Setting up for Spray-on Bedliners

With profit margins often ranging from 150 to 250 percent over product cost, and the consumer interest steadily growing each year, the spray-on bed protection market offers restylers an attractive way to create an additional profit center. Add to that a number of advances in product technology that are making it far simpler for accessories centers to quickly integrate spray-on capabilities into their existing business, and this restyling fruit seems ripe for the picking.

Seven tips

01 Focus on Overall Organization – When initiating that setup, manufactures can play a vital role in guiding the newbie to the spray-on bedliner market, says Christa Martin, technical manager for San Diego, Calif.-based Rhino Linings USA Inc. Ultimately, an efficient setup provides an opportunity to ensure that a shop is known from the beginning to be a reputable and reliable installer, says Kevin Dunn, technical director for Volatile Free, Brookfield, Wis. And beyond eliminating mistakes, having a well organized setup allows a shop to quickly move customers through the process, says Gary Froese, president and CEO of Springfield, Mo. based Armor Thane USA.

02 Create Dedicated Staging Areas – Because the process of creating spray-on bedliners is one that involves reactive chemistry and is inherently messy, sources suggest shops dedicate separate areas for prep work and application. While each manufacturer’s product is slightly different and thus requires slightly different application areas, Rhino Linings suggests that new shops utilize between 1,400 and 2,000 square feet of workspace for installations.

03 Minimize Moisture - We continue to see a lot of people that have inadequate air delivery and poor quality of air delivery, and by that I mean a lot of moisture in the air lines, says Robert Hensley, division manager for Zolatone Automotive, Industrial & Marine, Los Angeles , manufacturer of Tuff Rider Urethane Liners. According to Ehren Klein of Pinnacle West Enterprises/ Indy Liners, Sumas Wash. , most manufacturers will have minimum compressor requirements for their spray system.

04 Ensure Proper Ventilation - Isocyanates have been a part of the automotive industry for many years. They are common in the urethane clear coats applied to vehicle paint jobs, and are also present in the catalyst that cures the urethane in spray-on bedliners.

05 Utilize Proper Safety Equipment - With the inherent risks involved with the application of spray-on bedliners, proper safety equipment, including a head covering, face shield, paper spray suit, fresh air supply and protective gloves, is an essential part of any spray shop setup. According to Rhino Linings’ Martin, if adequate safety precautions are taken, the process isn’t normally dangerous to personal health.

06 Tips for Easy Cleanup - While the process of applying spray-on bedliners is inherently messy due to the nature of the applications, a few simple steps will save a shop valuable time during the cleaning process at the end of each day. Many equipment manufacturers now offer guns with disposable mixing tubes and spray tips for easy cleanup.

07 Know Your Local Spray Ordinance - As with any business dealing with potentially dangerous isocyanates, installers of spray-on bedliners should be acutely aware of local, state and national regulations pertaining to the industry when setting up a shop to perform installations. Everyone needs to be aware of regulatory information, whether you’re doing chemistry or paint or bedliners, says Rhino Linings’ Martin. There are two main concerns that shops should be conscious of in regards to spray-on bedliners. The first is local fire marshal regulations, and the second is national OSHA Permissible Emission Limits, or PEL limits for Isocyanates.

Copyright 2005 National Business Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This article was written by Jake Rishavy and published in the March 2005 edition of Restyling Magazine. Above are some of the highlights found in the article. The complete article can be read by clicking here. The article is in PDF format and will require Adobe Acrobat to view. You can download the latest free version by clicking here. You can find more information about Restyling Magazine by visiting their website at