Tips for Buying Your Next CCTV Inspection Van

Need help shopping for a CCTV inspection van for your municipality? Look no further.
Tips for Buying Your Next CCTV Inspection Van
Jim Aanderud

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Shopping for a new CCTV inspection van can be overwhelming. With so many pipeline inspection equipment manufacturers, narrowing down the search to just one can be a challenge. 

Keep in mind that manufacturers have sales representatives who will come out and demonstrate their equipment. They will explain the features and benefits of the equipment. But at the end of the day, the choice can still be confusing because each brand offers a range of options. 

The right CCTV inspection van for one municipality may not be the right choice for your utility. It’s important to identify what you need and to understand how inspection equipment differs among manufacturers. 

Long-term relationship

The major difference among manufacturers, and in my opinion the most important, is the service they provide. Buying an inspection van isn’t like buying a car. There are hundreds of places you can take your personal vehicle to be repaired, but service options for CCTV vans are usually limited to manufacturers and distributors. And contact with the car manufacturer normally ceases once you drive it off the lot. 

This is not the case with CCTV inspection vans. You enter into a long-term relationship with the manufacturer, and in most cases the distributor, too. Pipeline inspection equipment needs regular service; equipment will break down whether it’s new or old. You are operating sensitive — and expensive — electronic equipment that is being introduced into a very hostile environment. In addition, you entrust equipment to employees who may not treat it as carefully as they should. 

Service comes first

Your relationship with the manufacturer and distributor can dictate the success or failure of your pipeline inspection program. Service is a crucial part of the purchasing process so make sure to ask the right questions before buying a CCTV inspection van. 

Ask the manufacturer or distributor these questions:

  • Where is the repair facility located?
  • What repairs can the local distributor make? At what point does equipment need to be shipped to the manufacturer?
  • What is the expected turnaround time for repairs?
  • If the repair is going to take awhile, are loaners available so crews can keep working? 

Waiting a week or more for equipment to be returned after it’s shipped across the country for a repair is unacceptable. You need a quick turnaround time to get your crews back to work. You should be assured that equipment will be serviced as quickly and efficiently as possible with minimal downtime. 

The above questions should be answered before purchasing any equipment. Once you own it, the service options are limited. Make sure the service agreement you are entering into is acceptable and agreed to in writing.

Check out some CCTV inspection products to pack inside your new service van: www.mswmag.com/editorial/2012/07/pipeline_inspection_surveying_and_mapping1

About the Author
Jim Aanderud is owner of Innerline Engineering, a video pipeline inspection company based in Corona, Calif.



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