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Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace....
#1
Well, after a long, long decision process I have decided to shake things up a bit. I'm planning on adding a small hybrid/modular HWE system to the business. This is not an abandonment of VLM at all. I love OP cleaning.

Primarily it's for the purpose of doing tile and grout and some carpet when needed (resi customers that won't convert, some restaurant carpet, etc.).

In short we'll be using a Water Hog (150psi - 1000psi) pressure washer, an Air Hog (single cord/dual stage motor) vac booster with auto pump out. More than likely a Little Giant propane heater as well.

Basically a water line will run from the spigot to the van where the Water Hog and LG heater will sit. A solution line from the heater will run to the wand. The vac hose will run from the wand to the Air Hog and dump in the nearest drain or toilet.

I've seen other guys build these contraptions before and they look like nightmares, but this will only use two cords and in theory seems like a simple set-up. I really hope so at least.

The next step is to decide if I need to get a bigger van. I use a Dodge C/V and get about 19 - 20 mpg and love it.

Anyway, let me know what you guys think. Crazy? Waste of time? Great idea? The experience most of you have trumps mine ten fold.

Your feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

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#2
Ive beat this one up pretty well too. Would your system accomplish the task - Yes, but. My biggest concern for you is what happens to the water hog when its not pumping water through your wand or spinner, ie when its running and your off the trigger. I dont see how this bypasses the water. Even pumps that bypass water through the small circular loops, around the pump, are not meant to do that long. Pumps are best pumping. When in bypass the water heats up and burns out your pump. Usually they say systems like this you dont want to be off the trigger for more than a couple minutes b/c of pump problems. A steady diet of it sitting idle, and/or on and off the trigger, could result in pump failure. I dont know how much it would cost to rebuild this pump or when it may go out for you, but rebuilding a pump between labor and parts can sometimes cost as much as a new one.

Options may include bypassing the water to the ground when your not on the trigger which keeps your pump pumping. This could be a little longer hose and get it into their yard or wherever you would like.

Another option is rigging up a small, 5-25 gallon tank, for the pump to circulate water through when your not on the trigger. This tank would need to be your source and dump tank. Source tank w/ automatic shut off for filling. Circulating tank when your not on the trigger keeping the pump pumping. A potential problem of this option is that the water hog has the ability to pump its own feed water from the static tank b/c its not longer getting fed from the garden hose, with pressure, on the feed side.
I have set up this option w/ gas powered pressure washers for these purposes. Some P/W can feed their own water supply as long as the inlet hose is large enough and you have flow through the inlet naturally, which means your constant water level is somewhat elevated.

Another option (My personal pick b/c its more simple): Get a decent portable w/ pump out and enough pressure to do tile. 800 psi is adequate. I would toss out the heater and just use hot tap water. Substitute agitation in place of high heat with a rotary, OP, or by hand with brushes. I feel you would get just as good of results.
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#3
The way I am thinking of accomplishing this is to get a small portable. I have never had one, or done tile cleaning with this method, but my in my research I like the Cross American Cub. Small, light in weight, but with enough power.
I would use this in conjunction with a tool like the Turboforce Raptor. Basically a pressure wand that also extracts to your vac source. If you dont need high heat b/c your agitating (OP, Rotary, or hand brushes) you just need to rinse and dry.
You can add auto fill and pump out to your extractor, like the cub,
if you like. I have talked with Ed from Cross American about this.
Now you can clean tile, upholstery, carpet, and have a portable small enough to do spotting. As long as you dont mind lugging or rolling a 45# machine.
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#4
I'm not sure about the pump situation Damon, but that sounds to me like an ideal setup. In theory, you should be able to make some long hose runs since the vac source is always with you. I like the idea a lot and thought about doing something similar but using just tap pressure and a rotovac (I don't do tile)
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#5
Damon
I'm not saying what you're doing is Micky Mouse.....umm more like Mini. Tongue Ok Seriously I don't want to rain on your parade but have you totaled this all up?

It's one of those things if you're 3/4ths of the way there why not go all the way and get the power and ability to do what you need.

You plan sounds like it would work it just have a few hassles in there that I would not want to deal with on every job.

