This section will give you an idea of the procedure to follow for your first few rentals until you find out what works best for you.
Know Where You are Going
Have a good map and/or print one off the Internet. Ask the homeowner/event coordinator to confirm the directions ahead of time. It can be extremely frustrating to be roaming around an area, unable to find the location. A cell phone is a good investment as you can call the event coordinator if you get lost.
Sounds basic, but you never know what to expect when you get there and you are likely to be dealing with stressed out parents. You will be sure that you don't intrude on their event and they will be pleased to have something to keep the kids busy.
Meet the Event Coordinator
Introduce yourself to the event coordinator (parent) and ask where they would like for you to set up. Never assume where they want the unit to go and just start setting up unless you already have clear instructions on their reservation form. You may want to ask for payment at this time.
Inspect the Location
Inspect the location for slope, overhanging branches, phone lines, rocks, roots, or other conditions that may be unsafe or cause damage to your unit. Be firm with the event coordinator if another location is needed- you are responsible not only for the unit but any injuries that may result from improper setup.
If the location is unsuitable, it is better to stress safety issues to the event coordinator than possible damage issues. You need to get them to agree to move the unit to a more suitable location. They may be disappointed and try to convince to you set up in their chosen location because another one will conflict with their plans. Keep in mind that insurance claims can be expensive and repairs to your unit are too and stand your ground as nicely as possible. Explain to them that safety comes first with your company.
Check for rocks, sticks, and sharp roots. Ask about irrigation systems before you start pounding your stakes into the ground! Whenever possible, you want to set up on grass so that you can secure the unit more firmly.
It is very important to make sure that you use a tarp to cut down on the wear and scuffs on the bottom of your unit. If you (or your staff) are not attending the rental, stress to the responsible adult the importance of checking the unit every so often to make sure it stays on the tarp.
You may want to put an extra rope on each corner and leave it loose so that you or the responsible adult can use it to pull the unit back into place.
In general, sloping ground and moonwalks are a bad combination. A slight slope should not cause a problem if you add extra stakes to the uphill side of the unit. You may also want to tie the unit to a tree or other fixture. Do not ever secure a unit to a car or other vehicle. If the slope is too steep, you will need to help the event coordinator find another location or cancel the rental. It is a good idea to ask about these conditions during the reservation process.
Before you start unloading, ask for and locate the nearest electrical outlet. Try to stay within 50 feet. If you have to use more extension cord to keep the cord out of the way of traffic, then do it. You don't want someone tripping over the cord and possibly getting hurt or causing the unit to deflate.
A nice tool to have in your kit is a plug tester to make sure the outlet is working. These are inexpensive and can be found at any hardware store or home improvement store. Many outdoor outlets do not work properly and it is better to know this before you are ready to inflate the unit!
You can also find heavy duty extension cords that have an LED light in the plug that will let you know whether the outlet is working or not.
Setup and Inspect
See the Moonwalk Set Up
page for details on setting up your unit. Once the unit is inflated, have the event coordinator walk around the unit with you and sign off that the unit is in acceptable condition.
Training and Safety
If you are leaving the unit with the event coordinator, take some time to review safety procedures. Review the safety sign and any written procedures you have for them. Walk them around the unit and point out the stakes or sandbags and let them know the blower must be turned on for the unit to stay inflated. Show them how to re-tighten the straps on the blower and ask them to check every so often during heavy use. Don't assume they know anything- it is better to tell them too much than too little.Review rain or wind procedures if there is a possibility of bad weather. Stress the imporatnce of proper adult supervision at all times. Always ask if they have any questions.
Remember that the event coordinator is likely to be stressed out. If they snap or seem unfriendly, they are likely to be all smiles when you come back for the unit- after the party is over. Make sure the unit is clean and clean again if the event coordinator asks.
Make sure to discuss pickup times in case anything has changed since the reservation was made. Often, if you return at the exact time a pickup is scheduled, you may find there is no place to park and you have to walk around guests to get your work done. If you do not have a scheduling problem, give everyone about 30 minutes to clear out and your work will be easier.
See the Moonwalk Take Down
section for a detailed look at rolling up a moonwalk unit.