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In The Know

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Have you known someone that purchased the wrong type of equipment? Maybe that forklift you bought needed to be 5,000-lb. lift instead of 4,000 lb. Or that box truck you put in your fleet was 24 feet long and 18 feet was all that was needed. That extra 6 feet in length cost money that could have been used, perhaps, in a different area of your business. So, it is extremely important that the correct products are purchased matches the needs of the user. One could argue that this is true with all equipment, may it be forklifts, box trucks, computers and, yes, even that sweeper or scrubber. Being in the field for many years, there has been a wide range of horror stories I have witnessed.

Some of the more notable memories are:

  1. #1. Buying and cleaning with a sweeper/scrubber only to find out a sweeper was all that was needed. To solve this, I have seen the user actually torching all the scrubbing components underneath the machine off. A sweeper/scrubber can easily cost as much as $15,000.00 more than just a sweeper alone. That money is gone!
  2. How about purchasing a sweeper “sight unseen” at an on-line auction. This sweeper was to be used indoors. He was so happy when he won the bid. The problem: it was diesel! He was not aware that sweepers had diesel engines.
  3. Or how about the used scrubber that was a steal. Of course it was until detergent is put in the solution tank only to find out the tank had thousands of little pin holes. The holes were a result of harsh chemicals, eating away the steel.
  4. Or being the guy that buys the machine I mentioned in the #1 example. A sweeper/scrubber only to find out that all of the scrubbing components were torched off the equipment and you really only have a sweeper.

One thing I know in all four instances has in common. They are all true and really happened. They happened because people didn’t have the time or inclination to take the time to understand their own cleaning circumstances.

Purchasing new cleaning equipment is just as important to understand what it is you really require. Think about this, for instance, as an example. Your company has 54” wide isles. You have the choice of a 28” or 32” wide scrubber. Which one would you buy? The 28”, of course. With either machine, it will take 2 passes to scrub that isle. The 32” being 4” wider, which means 4” of increased cost that is unnecessary. Because it is true that a 32” machine does cost more than a 28” machine. The scrubbing brushes, as well, cost more. These are real costs that can be avoided.

It is also true that scrubbing a factory consist of 80-90% labor cost alone. So, there is another factor one may look at. That 54” wide isle you are scrubbing, we know now to purchase a 28” machine. However, if the factory is a very large one, you would want to look at a 28” rider scrubber instead of walk-behind. Yes, the initial machine cost will be more for the rider than a walk-behind, but that 80-90% labor cost will be greatly reduced.

Options can be another way to save labor cost such as a solution recycling on the scrubber. You can save another 20% labor using this option.

Listed below are some of the items that anyone should address in their hunt for the perfect machine situation.

Defining your dirt

  1. What does clean mean to you? Examples are some floors needed to be kept spotless (food processing) and other floors are debris-free (a lumber company).
  2. The size of your dirt or debris.
  3. The amount of dirt or debris.
  4. The type of dirt or debris. Examples can be like paper, sawdust, oil, dry or wet, etc.

Making your choice

  1. Sweep or Scrub
  2. Walk-Behind or Rider
  3. Electric or LPG
  4. Sweeper or Scrubber Machine Sizing.

So, I hope you can use this insight in your next purchase. Contact your local sweeper scrubber guy and they should sit down with you to discuss the choices previously mentioned.

The equipment is out there to satisfy any need. Finding it is your task.

Thanks for reading my monthly articles. I hope these series give you the insight into the world of sweeper/scrubbers. If you want to contact me about anything, feel free to e-mail me at mikec98423@yahoo.com or call at 800/346-2319.

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