Choosing your Sweeper or Scrubber

Choose the Right Industrial Sweeper

Now that you have identified whether your facility needs to sweep, scrub or sweep and scrub, the next step is to determine the size and mode of equipment you need – the sweep path width and whether you need a walk-behind or ride-on machine. Size and mode are determined by looking at the size of your main aisles, total square footage, and frequency of sweeping, traffic and quantity of debris. As a rule of thumb, if your aisles are eight feet wide or over and you have 100,000 square feet or more of sweeping, a rider sweeper will be most efficient and operator friendly. Smaller rider sweepers or walk-behinds are recommended for smaller areas and narrower aisles. Many facilities have both types of sweeping areas and use more than one sweeper, to fit specific areas' needs.


From walk-behind scrubbers that replace mop-and-bucket cleaning to high productivity ride-on scrubbers, automatic scrubbers are designed to leave hard floor surfaces clean, dry and ready for foot or machine traffic. An automatic scrubber used on a daily or weekly basis will maintain the floor surface and prevent the buildup of oil, grease and other stains. It will also improve the appearance of the floors, removing forklift tire marks and make floors safer for people and machines.


Choose the Right Industrial ScrubberThe basic function of an automatic scrubber is to lay down a cleaning solution, agitate the solution with scrub brushes and recover the dirty solution with a squeegee. However there are design and construction differences between various styles of scrubbers. There are basically two scrub brush principles in operation today – disc and cylindrical. Some manufacturers offer scrubbers with both disc and cylindrical scrub decks that can be easily switched without tools.

Disc brushes for aggressive cleaning of smooth surfaces – These flat circular disc type scrub brushes are intended for applications that require tough cleaning. Disc brushes follow dips and low spots in floors to provide a constant downward pressure – delivering more aggressive scrubbing. Disc brushes also allow you to use less cleaning solution. However, depending on the area to be cleaned, sweeping may be required first.

Cylindrical brushes for rough, grouted floors – These circular brushes are ideal for picking up light debris on rough, grouted surfaces – eliminating the need to pre-sweep prior to scrubbing. However, due to their length and design, cylindrical brushes do not follow contours and dips in the floor.


If your facility requires both sweeping and scrubbing, there can be benefits to purchasing a dual-purpose sweeper-scrubber. The initial purchase cost of a sweeper-scrubber is less than purchasing each machine separately – and you only own one machine instead of two. In smaller facilities where one person is performing floor-cleaning tasks, a sweeper-scrubber maximizes machine-in-use time – with two machines, one of them would always be sitting idle. There is also a labor savings factor with sweeper-scrubbers. Using a combination machine can reduce your maintenance costs by as much as 50% because both sweeping and scrubbing functions are handled by one machine and one operator.


Most cleaning-industry experts recommend that facility and maintenance managers work with a floor-cleaning professional, such as an equipment dealer, who can analyze your needs and then recommend the most productive and cost effective solutions.

An experienced equipment dealer will begin by assessing your current cleaning program in terms of total square footage, surface types, time currently required to clean specific areas, number and width of aisles and doorways and the number of personnel involved in cleaning activities. Next, he should conduct a “productivity analysis” for you, weighing detailed information about your current cleaning system with facts on the performance of new equipment alternatives. Your outside consultant's goal should be to recommend the most productive equipment solution – that makes sense financially – for each of your different cleaning needs.

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Brad Neufeld | Speciality ProductsBrad Neufeld
Specialty Products Manager For BC
Direct: (604) 472-3558| Cell: (604) 349-0810
Leavitt Machinery
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