Going to get into residential carpet cleaning

djh012163

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Nov 6, 2009
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dave hanson
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Have been looking at TM or going the less expensive route and getting a great porty to start out in this business. I have been reading the post here and have a couple of question.

1. When you guys talk about running your porty out of the van, are you saying you leave the porty in van and run the hose???? How is that possible when they only come with a 25' hose.

2. I would like to have a machine that has the psi to do hardfloors also, any input on what to purchase that can do a great job on residential carpet and also on tile and grout.

3. what is a little giant and were do I find information on-line about the little giant. I'm assuming this is not the ladder I have seen on TV.

4. How do you price a home. I understand how to price commercial accounts but have no clue on how to price a home to clean their carpet. Is there a site or information on this forum that offers advice in pricing to clean carpets.

I have roughly $5,000 in my budget and would really like to purchase a unit that will be able to compete with a TM company in my area. Again, any input you all have on the machine in this price range for what I am going to do is greatly appreciated.

Thanks You.

Dave
 

Blind Dr

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Oct 15, 2008
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Gary
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Hi Dave, Welcome to the forums. When you have time go into the new members area and introduce yourself.

Lots of questions, I was in the same state you are in just over a year ago, what to purchase and how much to spend. I wanted to start out with a portable since the investment was lower and my clients were few. I wanted to wait until my business would support the investment of a truckmount and I also needed some time to learn.

I don't keep a porty in a van, so do and that is another topic of debate. I take the equipment into the home or business. I purchased a century Ninja, several with the heat and 500 psi. After some time I bought more and added some units with the 1200 psi pump. I would suggest you consider a unit with at leadt 1000psi or more. Make sure it is adjustable.

The key is to use chemicals that work good for you. You wil get alot of suggestions on what to use. Learn how to use the chemicals and on what to use them on. You might consider taking the irc courses to get some knowledge and hands on. Asking questions here also helps as there are many knowledgeable professionals on this forum.

Pricing is really localized, it can range from 18-50 cents per square foot. As a general rule the longer it is going to take you and the more consumable products you need then charge for it.

With the budget you have you can get a nice portable and some chemicals. Look for a distributor near you as they will be invaluable at helping you. They will show you equipment and instruct you on how to use it.

What I suggest is you look for some apartment complexes near you and give them a bid to do the cleaning. Find one close to you. These things will give you years of experience fast! You will run into everything under the sun. it will allow you to test chemicals, and hone your cleaning skills, without a customer looking over your shoulder. It is also a nice source of steady income, especially while you are learning and growing your company.

You can also practice on your family and friends, they always need carpet cleaning.

Hope this helps you get started, just keep posting away with the questions.
 

Newman

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Oct 20, 2008
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Chris Newman
Hi Dave, welcome and good luck! Use the search function, fully explore TMF and read all you can in this forum before you drop any of your hard earned $$. You have made the right first step by coming here!

:welcome:
 

rjfdube

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Dec 18, 2008
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http://www.americankleenpro.com/pkg1.htm

I would not get the Aux Tanks and just order the Auto Fill/Dump SYstems instead(Just My personal Preference). Add an external booster you will be able to hang with any 33/36 blower t/m.

Best of all this system has little to no maintenance required(Except about every 6 months grease Pump bearing).
 

locko-fabara

TMF Portable & VCT Specialist
Jul 14, 2008
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Jaime Fabara
Hi Dave, welcome to the forums, first thing I will say if you go to the chat you will learn a lot, take notes, ask for a inerlink supply catalog, there is some value info about PH and procedures how clean carpet, that will help you a lot.
Buying a equipment and chemicals are really important when you are a beginner. I did many mistake buying some products. I work with portables and i have been a hero just by taking the time doing the job right.
I can recommend for a person who just start to get good portable, let's say mytee 1003dx, is a good value with heat, a cleaning product that is good overall is powermax from this company does not support TMF, you can get it in this company does not support TMF.com, same try to get a rinse just in case you will leave a residue so the acid rinse will neutralize it.
Something is really important for a portable cleaner at least in my case is having a 13 inches floor machine or buffer and bonnet pads to agitate the carpet.
 

