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Which machine would you recommend to a cleaner breaking into the commercial market. I have been doing residential for a while using my challenger 15" challenger. I have did some commercial jobs (CGD jobs) approx 3000 sq ft and under with it, obviously not my first choice, but not too bad with the fiber plus pads. But I am going to be going after more commercial work and need a good machine, any input from you guys would be appreciated.
Challenger Titan or an Orbitec with the wheels down
What Steve said. Challenger is not currently producing the Max (20") so the Titan is the largest machine they currently offer. It is more of a "tweener" - capable of working effectively in residential situations, but able to generate good dollars-per-hour on commercial jobs as well. Comparable to it is the Orbitec Defender 17". Orbitec can also outfit the Defender with a tank/pump/spray system to save you time & manpower on commercial jobs. Orbitec's CX-20 gives you an even wider cleaning path, also with the tank/pump/spray system. I have also sold some HOS Orbots and Sprayborgs. Although I am not a formal HOS distributor, I work through one of their distributors and can get you as good a price as can anyone out there. Let me know if you would like prices on any of these machines.
I have 2 titans that I use. I use them for commercial and residential. I like them cause they don't have the sprayer. this keeps them light enough to move them easily and I like mine cause they don't have the wheels on the ground. largest job i've done had almost 20k of carpet. its works great for around desks, chairs and tables. plus it works well with tile & grout cleaning. 95% of my work is commercial.
I sometimes operate my Orbitec CX-20 (with an onboard spray system) without using the sprayer. Instead, I spray first with my Rocket Sprayer (http://www.rocketspray.com) which I think is faster than using the Orbitec's onboard system. The Rocket Sprayer sells for $339 plus shipping.
Orbot is the best machine I have ever used. I have used it exclusively for commercial and residential for the last 2 1/2 years. Just my opinion.
Hey Mike, or anyone else who cleans T&G
Do use your challenger titan to clean t&g. I've noticed other people talk of using their challenger. I have a t&g brush and have used it with mixed results, maybe I am not using a good chemical. I used a descaler, followed by a neutralizer citrus cleaner, the whole process was very messy though using the challenger, cleaner was splattering everywhere so I stopped offering T&G. I had an especially hard time with tile which had small holes or patterns in it that also collected dirt over the years.
What kind of chemical are you using?
How do you work with the chemical that splashes around during cleaning?
Any input would be appreciated, I would like to start offering t&g without purchasing too much more equipment at this time, I have a t&g brush and of course a challenger with the t&g attachment. I don't like having to use especially harsh chemicals if it can be avoided. I thought of maybe trying to pick up a steam vapor machine?
The splashing can be controlled by using a circular plastic strip. Go to the Lawn & Garden section of your nearest hardware or Home Depot-type of store. Buy some of the black plastic stuff intended to be used to separate different sections of a yard or garden. Make it into a big circle, loose enough to just go around the perimeter of your machine. Tape or screw it together at the ends. Don't try to actually attach it to the Challenger. The machine will nudge it along as it works over the floor. This should keep the splatter way down.
Since my service promotes natural cleaning products, I will usually just amp up the level of the concentrate, spray it into the grout lines, then allow 5 or 10 minutes of dwell time. I weight my Challenger down with 10 or 20 pounds of runners' weights wrapped around the lower area of the shaft, so that the bristles of my T&G brush can better get down into the grout lines.
I keep a steam vapor machine running while doing the job, and use it on any grout lines that look as if they might need extra work. Or, for less money, buy Magic Wand Company's grout scrubbing brush. It's less than $20. It has a hinge to make it easier to work with than other, similar brushes that don't have a hinge. Then just buy a broom handle that screws into it, and scrub any grout lines that still don't look quite right to you.
I use Challenger's 20" 100% terrycloth, 2-sided pads to remove the dirty water. Others prefer a small portable extractor. I have read of others using a wet vac.
Thanks for the reply Mark, I will try again using these items.
What chemical do you use, and where do you buy it?
Peroxcellent from vacaway is a very good choice for tile and grout. It is intened for carpet but does a good job on tile as well
Hey Steve I actually just bought some Peroxcellent recently still haven't used it, bought it to try out on urine stains.
What dilution do you use on grout lines? Do you use your challenger with T&G brush only, or do you also use some other tools?
Thanks for the feedback
I use peroxy at 10 oz per gallon just like I would for carpet. I also carry along a wet vac a swiveling grout brush and a bunch of double cotton pads or some beat up tuways that I wont use on carpets. I usel the tile and grout brush on the Challenger. When I first got it I thought it was cheesy but it does a good job.My only complaint is that the bristles are too short for deep grout lines. That is where the other brush comes in.