Although the sales of kettles and tankers have dwindled during
the past 20 years because of changing market conditions, many in
the roofing industry still use these large pieces of equipment.
However, because they are not purchased as frequently as other
types of equipment, you may be unfamiliar with the various options
available. Following is a summary of what you can expect to find
when shopping for kettles and tankers.
Just as there are Ford, Chevrolet or Dodge lovers who will not
consider buying anything except the brand they always have used,
the same often is true of kettles. But if you have time to shop
around, consider seeing what different manufacturers have to offer.
With equipment sales being down the past few years, contractors
often can get pretty good deals.
The first decision to make is how much hot asphalt you need.
Most kettle manufacturers publish the "usable gallons" available
for their kettles. This is different from kettle size and varies
greatly between manufacturers. The "usable gallons" is the amount
of asphalt above the tube unit (flues). Because you cannot pump
material below the flues, "usable gallons" is the actual amount of
hot asphalt available to use at any given time. Generally, a
contractor wants as much production out of a kettle as possible and
does not want to have too much material in the bottom of the kettle
workers cannot access.
A selling feature some manufacturers talk about is loading
height. Lower loading is a great feature for a kettle operator, who
lifts kegs of asphalt into the kettle, but may not be for a roofing
company owner, who is interested in production. You often give up
usable gallons in exchange for low loading height. It is important
to know this before buying a kettle so you can choose the style and
size that fits...
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