Nick N

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2008
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Dave I have a good deal on a rebuilt EZ 3047 30 hp kohler and a 47 blower , new pump,new hx ,new waste tank , used 150 feet of vacuum hose and solution hose used wand ,used hose reel . engine has 60 hours on it and has 1 year of warranty left blower has 500 hours on it and I will warranty it for 6 months. total cost is 5950.00 + shipping or you can come here and I will in stall it for you.
 

kirbycarpet

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Nov 10, 2009
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Dave, Welcome to the forum! I just purchased my first portable, so you're not far behind me. I went with the Mytee 1005DX because it has the dual 3 stage vac's for better suction. Shop around, look through the threads and find the machine that best fits your needs. The best deal I found was at steambrite.com. Don't forget to work agitation, chemicals, sprayer, wand, hose, upholstery tool, rake, air movers, stryo blocks, extension cords, bus cards, adverstising etc into your budget.

This forum has been invaluable to me. So, don't be afraid to ask questions. People will help you out.

Good Luck!!:welcome:
 

ErikG

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Dec 18, 2008
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Erik Guhl
I think you need a visual to understand porty out the van . Ricky If you could post your 200 ft run please out of your montana van. Iwill attach a photo of my Cross American Recoil In the van, A true Eectric TM/ Porty. This stays in the van 90 % of the time. You need to a Booster to Achieve max results . If you are running 150 ft , 3 50 ft hose leanths that you buy seperate. At your last 50 ft your booster goes there and suck away the floor . You need a 5000 watt or 7000 watt generator to power it . The recoil has a perks ,we have hoses that can go into a 55 gallon drum to never run out of water as you will see mine in my pics.
 

Attachments

Jun 18, 2008
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Glide Pro
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Have been looking at TM or going the less expensive route and getting a great porty to start out in this business. I have been reading the post here and have a couple of question.

1. When you guys talk about running your porty out of the van, are you saying you leave the porty in van and run the hose???? How is that possible when they only come with a 25' hose.

2. I would like to have a machine that has the psi to do hardfloors also, any input on what to purchase that can do a great job on residential carpet and also on tile and grout.

3. what is a little giant and were do I find information on-line about the little giant. I'm assuming this is not the ladder I have seen on TV.

4. How do you price a home. I understand how to price commercial accounts but have no clue on how to price a home to clean their carpet. Is there a site or information on this forum that offers advice in pricing to clean carpets.

I have roughly $5,000 in my budget and would really like to purchase a unit that will be able to compete with a TM company in my area. Again, any input you all have on the machine in this price range for what I am going to do is greatly appreciated.

Thanks You.

Dave
Hi Dave;

Most portables do not have the power to be used as electric TMs even to 150 ft, because most only have 2 vacuum motors. This is not enough IMO. Only 2 units on the market have the power to do this because they both run 3 vacuum motors. One is the Recoil as pointed out above and the other is a Titan X3. You can read about the Titan X3 down below in the Wand and Glide HQ. Either machine makes a great way to get started.:AddEmoticons04233:
 

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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Nov 12, 2008
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Randy Dockins
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Have been looking at TM or going the less expensive route and getting a great porty to start out in this business. I have been reading the post here and have a couple of question.

1. When you guys talk about running your porty out of the van, are you saying you leave the porty in van and run the hose???? How is that possible when they only come with a 25' hose.

2. I would like to have a machine that has the psi to do hardfloors also, any input on what to purchase that can do a great job on residential carpet and also on tile and grout.

3. what is a little giant and were do I find information on-line about the little giant. I'm assuming this is not the ladder I have seen on TV.

