By Jeff Cross

When you think of the vast selection of cleaning equipment and tools for all your needs, the list of options is staggering.

And innovation is happening. Improvements with cleaning technology makes your work more productive and profitable — and, hopefully, less stressful.

What can assist in your selection process is what others have already learned, through experience or trial and error. What you can learn from industry manufacturers, consultants, and end users is some valuable information and experiences that can provide guidance in what you might use in your day-to-day work.

Read on and see if the tools and equipment choices, or even some of the upgrades or improvements to what you already use, make sense for your growing cleaning company.

Truckmount and carpet care innovation

HydraMaster

Innovation with truckmounts may not appear to have changed very much over the years, but innovation is obvious with a closer examination, according to Doyle Bloss, the marketing and brand manager for HydraMaster.

“Truckmounts have had the same basic components for years: A power source, a solution pressure pump, a positive displacement vacuum blower for water recovery, and a heating system,” Bloss says. But change has happened, and veteran cleaners know it because they have lived it.

A few major improvements he cites include multi-source heat exchangers that utilize existing heat sources from the engine, blower-replaced fuel oil, and propane heating systems. Then there are direct-drive truckmounts, which derive their power source from the engine of the van, that have become a popular choice for fleet operators and restoration companies. And recovery tanks redesigned to allow for more airflow and better solution recovery have helped productivity, Bloss adds.

Most recently, Bloss says, his company has rolled out hybrid, generator-based power in a direct-drive truckmount, which has allowed cleaning and restoration companies to take advantage of direct-drive performance in a newer unibody construction style van.

“What drove these improvements and will demand future innovation?” Bloss asks. “It was the evolving needs of the cleaning and restoration contractor. Emissions and fuel consumption regulation. Diversification of surfaces to be cleaned. The ability to recover cleaning solution and captured soling.”

Continuous improvement may be a ‘business buzzword,’ but in the case of truckmounted cleaning equipment, it is happening, Bloss says.

Legend Brands

State and federal emission regulation changes for industrial engines have had a significant impact on the truckmount industry, according to Glen Wilson, vice president and general manager of Legend Brands Cleaning Products.

Because of this, he adds, “Legend Brands engineers work to develop new models that not only exceed current regulations, but also meet requirements for three, five, and even 10 years from now so that replacement components will be readily available when it comes time to maintain or replace.”

The company evaluates new power trains and components continuously so that if regulation forces changes, they are ready to respond. “Advanced engine control modules (ECMs) and fuel injection systems add a layer of complexity to truckmount design,” Wilson says. Legend Brands research and development engineering evaluates, tests, and even purposely tries to destroy engines to make sure they meet both government emission standards and the company’s own standards.

“We incorporate design and technologies that reduce component heat-related issues and implemented the first truckmount belt cooler to reduce heat buildup and extend the life of drive belts by hundreds of operating hours,” Wilson explains.

Have you ever been inside a van or truck after running a truckmount in the summer? Legend Brands has a piece of the puzzle to help operators cope. “Now Cerakote ceramic coating on exhaust chain parts, starting with the 2018 370SS, Apex 570, and Peak 500, and soon on other truckmounts, lowers the heat radiation from exhaust components by more than 30 percent,” Wilson boasts. “That reduces component fatigue and promises a longer life for truckmounts — and a cooler van interior.” 

My Favorite Toys

Pros like you share what they value most with innovation.

  • “I can’t imagine cleaning carpet without being able to use counter rotating brush machines instead of the old-fashioned carpet rakes to agitate prespray.” — Andy Baylor
  • “There should never be another wand or other tool designed that doesn’t have a sight glass/window on it. You need to be able to see what is being extracted like you need a windshield on your car to see where you’re going.” — Dan Burg
  • “We definitely have better technology. I get carpet dry with HWE in 30 minutes or less; these tools make everything more efficient, but the human element and science of cleaning still needs to be understood.” — Ken Jordan
  • “Wastewater prefilters. Makes waste tank maintenance far less nasty.” — James Copeland
  • “Remember the day when you had to work at pushing the wand? Wand glides saved me and my back. I can’t live without them now.” — Kevin Moore
  • “My favorite can’t-live-without gadget is the navigation unit. First was the Garmin, and now the navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze synced with your calendar allow you to actually see the house or business you are traveling to as well as traffic tie-ups and alternate routes.” — Art Kelley
  • “The hands-down, best-thing-ever for us old guys is the electric hose reel. At the end of every job, I say a little prayer of thanks that I don’t have to wind up that hose by hand.” — Barry Lichtenstein