Cords and finding separate circuits on every job, dumping into the toilet could come with complaints down the road, should they would have trouble with. Back in the day when we used portables people would call a year later and say their toilet backed up and wanted to know where to send the bill since we dumped in it clogging it. Yikes (A year later!)

There is someone "Protech" in your town selling 5-6 units all under $6.500.00 they look good too. A Prochem Legend for $5,900.00, 4-Hydramasters Crossfire, SpitFires. For the money I think you'd be miles ahead.

Check them out, they are listed on Jon Don's used site.

http://used.jondon.com/index.php?catid=0...&offset=15
You never rolled in the hay
Ya never thrown it in four wheel
Climb on up in here, girl
Let me show ya how country feels


"How Country Feels" Randy Houser


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#6
Damon, I am with Richard on this one, the downfall of a used TM is of course your van space & weight issue.

1. You really dont have enough vac power - will it do - sure but remember that part of what you sell is fast dry times & this I dont think will get you there.

2. By having one line from the van, the other to the toilet, the cords going to yet another location - most likely Kitchen - your hose management may be difficult in terms of job speed.

3. Dont stop with just having a wand - Kind of like cleaning with an oreck orbiter but not having any bigger toys - get an RX etc. These toys deliver consistent top notch results - adjust your jet size to compensate for your vac size though - sure the tool can overwet when you done have it set up properly, not different than OP can tip bloom if you are sleeping at the job.

4. Seriously consider a small footprint TM... but examine the weights of all your new tools to see how much real difference there really is.

5. I like the idea of the mini tank, also for jobs where you only need a 3 - 4 gallon use clean - then you dont need to set up the extra hose.

just ideas
Con
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#7
Do one thing really well and promote the Heck out of it.

I have used my Steamin Demon with autofeed and auto dump to clean up on a big tile job. It rinses and sucks up really well. One of these would fill all your needs.

I understand as a VLM guy you want to get cleaning Tile but why stop there? Get into Car Detailing and cleaning out dryer vents and cleaning chimneys, and while you are there you could change the oil in their vehicles? --Sarcasm--

Yes it is the same customer as your vlm customer but one of the really nice things about VLM is the simplicity. --Get in Get er done Get out---deposit the check-The more complications the more problems.

From my experience a good shop vac with auto pump out (they had them for $150 at home depot or sears) and agitation will work just fine. With a 175 and the shop vac you can make a lot of money on big or little jobs. For the guys that already have a truckmount the only thing they need to get into Tile is a spinner and some knowledge. Buying pumps, spinners, vacuums, vac hose, more garden hose, extension cords, more extension cords. Nah.

I would not even think of running a Spinner without a Truckmount. Too many hoses, power cords, water lines to deal with. Setup is a real pain with your potential kit on small jobs. I would question how much faster it would be than just a 175 floor machine and a mop bucket on most small/medium house jobs.

I believe that most of the tile done in this country is still done with a 175, a grout brush, and a mop bucket or shop vac. You can make money this way and see if you like the work.

Or with the same time...

Focus on Marketing VLM. How many commercial buildings have you called on in the last two weeks? How many bids have you put out on Commercial carpet jobs? How much dirty commercial carpet within 50 miles of where you live? What percentage of that carpet have you tried to put a bid on?

Rick
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking...

Henry Ford
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#8
I agree that a small truckmount will be far easier. I'm really big on production rates and simplicity. I have one of these units and it works great. Simply engineered, affordable, and only the basics-

http://www.steam-brite.com/steambrite-st...11788.html

If you are able to upsell tile jobs regularly then it will pay for itself in no time. Since you won't be using it on every job I would ditch the hosereels and just hang the hoses on the walls. That will still give you a good amount of room for your VLM equipment.

I'm actually in the opposite situation as you, I am trying to convert into more VLM carpet cleaning and leave the TM for hard surface jobs. Some good tile juice, a spinner and high pressure will clean 95% of T&G. It's much faster and easier than using agitation and lower pressure.
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#9
Tucker,

I had never heard of an issue like this with pumps. It's a Mytee pump, used for pressure washing, car detailing, etc.

Will check it out though....

