Rip me a new one

DannyD

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Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
133
I'm thinking I made a baddddddd decision. Feel free to rip me a new one.

I got myself a VLM system & it's ok on carpets that aren't to bad in the first place. I could be at fault here but I'm finding on trashed carpets it gets outperformed by a rickety rotary & 15 year old porty.

Here's the scoop. I cleaned carpets about 15 years ago using a 17 inch rotary prescrub & porty to rinse. Most of the carpets came out pretty dang good. I got out of the business & I sold the rotary in there somewhere, just keeping my porty. I realize the porty by itself isn't going to do a very good job. This time around I wanted to add to my aresenal so I got a VLM system. Dropped about 7K on it. Uggh!!

I'd cleaned a few carpets since I've started back up but they weren't that bad in the first place & things turned out ok. I did a friend of mines carpet a few weeks ago. As a matter of fact, it was Bill Mason who's now registered on this board. Based on how well he thought his carpets came out w/ the VLM method he's looking to get into this business also. So he truly was impressed. I just felt the area in front of his kitchen should have looked better. He was only comparing it to the job I did w/ my porty a few years back. Plus his sister in law & one of his wife's friends commented about how nice the carpets looked w/out being prompted. So he did have good thoughts about the VLM. I just felt the area in front of the kitchen should have looked better. He may or may not wanna chime in here.

I had done his carpets a few years ago w/ just the porty & truthfully it didn't look that great. The one thing in my defense is I had warned him to not expect much. My machine is 100PSI & I had gotten rid of my rotary.

This time around, I had gotten the VLM system & did it again. This is like 4 years after I had last cleaned it w/ the porty. It was looking pretty bad. He was pretty happy when I finished because it looked a lot better than when I had just used the porty. I'm guessing he had about 800 sq. feet of carpet & I used 19 pads both sides. I went over the area in front of the kitchen like 5 or 6 times & got it about as good as I could. He was happy, figuring because the carpet was so bad to begin w/ maybe only so much could be done. Plus, as I've mentioned, he was comparing the results I got w/ the VLM to the results w/ just the porty a few years previous.

Remembering trashed carpets I had done before, I felt it should have came out better.

So I go back down there w/ a lil 12 inch rotary I bought (I wasn't planning on getting back into the business, I just wanted something to do my own house, my folks, & a few friends) & my porty. I do the area in front of the kitchen again & DAMN!!! This is how it was SUPPOSED to look the first time.

In going over it w/ the rotary (just water, no shampoo) & porty, I noticed a ton of shampoo (technically Whamm, but might as well be shampoo) in my recovery tank. I thought that crap was supposed to come out when the custy vacuumed & make the carpets look better. So much for that theory, at least in this case.

I'm open to maybe I didn't do something right w/ my VLM cleaning. So it could totally be on me. I saw it in action for a day & it did fine on "somewhat dirty" carpets. So I thought I did my homework, but I guess I didn't. I didn't see it on trashed carpets, I just figured it would work because it did a pretty good job on an apartment (though not trashed) carpet.


Steps I took w/ VLM:

1) Prevac (btw MeAT, thanx for the Bissel suggestion, that thing kicks some tail)
2) Pre-spray w/ Whamm (I could be wrong but this crap is shampoo w/ a fancy "encapulation" title)
3) Go over it w/ the HOS machine.. this is the thing that even if it did a great job, I didnt like the way it rattled the china cabinet
4) Pre-spray the tough spots w/ ZBomb
5) Go over it w/ the HOS machine again
6, 7, 8, 9, 10) LOL!!! went over that kitchen area a ton of times. 19 pads/2 sides. Plus 5 pads both sides on the steps w/ a stair tool. Ugggh

11) Counter rotating brush machine. It does a great job of grooming but the jury is out on how well it CLEANS.

12) Sit & listen to Bill say how good it looks when I'm thinking to myself that it should look better.

Steps when I came back a few weeks later:

1) Watch the Liddell/Ortiz fight
2) Rotary scrub
3) Rinse w/ porty

4) Think to myself this is how it should have looked the first time.

