GOBAGGER Frequently Asked Questions:
1) How does it work with wet sand/dry sand? Please get a hose to try it wet! It works equally well with wet or dry sand, doesn't matter. Since a little sticks to the sides, you need to whack it every now and then to loosen material that sticks.
2) What about your back? Won't it hurt your back? There is a reason that crews filling sand bags are often young. This is hard work! improper technique, as with any lifting, will strain your back, whether with a shovel or the GoBagger. Proper technique includes stretching before, after and frequently during a session of bag-filling, ("Gobagging"), more important is use of the legs by bending knees, going to one knee or to your knees when necessary. With proper body mechanics, back strain is minimized or eliminated.
3) What about fatigue over time? Aren't you going to wear people out with 'one-person sandbag filling'? Again, this is hard work, no matter how you slice it. Fatigue depends on pace, effort, prior conditioning and efficiency of motion. Once more, proper technique and individual experience will help develop peak efficiency and maximum production with less effort and hence less fatigue. The big advantage here is to get more bags filled in less time with fewer people and fewer injuries. That's the GoBagger advantage.
4) What do you do when no loose fill is available, like on a levee patrol spotting a boil? We do not advocate replacing your shovel with this product! For many situations, however, the GoBagger can be used for scraping up loose, wet material off of a levee shoulder to quickly fill some bags and get them in place while help is on the way. If you stand down hill or drop to your knees, back strain is minimized. Another option is that one person on a patrol can be scraping up loose material while another bags it. Whatever is faster! The product has been shown to be quite versatile. Individual experience will vary in any given situation.
5) How long will the GoBagger last? The material we use (LLDPE - Linear Low-Density PolyEthylene) is practically as tough as plastic gets -- used for municipal garbage cans, etc. The material does abrade and will wear out with heavy usage over time. The product is brand new.... We have a test unit that has done at least a thousand bags and is barely worn. We will keep testing it, perhaps 10-15-20,000 bags or more! We'll keep you posted.
6) If prison labor is doing the work at $1per hour, why do we care about more or less people bagging? Bear in mind that the Correctional Officers (CO's) watching them are considerably more expensive and need to be present in a certain ratio. If a crew of 5 can do the work of ten, or ten of twenty, then that is half the cost to the taxpayers. That does matter, and we should care. More people means more to manage and more confusion. Less people means more efficient, less management and significant cost savings. Remember also that more bags produced in less time can mean saving thousands or millions in potential property damage and possibly save lives. Even if people are volunteers, the GoBagger can make a huge difference.
7) What about your price? We could buy two or three cheap shovels for one of your units? Price of the unit does not matter if it saves time, per the previous question and answer. Time is money, and in an emergency, saving time means saving lives, saving potential millions in property damage. What good do six or seven shovels do for one guy who needs to bag sand? The price of the product reflects its quality and its value. We think you'll find it's a bargain.
8) What if product is in storage for years and years? Will it still be good to go? As long as the storage temperature is between -40 and +250 F and out of any UV light (sun or fluorescent), there should not be a problem. Our limited lifetime warrantee covers any defects due to manufacturing. We replace for free if you send the defective unit to us. A prudent facility/agency would inspect all equipment annually in the preseason to check for conditions that would render a product unusable. Contact us for replacement of worn or broken/damaged units and ask about our recycling/rebate program.
9) We use these larger burlap bags, will it work with them? What about if all we have to use are those little poly bags or the puny Army Corps surplus burlap, or maybe those huge grain sacks? One of the beauties of the GoBagger is that it works with any size bag, from the smallest burlap or poly to a huge grain bag. Technique is simple, for the small bags, just fold your fingers under and into the grip slot. For larger bags where there is slack, take up the excess with your hand to tighten around the chute, then twist and slide hand into grip slot and go! It is simple, easy, safe, fast!
10) Have you thought about adding a strap, like the kind firemen use to support a firehose? What about a cap on the end so you could carry stuff? We are currently completing design and development of our Strap and Cap accessories. The strap allows two positions, one as a hands-free behind the back carrying pack, where the GoBagger's curve fits comfortably against the body. In this position, the cap allows the GoBagger to be used as a pack where contents won't fall out. Additionally, with the cap securely in place, the unit can be used for transporting materials, or for baling out water, etc. In the bagging position, the wide, padded shoulder strap allows two hands to grasp the bag if necessary, provides fatigue relief for supporting the unit, encourages use of the legs, and has a unique elastic recoil action that actually "energizes" the bagging motion. When the cap is not in use, it stores securely up and out of the way inside the unit. These accessories complete the GoBagger System, for the really serious flood fighters who have to bag for hours at a time or for conservation work in the back country where the packing feature is advantageous.