A Commercial Floor Sweeper/Scrubber Machine Combo Buyer’s Guide: Costs, Types, and Purchasing Advice
To maintain the appearance of your facility and the safety of your workers, you need to keep your floors clean and clear of debris. Instead of investing in both a sweeper and a scrubber to accomplish this, consider a commercial floor sweeper/scrubber combination unit.
Of course, you still have myriad options in choosing the right machine. To narrow it down and find the perfect machine to fulfill your needs, you need to understand the different types of units, available features, and the square footage of your own flooring area.
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Why Use a Combination Sweeper/Scrubber?
A commercial floor sweeper removes dry dirt and debris from your floors, whereas scrubbers remove the wet, sticky, and stuck-on messes commercial sweepers leave behind. Neither application works to solve the other's problem. However, instead of purchasing two machines, you can purchase a combo sweeper/scrubber and save both time and money.
These combo units work much the same way their individual counterparts do, but with the convenience of a single machine. The sweeper function continues to remove dirt, dust, and other dry debris. The scrubber applies a cleaning solution to your flooring, scrubs it, and then vacuums or squeegees up any remaining solution, leaving your flooring dry.
What Are the Different Types of Commercial Sweeper/Scrubbers?
There are two main types of sweeper/scrubber machines: walk-behind and rider. The walk-behind machines further break down into push or automatic.
A walk-behind push sweeper/scrubber is exactly what it sounds like: the operator walks behind the machine, propelling it forward. The automatic model moves forward on its own, with the operator guiding the unit. Riding sweeper/scrubber combos feature a seat for the operator.
Typically, the walk-behind models come at a much lower cost than riders do. Units may be electrical (plug-in) models, or battery-operated. Usually, the plug-in models are less expensive, but come with a few challenges. These include managing the cord while using the machine, ensuring outlets are available in the work area, and reduced power capabilities, meaning these units take longer to scrub and sweep the area.
Battery-powered units must be charged and come at a slightly higher cost, but tend to have more power and greater square footage per hour capabilities. The main concern is a powerful enough battery, one that holds a charge well, to ensure a single charge powers the unit for the entire job. You find both walk-behind and riding units that run on batteries.
Rider sweeper/scrubbers are mainly used in larger facilities with substantial flooring. They run on either batteries or fuel (typically propane) and are more powerful than walk-behind units are. They also cover more square footage in an hour, remove dirt and debris more efficiently, and reduce operator fatigue. However, they come with a higher price tag, both to purchase and maintain, and they are not ideal for smaller facilities, or those with narrow hallways, doorways, or obstacles requiring maneuverability. If you operate a large facility with lots of open flooring and/or one that requires frequent cleaning, you want to consider purchasing a riding sweeper/scrubber.
How Much do Commercial Floor Sweeper/Scrubbers Cost?
The price of these units varies dramatically, from a few hundred dollars to $60,000 and more. It all depends on unit size, features, power, and your location.
- An automatic, walk-behind model starts at around $1,500
- A 24" battery-operated walk-behind combo model starts at around $2,300
- A 31" push model starts at around $2,300
- An IPC Eagle 14" battery-operated automatic model costs around $2,700
- Factory Cat has a walk-behind automatic model starting at $9,500 new
- Riding sweeper/scrubber combos start at around $11,000
- A the high end, a riding industrial sweeper scrubber with 54" scrubbing and 60" sweeping paths costs around $63,500
Other cost considerations are parts and accessories, including filters and scrub brushes.
- Dust filters start at around $8 to $10 on average
- Replacement recovery hoses start at around $13 to $15 on average
- Squeegee blades start at around $15
- Cleaning solution starts at around $25 per gallon
- Replacement pads start at around $25 for a package of five
What to Look for in a Commercial Floor Sweeper/Scrubber
After determining your budget, your main concern is the square footage you need to clean, as well as the logistics of that area. This requires looking at the most narrow areas – hallways, doorways, aisles, and restrooms – to determine the widest machine your facility can accommodate. Do not go by the size of the sweeper or scrubbing path; you must look at the machine's specifications to determine overall size and whether it will work in your facility.