A few questions here.

1) What did I do wrong w/ the VLM cleaning that it didn't come out right in the first place?

2) Are my observations that it's going to leave to much shampoo (or Whamm or encap or whatever ya wanna call it) in the carpet correct?

3) That it's really NOT going to look even better when the custy vacs after I leave?

4) If you do VLM, what situations do you use it in besides commercial. I'm thinking of berber here because I have gotten out soil filtration lines on a berber w/ VLM. At that time I was pretty stoked about it. Now I'm having doubts.

5) Would it be better to use encap juice as a shampoo w/ a rotary & use the porty to rinse/vac it up?

Thanx for your time,
Danny
 

Askal

RIP
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Oct 7, 2006
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Paulsen
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Al
What is a HOS? Lots of folks make a good living from VLM but it is only used in commercial applications for me with a Cimex.
Al
PS If your customer is happy and you think you can do better you are right on track. Keep it up.
 

Dolly Llama

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Oct 7, 2006
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North East Ohio
Name
Larry Capitoni
WOW Dude, that's a LONG post

I have an OP machine and use it as a stand alone, though TM is our primary method.
We also do a fair amount of roto scrub and extract

Here's the cold hard facts though, you can't compare any single method whether VLM or HWE to a roto scrub and extract on a trashed carpet.

Unless i missed it, you didn't mention what kind of carpet.
I feel pretty confident I can do a "decent" job with OP and cotton pads on a loop pile.
However or a dirty one, I know that a roto or OP scrub followed by HWE flush/rinse will yield superior results every time

as far as sCampoo residue, that's just the facts too.
It wouldn't matter what juice you used.
Look at it this way, no vac will ever get all the dry soil out of a carpet that's more than a few years old.
That's why vac salesman can go behind you with their vac and ALWAYS pull more.
SOOOO, even if the pixie dust sCampoos do release easier than some of the old sticky shampoos of yesteryear, there's still plenty residue there.

Whamm is OK, but from our testing PBX or ENC is a bit stronger once for ounce. (and if you don't need the deo properties of Whamm, why spend more than needed in chem costs?)

as mentioned, there's plenty folks who are VLM only cleaners.
There's also plenty who make lot$ more than me, but VLM only is a niche market IMHO.
Best to have more than one tool unless you plan to be selective about your market.

You mentioned using shampoos with scrub and extract.
No problem doing that, and we've done it many times.
However, It's more cost effective to use regular HWE pre-sprays if your going to rinse extract after the scrub.
They're typically stronger ounce for ounce than encapoos and less money to boot

BTW, glad you like the Bissel. We've been ABUSING them for years in rat hole empties

..L.T.A.
 

Jimmy L

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Oct 7, 2006
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15,180
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Ne
Name
Jimmy L
The shampoo and rinse method has been around forever.
Its tried and true.

I've been preaching a long time now that eNcAPsULaTIoN is STILL just the SHAMPOO method and nothing but a industry RE-name of the SHAMPOO method.

On these boards you'll find a lot of planted SHILLS for these snakeoil salesmen who push their products .Most of these shills are one horse wonders who just got into the business and all they know is their ONE machine they bought from a someone who relies on the internet to make sales.

My advice is to sell that HOS machine and get a 2 -speed rotary and a portable again.Then as business rolls in try and get a TM to really get them clean and open more doors for you.

Don't be afraid to ask questions here as there is a core of guys who will give you honest answers instead of the RAH RAH of the other boards.
We've all been taken by equipment makers and snake oil salesmen in our past and we feel its OUR duty to see that others don't make that same mistake...............
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Benton KY USA
Name
Lee Stockwell
Powrflite has a great deal on a heavy duty 17" 1.5hp rotary. Right at $400. A newbie (or old-timer) can really improve their business. Great for prescrub, encap, and post padding.

We like the OP too, but dollar for dollar I'd get the rotary first.
 

