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Do You Need a Walk-Behind or Ride-on Machine?

When you are looking at a walk-behind scrubber vs a ride-on scrubber it may not look like a big difference at first. Quite often, a good portion of many facilities’ cleaning budgets is in labor. In larger areas, a ride-on sweeper would be superior because it not only decreases the time it takes to clean the area but also decreases your labor costs.

Walk-behind floor cleaning equipment is typically best suited for cleaning smaller areas or facilities, especially those that may be difficult to maneuver with bulkier equipment. The price is also less than ride-on equipment, but that should not be the first — and definitely not the only — reason to purchase.

Using a walk-behind sweeper on a larger area will shorten the life of the equipment, and you won’t see the long-term impact of labor savings. A walk-behind also requires a certain amount of physical exertion which is also difficult to sustain over a larger cleaning surface. Ride-on machines are faster and therefore better for larger areas.

Take the time to assess the area to be cleaned and note any special needs you might have regarding how that space can best be cleaned.

Choosing the Right Machine for the Job

There are many factors that should be considered when choosing the right industrial floor cleaning equipment for the job. You may have other needs than those listed here that strongly influence your buying decision, but what we’ve listed here are areas that most people use to guide their floor cleaning machine choices.

  • Sweep or Scrub? This is the first consideration you need to make as you approach your purchase of a cleaner. Look at what is being cleaned. If you are dealing with light, bulky debris or heavy or wet debris, a sweeper may be the best choice. Fine dust or dirt like what is brought in by foot traffic, floor marks or grease is likely best handled with a combination sweeper-scrubber.  Combination sweeper scrubbers save you money on machinery with their two-in-one systems.
  • Size of the space to be cleaned. Look at the total square footage of the area to be cleaned. It is probably more cost-effective and efficient to clean larger areas with a ride-on machine while smaller areas may be better served with a walk-behind.
  • Cleaning path sizes. Assess key areas like the width of the narrowest aisle, if any of the aisles are a dead end (meaning the machine has to turn around), and the narrowest area (such as a doorway) that the machine needs to pass through for cleaning or for dumping.
  • Type of floor surface. With scrubbers and sweepers, you can choose the type of brushes to use. This means you have to consider your floor surface and the soils to be removed. Are you mainly dealing with a finer dust? Then you want a Nylon or Polyester brush. Heavier soils or debris may call for a wire reinforced broom. A squeegee blade that is at least 95% pure natural rubber is good on rough and uneven floors. A a gum rubber squeegee is better for finished, smoother surfaces.
  • Labor rate vs Machine cost. Based on the labor savings that are typically achieved by switching to efficient cleaning equipment, most facilities see a quick return on their investment. This helps to determine the best machine for your facility and factors it into your cleaning budget.
  • Maintenance. Any equipment requires maintenance to keep it working efficiently and effectively. It is best to assign upkeep and maintenance of the equipment to a single person. Or consider a service agreement to ensure it stays in peak condition and any issues are identified and fixed quickly.

Finding the right machine for the job is important. Trust Burns Industrial Equipment to assist you in finding the right piece of equipment to serve your needs and keep you under budget. We carry both Factory Cat and Tennant industrial floor cleaning equipment. These brands deliver the most cost-effective floor cleaning equipment with features that can boost your business to maximum productivity.

 Article provided by Tennant Company

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