There is a misperception in the industry that pressing pipe is best suited for large contractors.
The thinking is that because pressing tools are expensive, only a larger contractor with multiple crews and trucks will realize a return on investment.
Not true, according to Eric Aune, owner of Aune Plumbing & Heating in Zimmerman, Minn., co-owner of Mechanical Hub and host of the “Make Trades Great Again” podcast.
Aune is a one-man operation specializing in residential maintenance and repair with occasional forays into light commercial and new construction. He was an early adopter of press technology and uses it almost exclusively for joining copper pipe and about half the time for carbon steel pipe.
Pressing is key to profitability at his company, he said. By using press to shorten the time for water heater installations and other jobs, Aune can take on more work and is able to respond to emergency calls faster. That’s crucial to remaining competitive, he said.
“People don’t want to wait. Today, people call and if you can’t get there right away, they’re going to call someone else,” he said.
Getting jobs done faster also means happier customers because they don’t have to take as much time off work and their schedules aren’t as disrupted, Aune said. And happier customers are more likely to become loyal customers.
Pressing reliability also means Aune doesn’t lose time to callbacks.
“Over the years, I’ve realized pressing is highly dependable technology. I know that if I install it correctly it’s going to last forever.”
As for the cost, while a pressing tool is more expensive than a cordless drill or impact driver, it lasts a long time and improves operational efficiency every time it’s used. And Viega’s new Pressgun 6 and Pressgun Picco 6 make it more affordable than ever to get a basic tool and start pressing.
Lastly, with less equipment to lug back and forth from the truck and up and down stairs, pressing saves wear-and-tear on the body.
Those are all the reasons why Aune recommends to fellow small operators they invest in a pressing tool and make the switch.
“As soon as you press on that trigger it’s going to start paying you back,” he said.