Mikey P

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Oct 6, 2006
Messages
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The High Chapperal
A 300 PSI porty with 2 or 3 vacs w/ a good wand, not the POS that comes with the machine and a 175 is the minimum a guy should have to get into this racket.




The rubes who were sold a bill of goods with JUST a CRB, OP or Porty will learn the hard way and most likely never survive their first year.
 

DannyD

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
133
Wow,

I thought I had it covered. This one will be shorter. I wanted to get all the info in there though.

The carpet is nylon, about 30 years old. 4th generation maybe?? Beige in color.

The HOS machine is an upgrade of the challenger from my understanding. It's an op machine. Reminds me kind of one of those futuristic robot soldiers from the movie Star Wars. If I did it right here's the link.

http://www.smart-cleaning-solutions.com ... age/825606

I'll be hitting up the Powr-flite site on that machine. Thanx for the heads up.

I'll be offering 2 methods of cleaning, but the custy will know the disadvantages of this upfront. "Dries faster yes, but your carpet won't be quite as clean. Your choice." I'll word it a lil differently, but that's the gist of what I'll be saying.

Thanx again,
Danny
 

Derek

Supportive Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
2,165
Location
NY
Name
Derek
HOS is Hruby's new OP.

my opinion: have you spoken with the manu's of all the machinery you bought, asking them what you might have done wrong & what you might have done to make it better :?: you are new to their equipment / "crap" and VLM it sounds.

if you didn't yet, THAT should be the 1st thing you do.

after applying their advice to no avail, 2nd would be to post here for help.

just my opinion.

thanx --- Derek.
 

Greenie

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Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
6,820
How is that machine an "upgrade", it spins at the same speed, and orbit as the standard challenger, just got fancy handle bars and a lame locking device.

Don't stress, sure you got some money tied up that might not be the best investment for you right this second, but add a decent porty and wand and you will pull through just fine.

Given your arsenal, I would not beat down the residential door, in fact I think it's one of the mistakes many cleaners make early on, instead solicit commercial, and let your vlm equipment excell where it does best.

Don't be afraid to try some other shampoos as well as some other pads for your OP.

And I know this is after the fact, but the question begs, If you had previous experience with scrub and rinse and you had $7K to spend, why not a used truckmount and rotary?
 

The Great Oz

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Joined
Nov 25, 2006
Messages
5,275
Location
seattle
Name
bryan
A few questions here.

1) What did I do wrong w/ the VLM cleaning that it didn't come out right in the first place?

2) Are my observations that it's going to leave to much shampoo (or Whamm or encap or whatever ya wanna call it) in the carpet correct?

3) That it's really NOT going to look even better when the custy vacs after I leave?

4) If you do VLM, what situations do you use it in besides commercial. I'm thinking of berber here because I have gotten out soil filtration lines on a berber w/ VLM. At that time I was pretty stoked about it. Now I'm having doubts.

5) Would it be better to use encap juice as a shampoo w/ a rotary & use the porty to rinse/vac it up?

1- Nothing, outside of using encap in a residence.

2- Yes, although too much is a relative term. If you can laugh about having the label "scrub and run" attached to your company, you're fine applying the product in a residence and leaving it.

3- True. If the carpet looks any better than when you started, and the customer thinks you cleaned it, many will accept that. The residue does continue to hide soil, so the carpet may look cleaner three months later than if extracted, and the customer will think they're removing soil as they vacuum.

4- Commercial only. Since encap is a great soil hider and may make it appear that you're removing soil better, leaving a residue that continues to hide soil is the feature that makes it worth using.

5- Use it as it was intended, for commercial use. Plan on HWE a grimy job to remove soil prior to encap treatments, and again after several encap treatments to remove the residue build-up and the soil it hides.

If you have no intention of doing any commercial cleaning, I'd get rid of the HOS and use the money on a rotary scrubber and maybe a rotary extractor. You won't have to market a cheaper "second rate"
Dries faster yes, but your carpet won't be quite as clean.
method that you know will not perform the way you want.
 

