Looking at purchasing a Masterblend Truckforce 3500...Does it have what it takes?

nextlevel

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I'm looking at purchasing a used Masterblend Truckforce 3500. It is about 2-2.5 years old. I am buying it for $1500 after s/h. The question that's on my mind is: Does it have the juice to clean carpets in most situations under 75' using 2" hose (w/a 1.5" lead hose) using either a 2" wand or a 1.5" wand? Not sure just yet about the wand. I can say that @ some point I "Plan" to add a Rotovac 360i or some other rotary tool.

But I digress. The reason I'm asking if it has the juice is because as you can see from the specs it has good water lift @ 14", but only has 100 cfm. Other portables are getting 200 cfm's and even 300 cfm.

This will be my bread and butter portable for the next little while and help me build my small burgeoning business. So I'd like it to be a winner. I do have a very limited budget ($2500 total) though, which is why I have buy used.
I am supposed to make the final deal tomorrow and have it shipped. Need some info from the pro's in the field using it or others with portable extractor experience.

Thanks for your help guys.

Thomas Turner
Next Level Carpet Care

From Masterblend website:

The TruckForce 3500 features maximum vacuum performance for carpet and upholstery cleaning.

  • Three two-stage vacuum motors, in-series, provide over 190" of water lift (14" of mercury) and 100 CFM.
  • All vacuum connections and piping are 2" in diameter to maximize airflow and produce fast drying times with 100 feet, or more, of 1-1/2" vacuum hose.
  • Each vacuum motor can be independently operated, so that single or dual vacuum operation is always available for cleaning upholstery and delicate fabrics.
  • The 1.5 gpm 500 PSI pump is EASILY adjustable from 50 to 500 PSI by the pressure regulator on the control panel. The pump is powered by a 1/2 horsepower high-efficiency, dual capacitor motor.
I do plan to do tile with the machine. Coupled with a Rotovac 360i, but for now I'll use a rotary machine and the 500 psi I get out of the TF 3500 Porty.
 

wesdawg67

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Hey Thomas,

The Truckforce is a good unit for most all situations. One thing that I would highly suggest is you go through the unit because it's used. Inspect and tighten any hose fittings or electrical connections.

If 75' of hose is all you're going to use, then you should be fine, however because of the low CFM, you have little to gain by going up to a 2" hose. Except the fact that it's bulkier and harder to coil up.

I'm sure you will, but when you go to inspect it, make sure that everything works on it, vac motors, the pump, etc. Pay close attention to the way the vac motors sound, they should be nice and smooth. If not, they my be in need of replacing, and it's good to have a back up any way if one goes down.

I've been to MasterBlend where they manufacture it, I know the guys and they've taken me in the back where it's put together. They build a good machine.

I'll give you a couple of cons to it though, it's a heavy pig. One of the heaviest machines out there, as long as you're ok with that, then you can over look that one.
Second, even with a booster, I wouldn't expect record breaking hose runs, because the motors are set up in series, it has great recovery from 50' or less.

Anyway, keep us posted, and throw up some pics if you get it.
 

rob allen

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Good info Wes. Let me also add that lift is superior to cfm's. Remember lift is what lifts up the dirt and soil and cfm's is what takes it away. It is harder to lift than to carry.
 

Mark Jennings

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Mark with MasterBlend here; great suggestions guys. Thomas, feel free to call me at the office anytime. 800-525-9644. Just ask for Mark Jennings.
Great choice of machines!
 

Jason Whaley

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I'm sure its a good machine but its going to pull some major power. Older homes may not be able to handle the amps you will need.

That was my experience with 3 vacuum motors. I believe you can run only 2 at a time if needed.
 

nextlevel

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...One thing that I would highly suggest is you go through the unit because it's used. Inspect and tighten any hose fittings or electrical connections.
I plan on having the unit dropped off at the local carpet cleaning supplier/servicer to do a complete inspection and give it the seal of approval. I almost always will be cleaning at less than 50'. In rare times @ 75' and even rarer times at 100'.

If 75' of hose is all you're going to use, then you should be fine, however because of the low CFM, you have little to gain by going up to a 2" hose. Except the fact that it's bulkier and harder to coil up.
I see, because the motors are ran in series the 2" hose won't help much. Boo. So I'll be running 1.5" hose to save weight, space, money. How about adding a vac booster like the Mytee Air Hog?

Thinking along those lines, I know the unit has 2" plumbing, I wonder can the vac motors be upgraded to some of the 2 or possibly 3 stage Hi-Air Watt, Hi Efficiency Vac motors that are out now. I know Mytee uses them in the newer 1003 and 1005, M5, and others. Or can the vac motors be plumbed/configured differently to be ran in parallel so that CFM can be increased?

At the end of the day, I'm going too get the unit in, see how it cleans at the prescribed lengths. If it succeeds, we're alright, if not, we'll look at our options then.

