Like a finely tuned vehicle requires occasional care to maintain peak performance, and your vending machine is just such a vehicle! It is one which your vending business uses to prosper, thrive, and provide you with financial independence. Many people, even experienced vending operators, but especially new operators can overlook the importance of routine maintenance to insure they are getting the most out of their vending machine. With proper care a vending machine can earn profit well into a second decade, further increasing your return on investment.
Always be sure you turn off your machine before preforming maintenance on it!
Tip 1: Cleaning Vending Condenser Coil
Cleaning the condenser coil is vital to the lasting success of a vending machine, which along with a few precautions can insure that your machine vends cold product consistently. When placing a vending machine it is important to make sure that the vending machine is at least 4-6 inches away from the wall to assure proper ventilation for units that have a refrigeration system. It is recommended to clean it at least once a year, and possibly up to once every couple of months depending on the location. A factory location will naturally have more debris in the air than an office setting, and therefore require more attention. A small vacuum, a rag, or a can of compressed air like those used to cleaning technical components will go a long way to insuring that your vending machine goes the distance.
Tip 2: Clean Vending Machine Bill Acceptor
A vending machine bill acceptor functions essentially the same way no matter the model, but there are some variances. A sensor, or “eye” watches closely for when a bill is attempted to be put into the machine. Over long periods of time dust can again accumulate and prevent the machine from accepting bills, and cost you money. Every couple months wiping the sensors off will insure that your machine accepts bills, and not only makes your customer happy, but your wallet happy as well. Again the length of time between cleaning these sensors would depend on the location, as many locations have a wide variety of climates for a vending machine to function in.
Tip 3: Clean Exterior Of Your Vending Machine
Cleaning the exterior of your machine may seem like a no-brainer, but it is often overlooked in the daily routine because of its seemingly mundane importance compared to other tasks an operator may have. As an operator, you must consider that the exterior of your machine is your “hand-shake”. It is how people get a feel for which machine, given all other factors being equal (selection and price for example) , that they will choose. No matter how well a machine is cared for internally, if the external visage is not well-maintained you will lose sales. Depending on a location, a quick dusting once weekly and a monthly wiping with a wet rag or no-streak cleaning product will insure that even ten years down the road your vending machine shines with the luster it does now.
Tip 4: Always Have A Toolkit
Do not underestimate the value of preparedness in saving yourself headaches and lost business!
At the minimum we recommend:
- Small tool kit
- Screwdriver (philip and flat headed)
- Multi-bit screw driver
- Needled nose pliers
- Vice-grip pliers
- Volt meter or tester
- Surge protector
- Extension cord
- Cloth, sponge, bucket
- Brush, paint brush (to clean the cooling unit)
- Touch up paint – same color as machine
To combat a common catalyst for machine failure– vandalism; spare vend motors, a spare VMC (circuit board), and some other replacement parts can save money and critical time in case of a failure.
Tip 5: Over tightening The Beverage Door
Everyone wants to insure that their machine vends cold beverages, especially during the warm summer months. However, over tightening the beverage compartment door can damage the sealant used to keep the warm air out and the cold air in. These minute gaps will create a mixture of warm and cool air to combine and possibly produce condensation. Turn the locking handle until the gasket around the door is flush. Then turn the handle another half a turn to secure the connection to insure you do not over-tighten the door.