4. How do you price a home. I understand how to price commercial accounts but have no clue on how to price a home to clean their carpet. Is there a site or information on this forum that offers advice in pricing to clean carpets.

I have roughly $5,000 in my budget and would really like to purchase a unit that will be able to compete with a TM company in my area. Again, any input you all have on the machine in this price range for what I am going to do is greatly appreciated.

Thanks You.

Dave
To get a machine that can be effectively run from the van and is capable of doing tile and grout is a tall order. I'm pretty sure that all of the portables I've seen that can also do tile and grout are intended to be taken inside and would not have the vacuum needed to clean carpets from the van w/o some type of booster which you would take inside. For that matter there are not too many portables on the market capable of doing both tile and grout. You might want to look at these.

1. U. S. Products King Cobra. Nice machine, but a bit pricey. ...

2.Mytee M-12 http://www.mytee.com/products/product.php?id=M-12 and http://www.steam-brite.com/store/mytee-tile-grout-extractor-vacs-1200psi-250psi-auto-fill-dump-2000-watt-heater-volt-p-5122.html

3. MasterBlend Truck force. http://www.steam-brite.com/store/masterblend-masterforce-mf1203-1200psi-vacs-chem-feed-auto-pumpout-free-shipping-p-4563.html and http://www.masterblend.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=133:truckforce-portable-extractor&catid=53:portables&Itemid=80

I would suggest calling some of the manufacturers and or distributors for more information on what unit would be best for you. MasterBlend might be your best bet so give them a call ....
As for the Little giant heater, it can be gotten from a number of distributors including the one mentioned earlier which is sold in the package deal with the Recoil. Steambrite also carries them. Personally if I were going the route of a portable capable of doing tile and grout as well as carpet I would likely go with one of the models above.
 
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C Spot Stop

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Jul 10, 2007
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Dave I have a good deal on a rebuilt EZ 3047 30 hp kohler and a 47 blower , new pump,new hx ,new waste tank , used 150 feet of vacuum hose and solution hose used wand ,used hose reel . engine has 60 hours on it and has 1 year of warranty left blower has 500 hours on it and I will warranty it for 6 months. total cost is 5950.00 + shipping or you can come here and I will in stall it for you.
That seems like a stellar deal.
 

Nick N

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2008
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www.truckmountforums.com
It is a SUPER DEAL. You know what most people do not understand.

When you put your hand over a vac hose and block off the vacuum hose, the electric vac motors reach a point where they do not continue to pull as well.

A blower on the other hand continues to pull harder , giving a edge to a truckmount always.
 

Scott W

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Feb 14, 2006
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Myresponses in blue.

Have been looking at TM or going the less expensive route and getting a great porty to start out in this business. I have been reading the post here and have a couple of question.

1. When you guys talk about running your porty out of the van, are you saying you leave the porty in van and run the hose???? How is that possible when they only come with a 25' hose.
You can buy additional solution hose and vacuum line. However, only the most powerful portable can be effectively used this way. You lose vacuum and water pressure and heat as you get farther from the van. It is done for convenience of the cleaning tech more so than becuase the cleaning results are good.


2. I would like to have a machine that has the psi to do hard floors also, any input on what to purchase that can do a great job on residential carpet and also on tile and grout. Theria re several. You will want something in the 1000 to 1200 PSI range. I suggest the OLympus M1200. The pump can be adjusted down to 500 PSI for residentialc arpet celaning or as high as 1200 PSI for tile and grout.

The OLympus M1200 also comes with automatic water fill, chemical metering, automatic waste dump. No need to stop in the middle of a job. It is very manueverable, even when you need to go up or down stairs.

BTW - I do not suggest running this from the van.


3. what is a little giant and were do I find information on-line about the little giant. I'm assuming this is not the ladder I have seen on TV. Littel Giant is a brand of propane fired hot water heaters. They come in different sizes. The 2HT model is often used by portable cleaners as to give a really big boost to their cleaning solution temperatures.

