Using a truckmount is the best way to get carpets really clean as well as reduce time spent on the job. Today, the immense labor saving benefits are no longer limited to the largest building service contractors. Even a single-person operator can cost-effectively make one part of his commercial carpet cleaning business. Trouble is, these machines are complex and come in all shapes and sizes. So how do you choose the right one for your business?
Slide-in vs. Direct Drives
For starters, you need to decide what type of truck mount you want. Truckmounts are available as either slide-ins or direct drives. Slide-in machines basically “slide” into the back of a van or box truck and are powered by their own engines. In contrast, direct drives are attached to a van's drive train in order to use the vehicle's motor for heat and power.
If you don’t have a lot of startup money, a slide-in truckmount will let you take advantage of installation in an older, lower-cost vehicle. Should your vehicle break down or you want to upgrade your van later, a slide-in also can more easily be moved since they are only bolted to the floor.
Direct drives on the other hand tap a van’s engine for power and heat via a clutch system attached to the vehicle’s drive train. With no engine to wear and tear, they require much less maintenance and offer the highest reliability and longevity. Direct drives take up less cargo space than slide-ins, too, leaving more room for additional equipment. You will, however, need to figure in the additional cost of a new van with a direct drive unit.
Perhaps the most significant benefit to cleaning with a truckmount vs. a portable is the high water temperatures truckmounts can sustain. The hotter the water the better and faster results you’ll get from your cleaning chemicals. Some portables have tried to add heaters, but just can’t compete.
If, on the other hand, you’re comparing solution temperatures on competing truckmounts, you should know that it’s not good to rely on the temperature gauge of every machine out there. For instance, if a temperature gauge sending unit is located on or near the heat exchanger, you’ll see artificially elevated temps. Some machines also raise temps by restricting water flow. That’s not good because fewer gallons per minute mean less effective cleaning.
Another thing you’ll want to look for is sustained heat. Many machines out there reach temps of 230 degrees to 250 degrees, but during a typical cleaning cycle (or if a rotary tool is used), the actual temp drops drastically and can take too much time to recover—that causes carpet streaking. HydraMaster truckmounts are designed to maintain precise temperature control with minimal variation, so you're assured optimal sustained heat at all times.
Truckmounts enable operators to clean several hundred feet from their vehicle with minimal loss of power though the use positive displacement vacuum pumps. Recently, manufacturers have begun touting their vacuum performance by focusing solely on the air velocity (expressed as CFM or cubic feet per minute) rather than the amount of lift shown on the gauge. High performance truckmounts should be capable of moving at least 290 CFM and larger units as much as 700 CFM.
While air movement is important, buyers should realize, however, that vacuum science is very complex. You can’t really judge a machine by CFM alone. Gains in CFM cause losses in lift and vice versa. Every system also has restrictions that cause friction which further reduces airflow. One thing you can count on is that HydraMaster has a deep understanding of vacuum science and designs all its systems to provide optimal water recovery.
Quality and service
When purchasing a truckmount, there are several other factors to consider as well. Is your machine designed for easy upkeep? Are you getting the best warranty in the business? Will there be enough local distributors and trained technicians to keep you up and running should you need parts and service? With HydraMaster, you know you’re covered. Discover the best of the best in truckmounts today. And work smarter.