______________

Richard,

It is Mickey Mouse. No doubt about it. Keep in mind though that it's two cords only. The toilet thing does concern me though.

I went and met the guy in here in Vegas regarding the TM's. I looked at the Spitfire 3.2. He wants $4,800.00 for it and it has over 1500 hours. Really not sure....also, I am not a mechanic. This makes me reluctant because if something breaks I will be paying big time.

______________

Con,

The Air Hog has 117"/200cfm and at 50' that is a lot of suction. I do know that much.

______________

Rick,

Your sarcasm falls flat. There is a ton of tile and grout in the southwest. Not being able to do it efficiently has cost us money.

Using mechanical agitation does work, but it's slow, you can't get under the counters well, etc.

I've used both and there is a big difference in speed.

______________
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

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#10
Is that a Nick Nellos machine?

How long have you had it? Pretty reliable? I like the round waste tanks, looks way more efficient.

(01-14-2013, 03:32 PM)Neil King Wrote: I agree that a small truckmount will be far easier. I'm really big on production rates and simplicity. I have one of these units and it works great. Simply engineered, affordable, and only the basics-

http://www.steam-brite.com/steambrite-st...11788.html

If you are able to upsell tile jobs regularly then it will pay for itself in no time. Since you won't be using it on every job I would ditch the hosereels and just hang the hoses on the walls. That will still give you a good amount of room for your VLM equipment.

I'm actually in the opposite situation as you, I am trying to convert into more VLM carpet cleaning and leave the TM for hard surface jobs. Some good tile juice, a spinner and high pressure will clean 95% of T&G. It's much faster and easier than using agitation and lower pressure.
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

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#11
(01-14-2013, 03:57 PM)thecleaningdude Wrote: Is that a Nick Nellos machine?

How long have you had it? Pretty reliable? I like the round waste tanks, looks way more efficient.

(01-14-2013, 03:32 PM)Neil King Wrote: I agree that a small truckmount will be far easier. I'm really big on production rates and simplicity. I have one of these units and it works great. Simply engineered, affordable, and only the basics-

http://www.steam-brite.com/steambrite-st...11788.html

If you are able to upsell tile jobs regularly then it will pay for itself in no time. Since you won't be using it on every job I would ditch the hosereels and just hang the hoses on the walls. That will still give you a good amount of room for your VLM equipment.

I'm actually in the opposite situation as you, I am trying to convert into more VLM carpet cleaning and leave the TM for hard surface jobs. Some good tile juice, a spinner and high pressure will clean 95% of T&G. It's much faster and easier than using agitation and lower pressure.

Yeah it's a Nellos machine. I like the round waste tank as well, especially for the smaller footprint. I have had mine for a couple years now and it's very reliable. I just bought another one for a second van. You may want to give him a call if you're interested. I don't wan to speak for him, but I imagine you can get a better deal if you don't need a fresh tank. In fact, now I have the wheels in my head turning for a "dedicated VLM" van lol.
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#12
The Mickey Mouse statement was just me giving it to you. I don't mean it. You know better what your comfort level is. I just hate seeing guys tie up a bunch of money trying to make a TM out of a portable.

Not that those systems don't work, they do, it just takes a lot more time and effort to setup and tear down. A small TM you'll be more productive with, get done faster than the electric setup and with better results than the electric version. Did you look at the Legend too?

If I were you I would go demo a small gas fired unit then do the same with the electric and see which you want then.
You never rolled in the hay
Ya never thrown it in four wheel
Climb on up in here, girl
Let me show ya how country feels


"How Country Feels" Randy Houser


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#13
Thanks guys, keep the feedback coming!

Again, I am still doing VLM, that's not changing.

This is mostly for tile and grout and some supplemental carpet cleaning.
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

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#14
Richard,

No worries. I didn't take it the wrong way.

It really is Mickey Mouse in many respects. That's why I am reluctant.

He sold all the other machines. All he has is the Spitfire. We fired it up. Seems ok, I just don't know enough one way or another, especially if there is a problem....

(01-14-2013, 04:06 PM)Richardc Wrote: The Mickey Mouse statement was just me giving it to you. I don't mean it. You know better what your comfort level is. I just hate seeing guys tie up a bunch of money trying to make a TM out of a portable.

