Industrial Floor Cleaners: 10 Things You Should Know Before Committing to Hire or Purchase
As a freight, logistics or warehouse manager, it’s plausible that you may encounter challenges that extend beyond those you have identified in your cleaning audit. Subsequently, you may have some grey areas in sourcing the right cleaning machines for your needs.
But don’t procrastinate! Here we offer advice regarding 10 things to consider before committing to an investment in an industrial floor cleaning machine.
1. What Are Your Specific Needs?
Although you may think it’s relatively easy to recognise when you have a problem, often you may not be conversant with the full extent of the business impact or the right type of floor cleaner you need for the job. For instance, you may recognise that you have dirty or marked floor but fail to connect the issue of dust settling on your merchandise.
Don’t risk getting stuck with a floor cleaning solution that isn’t fit for the intended purpose! An on-site assessment with a specialist expert can help you evaluate the determining factors in the decision making process. Such an approach will serve as your guide when matching a business cleaning need with an ideal floor sweeper or floor scrubber. Considerations may include:
- The floor type
- Aisle width
- Type of cleaning desired (i.e., Floor sweeping, smudges, spills, marks, debris, etc.)
- The scale of the cleanable floor space
- Prevalence of dirt, marks, spills and debris on the floor surface
- Workplace health and safety needs
- Noise volume
- Minimising emissions indoors
2. Machine Run Time
When considering the run time of your industrial floor cleaning equipment, you should reflect on more than just the battery life or fuel gauge (though both are important!).
How often will you need to refill the clean water tank of your scrubber, or empty the waste water tank? What is the volume of the waste hopper on your floor sweeper, versus the cleaning need. How long does it take to recharge the batteries, or refuel the machine?
These are all factors that need consideration when determining if the machine will run long enough to clean your entire floor space.
Nailing the handover from sales to service is made easier when you have formed a strong rapport with your supplier. Effective and timely communication, as well as a smooth delivery and operator training, ensures you get the maximum value from your investment in a floor cleaning machine.
It is also important to have reliable after-sale support. For this reason, you should enquire about the established assistance contact details and procedures, support and service timelines, and channels to raise any future concerns.
For any equipment purchase, it is important to reflect on the credibility of the supplier and the guarantees offered to help you achieve peace of mind in your investment.
You may wish to ascertain the length of the warranty, and what is and isn’t included. Does the warranty cover both the cost of parts and labour? What are the options in case of unexpected downtime? Are loan machines or short-term hire options available to help keep you operational in case of emergency breakdown? Do you have the option of upgrading or swapping hire equipment during the term, without penalty?
Some suppliers even offer a money-back guarantee, in the instance that your purchase doesn’t fulfill the intended purpose.
5. Optional Upgrades and Accessories That Cater to Specific Business Needs
Not all businesses are the same. And neither are their equipment needs.
Some floor cleaning equipment can be customised with optional attachments that fulfil a specific or unique need for your business.
Perhaps your company adheres to strict WHS protocols and requires additional safety attachments be fitted, such as seat belts of flashing beacons. Or, perhaps you need assistance with meeting the road registration requirements in your state.
Whatever the need, it’s always best to discuss with a specialist expert who can make recommendations regarding the right customisations for your business,
6. What Are the Purchase Options Available for Floor Cleaning Machines?
Determine the benefits that either long-term leasing or an outright purchase can afford you. Your preference will come down to considerations such as cash-flow management, and whether an upfront capital investment or smaller monthly payment plans work better for your business. Before entering an agreement, you should be sure to assess the hire term length and if there are any corresponding penalties or costs associated with early termination of the contract. For outright purchases, you will need to make an allowance for ongoing maintenance and repairs, or consider entering a service agreement.
7. What Maintenance Requirements Do Particular Floor Cleaning Machines Demand?
All floor cleaning equipment needs ongoing, daily maintenance and regular servicing to ensure optimal performance and avoid potentially costly emergency repairs. Ascertain the daily maintenance requirements and recommended frequency of servicing by a trained technician, plus the associated downtime and costs. Keep in mind, that the responsibility and ongoing costs may vary depending if you purchase your floor cleaner or enter a long-term rental agreement.
8. Training Support – now and ongoing
For the safety of both the operators and the machine, as well as ensuring optimal cleaning results are achieved, you will need to consider training needs.
Ask about the availability of training and re-training of your operators, and any support materials that may be available such as training videos, daily maintenance charts and checklists.
Some hi-tech scrubbing machines even feature built-in training videos and instructions, accessible from the LCD touch-screen control display.
9. Emergency Back-Up
Don’t leave anything to chance! Ask your supplier about the availability of loan machines or short-term short-term hire plans to get you out of a tricky spot in an emergency.
10. Spare Parts and Consumables
You will want to have assurance that you will have ongoing access to spare parts and consumables suited to your machine.
Always purchase from a reputable supplier. You may also wish to clarify the availability of locally held stock, and lead times on globally sourced items.
With so many considerations, it’s always best to consult with a specialist expert to guide you through the decision making process.