Littel Giants are sold by many distributors including Interlink Supply outlets, Bridgepoint, HydroForce and CRW (Cleaning & Restoration Warehouse) distributors.


4. How do you price a home. I understand how to price commercial accounts but have no clue on how to price a home to clean their carpet. Is there a site or information on this forum that offers advice in pricing to clean carpets.
The bais is knowing your own costs and how long it will take you to clean the carpet. A little practice on your own home and that of friends and relatives can help you judge how many square feet per hour you can clean. Then figure time to set-up your equipment, clean-up and pack up and travel time.

Depending on the level of service provided, the local market and thesuch, you will find people cleaning residential carpet anywhere from 15 cents to $1.50 per sq. ft. Many are in the 30 to 45 cent per square foot range, but don't let the competition dictate the price you charge.

McDonalds, Shoney's and Ruth Chris all serve burgers, but at very different prices. You can't sell a $20 burger to a McDonalds customer. You won't sell a $1 dollar menu special to the high end customer either. Your price has to match your level of service and your customer.


I have roughly $5,000 in my budget and would really like to purchase a unit that will be able to compete with a TM company in my area. Again, any input you all have on the machine in this price range for what I am going to do is greatly appreciated.
In my opinion, only a truck mount will compete with a truckmount if you factor in all the variables including the image, the customer's impression, the time it takes to get the job done and so forth.

You can certainly get thec arpet clean with a portable, but you may give up something to make it fit your budget. Consider leasing or payment plan for what you realy need.

Thanks You.

Dave
 

Jeff Madsen

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Sep 7, 2009
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Scott's last point is right on - only a TM performs like a TM. However, you as a concientious cleaner can profitably compete against other cleaners who own TM's. I'll use my own production times as an example. Drive up to drive away, I spend about a third more time with my porty than with my TM. In each case, when I am done the carpet looks beautiful and is very close to dry (with the use of air movers and extra dry strokes etc.) That difference in production times is an absolute killer if you are established and busy. Once you are busy a TM makes you far more than it costs even if you have to pay through the nose in financing costs. If you decide to or simply must go the portable route, the Olympus 1200 Scott mentioned is a very nice portable. Well worth a second look.
 

Sef Garcia

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Dec 14, 2008
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For the money you are starting with a good portable using customers hot water would be a good way to start. After you build up then buy a 2 HT heater and other equipment.

For tile you can scrub with a floor machine and hand scrub each grout line. Use good chemicals and then you do not need high pressure at this time.

Just remember there is always another way to accomplish what you need.
Figue what you need and there it is.

I started with a ninja, then Truck Force, and now Recoil.
Time will dictate what I need in the future.
 

fboet

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Aug 24, 2006
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I have never needed a truckmount in 21 years in business. Portables are very versatile. The new portables are fantastic!
I have owned a Mytee 2/3 stage for the last 9 years and will be buying another one early next year. I can't decide between the M5 or 1005. I've only had to replace the two vacuums and one pump on my Mytee.
I market my cleaning as VLM because most of my clients have had bad experiences with "steam cleaners". A lot of people associate truckmounts with over wetting and mildew, especially the guys with the "yellow vans" and the guys with the "shiny black truck". Of course, this is not the case, but a few bad cleaners with truckmounts give the rest of the good cleaners a bad name.
Forget the TM and get yourself a powerful portable. I have earned over $600,000 in 9 years with my $2,500 machine and very little maintenance.
Frank
 

Nick N

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May 27, 2008
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POrtables are a good way to stat, however a truckmount will give you a edge in marketing ,production and cleaning. I started with a portable and built a very good biz. when I made the jump to a TM , b oy the carpets came out better,and I was able to fgro my biz from 40 grand a year to 500,000 adding other trucks. Even with one truck and doing 80 to 100 grand it will be easier on you physically.
 

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