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Walk-behind Vs. Ride-on Floor Cleaning EquipmentCommercial floor sweepers and scrubbers are a cost-effective way to eliminate dirt, dust, grime and germs. Studies have shown that labor costs represent about 90% of the total cost to maintain floors, and an industrial cleaning machine allows operators to clean more in less time.

Once you’ve made the decision to buy a floor sweeper or scrubber, the next question is: walk-behind or ride-on? In today’s post, we’ll review the pros and cons of each option to help you choose the best sweeper or scrubber for your operation.

Walk Behind vs. Ride-On Pros and Cons

Walk-behind machines assist the operator with forward motion – reducing fatigue and allowing operators to cover more ground versus a manual machine. Ride-on machines improve productivity by 400% compared to manual equipment- but aren’t right for every business.

Benefits of Ride-On Floor Cleaning Equipment
The main reason customers choose a ride-on sweeper or scrubber is because they have a large facility to clean. Ride-on sweepers and scrubbers allow operators to make the most of every shift – covering large areas with minimal effort. Ride-on floor cleaning machines offer a 64 percent increase in productivity versus powered walk-behind machines, and the cost of a ride-on vs. a walk-behind model can typically be recouped from labor savings in three to six months. View our current walk-behind sweeper and scrubber inventory

When to Choose a Walk-Behind Sweeper or Scrubber
If the area to be maintained is smaller and / or includes narrow doorways or numerous obstacles, a walk-behind machine is usually the right choice. Walk-behind machines are also better for areas with inclines (such as ramps). View our current walk-behind sweeper and scrubber inventory

Stand-On Scrubber: An In Between Option

If you have a large space to clean, but can’t justify the cost of a ride-on, consider a stand-on scrubber. This machine offers greater productivity than a walk-behind, at a lower cost than a ride-on. A stand-on machine also has a smaller footprint and can go places a ride-on cannot (such as standard elevators). Other benefits include: better sight lines (vs. a ride-on or walk-behind) and better maneuverability in tight spaces.

One  point for consideration: some of our customers tell us their operators experience greater fatigue with the stand-on machines compared to a ride-on or even walk behind. Standing for a long period is uncomfortable for some – versus walking behind a powered machine or sitting.

Tips for Choosing the Right Floor Cleaning Machine

Choose the largest machine your space can accommodate. Bigger machines can carry more water and use larger batteries – increasing the time between refills and recharging. Evaluate the space for narrow doorways, ramps and obstacles.

Calculate current labor cost and how an increase in worker productivity can offset the expense of buying a new machine. A Total Industries rep can help – contact us here.

If you’re not sure which machine is right for you, view our rental inventory. We also have a rotating inventory of used floor cleaning equipment.

Further Reading:
How to choose the right floor scrubber machine
Comparing the cost to buy vs. rent or lease a floor sweeper / scrubber 
Industrial sweepers for OSHA silica dust compliance