Eric Brindza found Jason Paquin’s plans of how to build a paint cart and modified them. Now he’s got an accessory which is more an ice-building skid than a paint cart for his utility vehicle. And get this: it’s cutting his event-to-hockey conversion time in half…
Jason Paquin’s Build-Your-Own Paint Cart Plans
I was talking to Jason Paquin a couple of weeks back and he asked if I had heard anything from a guy in Arizona. Now if you’ve read my posts before, you’ve probably read about Jason — as he is often a source of story ideas and inspiration! Jason is the GM of the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn, ME. Back in 2016, he shared with me (and I shared with you) his plans for how he built his own paint cart, and Jason was pretty sure that “that guy in Arizona” took his lead and decided to build his own.
That guy, as it turns out, is Eric Brindza who is the Project Coordinator/Ice Tech Supervisor for the 8,962 seat Tuscon Convention Center in Tuscon, AZ. I found him through a comment he’d left on The Hockey Mom article I’d originally posted about Jason’s paint cart build — which I subsequently republished here on Re-Surfacing. I immediately sent Eric an email and about an hour later, he sent me pictures of what he did and a couple of minutes after that, I had him on the phone.
Eric tells me that he’d been at a trade show and seen some paint carts for sale and he loved what he saw. He knew that having one in his arsenal of equipment would speed up his event-to-hockey conversions when he needed to swap his floor from entertainment back to ice, which he needs to do all the time. The Tuscon Convention Center is the largest entertainment facility in that southern Arizona city — and the only facility that offers indoor ice — and conversions took around 4 days.
Speeding Up Event-to-Hockey Conversions
The only problem with the commercial paint cart was the price.
“Some of these paint carts are selling for over $25,000,” he tells me. “I didn’t want to pay that. So I started searching online and came across Jason’s paint cart on a site called “The Hockey Mom“!” (That made me glow with pride!)
“If I could do something like that, that’s exactly what I want to make.”
The Tuscon Convention Center already had a utility vehicle that could be used, but because their John Deere Gator is needed for other purposes, the paint cart that Eric was about to build needed to be an add-on. So Eric set about constructing a skid that is fork-lifted into place whenever the paint cart is needed for the ice.
A Paint Cart, yes, but an Ice Builder too!
The other important bit in all of this is that although it’s called a paint cart, Eric uses it more often as an ice-building tool to get his ice back up to the levels he needs for hockey.
“The Zamboni is good for flooding, but the paint cart sprays the water out. We drop the ice down to 13F and start our spraying, using the same pattern as our resurfacer. By the time we’re finished one round, the ice is already dry so we can start again. That lets us build up the ice quickly.”
Costs, Manpower Savings — and More Hockey, Faster
I ask Eric what it cost him to build his skid and he estimates it cost about $1,200. “The biggest cost was for the tank and for the shipping,” he says, referring to the 125 gallon tank that holds both the paint and the water.
I ask him what kind of savings he’s seeing.
“It used to take a team of 10-12 to make the ice and now we do it with a team of three – two on the ice and one preparing the paint. And converting the arena from event back to hockey is taking us two days instead of four.”
I ask him what that means to the Convention Center. “It means we have more ice time for hockey.”