Not that those systems don't work, they do, it just takes a lot more time and effort to setup and tear down. A small TM you'll be more productive with, get done faster than the electric setup and with better results than the electric version. Did you look at the Legend too?

If I were you I would go demo a small gas fired unit then do the same with the electric and see which you want then.
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

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#15
First go out with a friend that has a TM or as i said demo on new. Then if you decide you want one I'm sure we can find you a good used gas unit. Cool
You never rolled in the hay
Ya never thrown it in four wheel
Climb on up in here, girl
Let me show ya how country feels


"How Country Feels" Randy Houser


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#16
Interesting.

Is that an electric start?

What's a realistic hose run? 150'?

It says 300' but I don't see how....

(01-14-2013, 04:02 PM)Neil King Wrote:
(01-14-2013, 03:57 PM)thecleaningdude Wrote: Is that a Nick Nellos machine?

How long have you had it? Pretty reliable? I like the round waste tanks, looks way more efficient.

(01-14-2013, 03:32 PM)Neil King Wrote: I agree that a small truckmount will be far easier. I'm really big on production rates and simplicity. I have one of these units and it works great. Simply engineered, affordable, and only the basics-

http://www.steam-brite.com/steambrite-st...11788.html

If you are able to upsell tile jobs regularly then it will pay for itself in no time. Since you won't be using it on every job I would ditch the hosereels and just hang the hoses on the walls. That will still give you a good amount of room for your VLM equipment.

I'm actually in the opposite situation as you, I am trying to convert into more VLM carpet cleaning and leave the TM for hard surface jobs. Some good tile juice, a spinner and high pressure will clean 95% of T&G. It's much faster and easier than using agitation and lower pressure.

Yeah it's a Nellos machine. I like the round waste tank as well, especially for the smaller footprint. I have had mine for a couple years now and it's very reliable. I just bought another one for a second van. You may want to give him a call if you're interested. I don't wan to speak for him, but I imagine you can get a better deal if you don't need a fresh tank. In fact, now I have the wheels in my head turning for a "dedicated VLM" van lol.
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

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1 X's Orbot, Windsor & Sanitare Vacs, Multisprayer, Oreck Orbitor, Stepson, BrushEncap (TM4) CRB  
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#17
(01-14-2013, 04:21 PM)thecleaningdude Wrote: Interesting.

Is that an electric start?

What's a realistic hose run? 150'?

It says 300' but I don't see how....

(01-14-2013, 04:02 PM)Neil King Wrote:
(01-14-2013, 03:57 PM)thecleaningdude Wrote: Is that a Nick Nellos machine?

How long have you had it? Pretty reliable? I like the round waste tanks, looks way more efficient.

(01-14-2013, 03:32 PM)Neil King Wrote: I agree that a small truckmount will be far easier. I'm really big on production rates and simplicity. I have one of these units and it works great. Simply engineered, affordable, and only the basics-

http://www.steam-brite.com/steambrite-st...11788.html

If you are able to upsell tile jobs regularly then it will pay for itself in no time. Since you won't be using it on every job I would ditch the hosereels and just hang the hoses on the walls. That will still give you a good amount of room for your VLM equipment.

I'm actually in the opposite situation as you, I am trying to convert into more VLM carpet cleaning and leave the TM for hard surface jobs. Some good tile juice, a spinner and high pressure will clean 95% of T&G. It's much faster and easier than using agitation and lower pressure.

Yeah it's a Nellos machine. I like the round waste tank as well, especially for the smaller footprint. I have had mine for a couple years now and it's very reliable. I just bought another one for a second van. You may want to give him a call if you're interested. I don't wan to speak for him, but I imagine you can get a better deal if you don't need a fresh tank. In fact, now I have the wheels in my head turning for a "dedicated VLM" van lol.

Yeah it's electric start. I should clarify that mine is a 20hp, but I'm at 100ft 95% of the time. That machine would probably be fine at 300ft for T&G since it requires less vacuum. I would say anything over 200ft on carpet and you will have to slow down to ensure good water recovery. But if you're getting hose runs that long I'd recommend a hose reel. At that point your truck will be more HWE than VLM.
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#18
Thanks for the info.