I've been to MasterBlend where they manufacture it, I know the guys and they've taken me in the back where it's put together. They build a good machine.
In looking at their videos and website as well as dealing with them on the phone in a very limited way, they seem to be great people. I spoke to both Mark and Lavonne (was awesome), all my questions were all answered honestly and I didn't get the feeling that they were trying sell me something. They just explained the benefits of their system, did no competitor bashing and everything was fine. BTW, even before I was considering a portable, The El Diablo was the truckmount I would be buy if I could buy a truckmount.

I'll give you a couple of cons to it though, it's a heavy pig. One of the heaviest machines out there, as long as you're ok with that, then you can over look that one.
I know, and at first I was concerned, but after watching the video demonstration of the unit on their website, I was sold. The tech tipped the machine over and lifted it into the van with no problems. I'm still young and have a good back. So it won't be a problem. Don't get me wrong, it's not the funnest thing I want to be doing but hey things could be worse.

Anyway, keep us posted, and throw up some pics if you get it.
Wes, when I get the machine I will post some pics of the unit. No problem.

The seller hasn't contacted me today about the machine though, so I may have to look at another machine. Not sure at the moment, but I do have a backup offer to buy a Mytee M12 for $1600 shipped. So hopefully I won't have to pursue that direction, but I do have a back up plan. Although I like the Mytee M5 a bit better since it has no internal heat and uses 2-3stage vac motors. But I can't find any used ones and a new one is something like >$2k + $187 s/h. Oh, decisions, decisions. Thanks for the replies, keep them comin.
 

nextlevel

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...Let me also add that lift is superior to cfm's. Remember lift is what lifts up the dirt and soil and cfm's is what takes it away. It is harder to lift than to carry.
Is there a calculation of how much CFM's it takes to move a given amount of waste through a 1.5" hose at a given length after its been lifted?
 

nextlevel

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I'm sure its a good machine but its going to pull some major power. Older homes may not be able to handle the amps you will need.

That was my experience with 3 vacuum motors. I believe you can run only 2 at a time if needed.
The ability to run it with 1,2 or 3 vac motors is a plus. I would like to be running it full tilt though. Maybe a Mytee Electrical Converter is the answer. The TF 3500 needs 1-20 amp service and 1-15 amp service. What's you experience with locating a place to hook up your high need electrical cords?
 

Jan Sullins

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Thomas if you desire to run long hose runs with fast dry times then you will need to get a Power Booster. You are correct in that the truckforce can attain
14HG . That of course is sealed vacuum -no air moving. It is rated 100 cfm-with no restriction. It has a nice pump and likely is built quite well but it is not going to allow you to use more that 50 feet of vacuum hose in my opinion. And even though I understand what Wes was saying about 1 1/2" vacuum hose instead of 2 inch vacuum hose . Well I think he may right at 50 ft but no further. With a power booster that has a good 3 stage or high performance 2 stage vacuum motor and set it inline you can clean likely over 100 feet with 2" vaccuum hose. I think it could be a nice setup depending on what you are wanting out of a portable carpet cleaning setup!

Jan Sullins
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nextlevel

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Jan,
I understand where your coming from. I know a Vac Booster will be a useful tool if using the TF3500 out past 50'. This it the reason I will be looking at an adequate booster unit after I receive the unit and use it a bit. If it's a problem.


The problem I'm going to run into is POWER. 1-20 Amp service and 1-15 Amp service are not too difficult to come by here in my area, but finding all that plus what's necessary to run a high powered booster will be difficult. What is your suggestion to resolve this issue?
 

Mr.E

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Mytee has a splitter for 220v. (115x2) search the site. Over.
 

nextlevel

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I've seen the Mytee unit, but it only gives 2-15 amp services. I have different requirements. The Mytee doesn't fit the bill. I think what will be the ticket is adequate testing of the circuit before plugging anything into anything. I'll have to use two different electrical sources from different sides of the home. For example I'll look for a 20 amp service in kitchen or bathroom, then look for a 15 amp service on the other side the home or something like that.
 

Jan Sullins

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Thomas if your run into a situation where the amperage of the house is minimal . there are still things you could do and still clean at those long distances. One thing is just run 2 or the 2 stage vacuum motors. If I am not mistaken that would be just over 15 amps. Then turn down the pressure on your pump. I used to have a Recoil 3HP which I many times clean at 250 psi and used maybe 1.5 amps . Then for instance the Cross American Power Booster draws a maximum of 13.5 amps. Really though when under a vacuum load it probably is not going to use more than 11.5 amps maybe 12 in the real world.
You could run the the Truckforce on one cord and then the Power Booster on another. As someone mentioned a 230 volt splitter might be a good bet for you. If the truckforce cost $1500 then the CA Power Booster is only $895.00 so that would keep you under your budget. I realize later you will like want to add some real heat etc but that would be an excellent start. Just a word about the Power Booster . I have heard some complain although they haven't used one ,about the size . Believe me it isn't very big at all. It is lightweight and bullet proof! Ed V is the man who invented the inline Power Booster. He even used to have a patent on it. It got to expensive to maintain or something like that but nevertheless it is so easy to move around because it has big wheels on the back and a dolly like handle.