DannyD

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
133
Greenie said:
Don't stress, sure you got some money tied up that might not be the best investment for you right this second, but add a decent porty and wand and you will pull through just fine.

Given your arsenal, I would not beat down the residential door, in fact I think it's one of the mistakes many cleaners make early on, instead solicit commercial, and let your vlm equipment excell where it does best.

Don't be afraid to try some other shampoos as well as some other pads for your OP.

And I know this is after the fact, but the question begs, If you had previous experience with scrub and rinse and you had $7K to spend, why not a used truckmount and rotary?

On the investment, I felt that I already had a rotary/porty so VLM would be a nice add on to it. Somewhere in there I also formed the opinion that truckmounts broke down quite a bit & I'm not mechanically inclined. Though comments on the Butler & a few others are making me change my opinion somewhat.

I'm a step ahead of ya on the other pads/shampoos. I've got microfiber pads coming, or so I think. I thought it would have been here by now. I also have some Releasit that I'm going to try. Thanx for the heads up though.

I'm actually not stressing. I can see where it appears that way though. In time I'll be glad I have this. My payment on it is about $40/month. Two credit cards @ zero interest covers $4500 of it. Sometimes things look a lil different in type than ya mean it. To give ya a comparison I'm a lot more upset about Michigan losing than I am about this purchase. This purchase is more something I'm just wishing I would have waited on for a lil bit. The way I'm looking at it is even if I do no business at all, the money that my folks, friends, & myself would save by not having to pay to have our carpets cleaned this stuff will eventually pay for itself. It would take awhile, but eventually it would happen.

On the marketing aspect of things I think that's a pretty good suggestion. I'm probably still going to market to residential because I enjoy it more. If the length of my posts hasn't given it away I'm willing to talk if they are. I can also ask a ton of questions if they've got interesting stories to tell. Get the right custy & that 2 o'clock job that I'm done w/ by 4 I won't be leaving until 7 after dinner. Not the best time management maybe but I'm enjoying myself. The thing I'll do is give em a choice & explain the pros & cons of each method. I will hit commercial though, as I'm thinking that the workers in these businesses also will want their homes done.

Thanx for your input & take care,
Danny
 

DannyD

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
133
Bryan,

Thanx for the responses. Answered quite a bit of what I was wondering.

T,

Thanx for the suggestion.

Derek,

I seem to be doing exactly what ya said to do b4 ya came on here & said it. Everytime I see your post I'm thinkin "I already did that". Plus my thought is that hey, maybe someone else is having the same challenges I was & they could learn a lil something from it to. btw/ kick azz snakes in the pic thingee.

Take care all,
Danny
 

Scott

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Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
1,720
I have 2 clients who primarily use OP.

They market their systems different than HWE and just about own their markets. They both live in areas that can support "alternate" cleaning methods. But I digress.

These two gentlemen/ladies market THEMSELVES as the expert and do not in any way market the means to achieve results. Both do not like truckmounts and have absolute confidence in their own abilities, regardless of methods. Both own pretty solid truckmounts, by the way.

I will admit I sometimes get "Marty Syndrome" and only skim the messages, so forgive me if it's been covered. But what I find is the more confident the individual - no matter what the method - the more successful they are.

Having said that, we're primarily an HWE company and swear by it. It's what we know. Yes, we have OP machines and rotaries, and capacity (esp. for commercial) but we almost always default to HWE except for maintenance-grade commercial.

But there definitely is a market for OP/Low Moisture in many markets. How you market your services is what counts. If you market to the average middle class (not that there's anything wrong with that) crowd, expect to come across carpet that mandates extraction. If you are in an area that can support and you market to those who have had tried "some" HWE companies and they're not satisfied, OP or rotary might be a good alternative.

The problem here is nobody talks about scale. If I was to offer ONLY LM where I live, I'd go broke. There aren't many HWE slackers who have made a bad name of the method. If I lived in a larger area where there were a lot of rich people, LM as a stand-alone system would probably be a great USP in and of itself.

Scott
 

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