Hi, I’m Mike Huggins. I’m with SPE North America. I’m in charge of North American sales for Shoblasters and Scarifiers.
Why do SPE Machines move forward instead of backwards?
Looking at some of the SPE machines, especially the larger models, you’ll notice that the design of that is different. Those machines move forward.
One of the key reasons for moving forward is the ability to have a clear view of your working area. This allows the operator to move forward and be able to see the area that they’re blasting.
When an operator is blasting the area, they want to make sure that they don’t have tram lining; too much overlap from the last pass. There has to be some but you don’t want to have too much, and that is often difficult to control.
When you’re moving forward, the SPE machine allows you to a full visibility of what you’re blasting and your blast path. It allows you to control how much overlap you have to reduce the problems of tram lining altogether.
Another feature about blasting forward is that the control panel for the unit is in front of the operator. For that operator to be turned away from that just doesn’t make sense and also doesn’t give them full access to it.
Having the control panel in front of the operator as the operator moves forward not only reduces risk from backing up, trip hazards, those types of things; but it allows them full access and full control of their control panel; allowing them to control the shot, the speed, all of the things that impact the type of blast pattern that you’re going to get.
When you are going through your blast pattern, moving forward allows you to anticipate what is coming up and knowing when the end of your run is there. Then because the machines are designed in such a way that can turn tightly, all the operator needs to do is control the machine so that it turns on a dime. Their posture stays correct. Any possibility of hazards or tripping are removed just because of the natural nature of moving forward.
Moving forward also allows you the best possible body positioning. If you’re moving backwards, you’re often twisting and turning and looking around. Moving forward allows you to stay in one position. You have small movements, and you reduce the risk of any kind of twisting or turning on your body.