Yeah, I would never run more than 100' - 150' for carpet I suspect. Anything beyond that I think would need a booster.

What's the approximate footprint?

(01-14-2013, 04:45 PM)Neil King Wrote:
(01-14-2013, 04:21 PM)thecleaningdude Wrote: Interesting.

Is that an electric start?

What's a realistic hose run? 150'?

It says 300' but I don't see how....

(01-14-2013, 04:02 PM)Neil King Wrote:
(01-14-2013, 03:57 PM)thecleaningdude Wrote: Is that a Nick Nellos machine?

How long have you had it? Pretty reliable? I like the round waste tanks, looks way more efficient.

(01-14-2013, 03:32 PM)Neil King Wrote: I agree that a small truckmount will be far easier. I'm really big on production rates and simplicity. I have one of these units and it works great. Simply engineered, affordable, and only the basics-

http://www.steam-brite.com/steambrite-st...11788.html

If you are able to upsell tile jobs regularly then it will pay for itself in no time. Since you won't be using it on every job I would ditch the hosereels and just hang the hoses on the walls. That will still give you a good amount of room for your VLM equipment.

I'm actually in the opposite situation as you, I am trying to convert into more VLM carpet cleaning and leave the TM for hard surface jobs. Some good tile juice, a spinner and high pressure will clean 95% of T&G. It's much faster and easier than using agitation and lower pressure.

Yeah it's a Nellos machine. I like the round waste tank as well, especially for the smaller footprint. I have had mine for a couple years now and it's very reliable. I just bought another one for a second van. You may want to give him a call if you're interested. I don't wan to speak for him, but I imagine you can get a better deal if you don't need a fresh tank. In fact, now I have the wheels in my head turning for a "dedicated VLM" van lol.

Yeah it's electric start. I should clarify that mine is a 20hp, but I'm at 100ft 95% of the time. That machine would probably be fine at 300ft for T&G since it requires less vacuum. I would say anything over 200ft on carpet and you will have to slow down to ensure good water recovery. But if you're getting hose runs that long I'd recommend a hose reel. At that point your truck will be more HWE than VLM.
I'm just trying to hack my way to glory.

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#19
(01-14-2013, 06:44 PM)thecleaningdude Wrote: Thanks for the info.

Yeah, I would never run more than 100' - 150' for carpet I suspect. Anything beyond that I think would need a booster.

What's the approximate footprint?

(01-14-2013, 04:45 PM)Neil King Wrote:
(01-14-2013, 04:21 PM)thecleaningdude Wrote: Interesting.

Is that an electric start?

What's a realistic hose run? 150'?

It says 300' but I don't see how....

(01-14-2013, 04:02 PM)Neil King Wrote:
(01-14-2013, 03:57 PM)thecleaningdude Wrote: Is that a Nick Nellos machine?

How long have you had it? Pretty reliable? I like the round waste tanks, looks way more efficient.

Yeah it's a Nellos machine. I like the round waste tank as well, especially for the smaller footprint. I have had mine for a couple years now and it's very reliable. I just bought another one for a second van. You may want to give him a call if you're interested. I don't wan to speak for him, but I imagine you can get a better deal if you don't need a fresh tank. In fact, now I have the wheels in my head turning for a "dedicated VLM" van lol.

Yeah it's electric start. I should clarify that mine is a 20hp, but I'm at 100ft 95% of the time. That machine would probably be fine at 300ft for T&G since it requires less vacuum. I would say anything over 200ft on carpet and you will have to slow down to ensure good water recovery. But if you're getting hose runs that long I'd recommend a hose reel. At that point your truck will be more HWE than VLM.

I believe the new stainless frames are 20x33 inches.
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#20
i have been down this road...first i bought a portable that every one on the board talked as if it was a portable TM...lol ya right....dragging crap inside...plugging in.....ugh.....then i got a small truck mount....i believe duane oxley built it....propane heat......when i used it...i could not believe the difference...what a joke that guys would say a portable is like a TM....anyways....IMO dont waste your time with all this gadgetry...if you want to do some HWE...get a TM period........
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