tester with me, a voltage tester. I had a strip and crimp tool with me also. Usually, had some electrical tape. Things like that. That’s the basic toolkit that you’re gonna need to do any kind of basic maintenance on a vending machine that does not have to do with doing installations. I mean, just talking about basic maintenance.
Larry: Then I always carried a marketing kit with me as well. And in that marketing kit was like a four inch wide clear tape. I had scissors. I had business cards. I had brochures. I had everything for contact information that somebody, if they asked me, and they needed to get a hold of me or get ahold of the company, I had a piece of information there for ’em. I think that route men should always have business cards of some sort that they can hand out to customers for contact information.
Larry: And then we have money handling tools. So you have money bags and then bill and coin counters. Those are kinda issues for the office to handle but money bags are critical for a route man, he’s gotta have money bags, gotta have a way to count out each machine and put it into his bags.
Larry: Those are the basic tools that you’re gonna need to run a vending a route actually, to actually service accounts. So we’ve talked about hand trucks in a previous show and how we got a basic tool kit. Tom, do you have any questions.
Tom: No, that’s a lot of tools there but I know those are all necessary so is there anything else we’ll be discussing in the next show?
Larry: We’ll probably talk about money handling next.
Tom: All right. Getting more good tips about the vending business. Be sure to subscribe. You’ve been watching Vending operator Basic Tools at The Vending Business Show, a publication of A & M Equipment Sales. More Vending Business Blogs Take Over A Vending Route Or Start Your Own?