Best wishes I hope this will help !
Jan
american kleen pro
 

nextlevel

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Thomas if your run into a situation where the amperage of the house is minimal . there are still things you could do and still clean at those long distances. One thing is just run 2 or the 2 stage vacuum motors. If I am not mistaken that would be just over 15 amps. Then turn down the pressure on your pump. I used to have a Recoil 3HP which I many times clean at 250 psi and used maybe 1.5 amps . Then for instance the Cross American Power Booster draws a maximum of 13.5 amps. Really though when under a vacuum load it probably is not going to use more than 11.5 amps maybe 12 in the real world.
You could run the the Truckforce on one cord and then the Power Booster on another. As someone mentioned a 230 volt splitter might be a good bet for you. If the truckforce cost $1500 then the CA Power Booster is only $895.00 so that would keep you under your budget. I realize later you will like want to add some real heat etc but that would be an excellent start. Just a word about the Power Booster . I have heard some complain although they haven't used one ,about the size . Believe me it isn't very big at all. It is lightweight and bullet proof! Ed V is the man who invented the inline Power Booster. He even used to have a patent on it. It got to expensive to maintain or something like that but nevertheless it is so easy to move around because it has big wheels on the back and a dolly like handle.

Best wishes I hope this will help !
Jan
american kleen pro
Thanks Jan for the solutions. I actually used to own a Recoil 3HP Quadra Pak 4 back in 2006 with booster, Dual 50 gallon external tanks, and a 2ht little giant propane heater all ran from my Ford Aerostar. This was before it was fashionable to do so. LOL.

So as you can see, I am familiar with the booster Ed sells. It is nice. I would buy it again, but I think the newer unit from Mytee (Air Hog) are better priced for what you get, so we'll have to see how difficult it is to meet the electrical needs of the Truckforce 3500.

Here's a monkey wrench for ya. I'd like to add a Rotovac Powerwand or 360 to the mix at some point. LOL. Now that's going to have cords going all over the place. haha. Oh, the fun of carpet cleaning.
The TF 3500 does have the ability to individually select which vacs to use so that you use only what is necessary to get the job done.
 

wesdawg67

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I've seen the Mytee unit, but it only gives 2-15 amp services. I have different requirements. The Mytee doesn't fit the bill. I think what will be the ticket is adequate testing of the circuit before plugging anything into anything. I'll have to use two different electrical sources from different sides of the home. For example I'll look for a 20 amp service in kitchen or bathroom, then look for a 15 amp service on the other side the home or something like that.
Hey Thomas,

The Mytee electrical converter actually gives you two 20 amp service circuits. On most dryer outlets for example, you have two 120 volt 30 amp out of phase legs coming into the outlet to make 240 volts. When you use that connection as a 240 volt outlet, you can only draw 30 amps. However, when you split the legs back into two 120 volt circuits, you can carry each leg as a separate 30 amp circuit.

Now, Mytee regulates the converter with a 20 amp circuit breaker for safety reasons, but you'll have no problem getting two separate dedicated 20 amp circuits with a converter like that.

If all else fails you can look at this thread, it has some great places to plug in your porty to.

http://www.truckmountforums.com/portable-carpet-cleaning/11447-best-places-to-plug-in-portables-for-carpet-cleaning.html
 

nextlevel

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Hey Thomas,

The Mytee electrical converter actually gives you two 20 amp service circuits. On most dryer outlets for example, you have two 120 volt 30 amp out of phase legs coming into the outlet to make 240 volts. When you use that connection as a 240 volt outlet, you can only draw 30 amps. However, when you split the legs back into two 120 volt circuits, you can carry each leg as a separate 30 amp circuit.

Now, Mytee regulates the converter with a 20 amp circuit breaker for safety reasons, but you'll have no problem getting two separate dedicated 20 amp circuits with a converter like that.

If all else fails you can look at this thread, it has some great places to plug in your porty to.
Now that's some good info. Thanks Wesdawg. For apartments w/o a dryer outlet I'll have to use an electrical outlet finder.

I have been following the thread you posted as well. I've received some really good sage advice just from lurking.
 
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nextlevel

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Well, it's finally on its way. Today my Truckforce 3500 was shipped to me. I should receive it by Friday. I also ordered (used) a Rotovac Powerwand from a gentleman. Man oh, man I can't wait to give it a go. I'm as happy as kid in a candy store.
 

nextlevel

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Sure thing. I have to find a 20amp service in my home first to test the machine with. That is the only major, issue I see with using the TF 3500. EEEE, where do you generally get power to your porty from?
 

JDS87

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The ability to run it with 1,2 or 3 vac motors is a plus. I would like to be running it full tilt though. Maybe a Mytee Electrical Converter is the answer. The TF 3500 needs 1-20 amp service and 1-15 amp service. What's you experience with locating a place to hook up your high need electrical cords?
The Mytee electrical converter is an excellent choice. I keep one as a back up when using a M 12 in an older home.
It's a great thing to have in the truck.
 

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