Tradies have it easy when it comes to choice of battery-operated equipment. In fact in some cases it's made worksites safer, not to be restricted by a length of electrical cord. Cleaning crews face this dilemma daily during their shifts, trying to pull vac cords around chair legs and furniture. I can't tell you how many vacuum cables I replaced over the years. The team would get them caught on stuff and just yank them to get them free. Rather than walk back and see what the problem was. Tears and Cuts in cables were a constant problem. There have however, been leaps and bounds in the development of battery-operated tools for the cleaning industry looking at ways to eliminate Vacuum Cords completely.
So is it time to ditch the vacuum cords in our Cleaning Businesses.
Battery-operated equipment is nothing new; it’s been on the market for a couple of decades. Innovation has been slow and it can be very difficult to innovate at the risk of service delivery. So many of us stick with what we know, until that Innovative Equipment is main stream. On a worksite, tradies have one or two batteries that are interchangeable with multiple tools, plus they are only used in short bursts. Cleaning equipment, like steam cleaners and vacuums, are consistently used for hours at a time. The battery models to date have really lacked deep-cleaning functions and taken a long time to charge.
This doesn’t mean, though, that battery models aren’t worth trying.
The Nilfisk GD5 (pictured) backpack vacuum has a 36V battery that takes only 40 minutes to charge, with an hour of operating time. A boost function also assists for stronger suction when you need it. It’s also designed to be quiet. This makes it bearable for the cleaner operating it, and opens up the option of daytime cleaning to cleaning businesses also.
The I-Team guys make a variety of battery-powered tools, from vacuums to scrubbers. The I-Vac series includes the 9B, the 30 UR , and the 06. They’re lightweight, manoeuvrable and let the user know when the bag is full by sounding off a short tune. Even in the scrubbing world, equipment such as the iMop mean the manoeuvrability in smaller spaces is improved. Those sites that would rarely get any kind of deep cleaning performed, can have a powerful piece of scrubbing equipment taken on and off site with ease.
Cleaners also have to put up with tight spaces and a hot vacuum sitting on their back. The Karcher BV5 takes care of both those problems. It’s ergonomic, lightweight, and compact, allowing the user to move with ease between spaces without the need of a vacuum cord getting caught around chair-legs.
So battery technology is advancing. I guess if we can power a supercar (Tesla Roadster) with one, surely we can power a Commercial Vacuum with one as well. For those businesses that service multiple clients in a night, charging vacs still really poses a problem though. You really don't have the functionality to be charging vacs between premises. So maybe until Mr Musk and Mr Dyson put there heads together and build a vacuum that runs for hours on end. Some us will need to stay connected.