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Equipment advice please

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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:12 pm

I look at it this way. My Butler unit has over 10,000 hours on it right now. At a conservative price of $100 per hour (my minimum pricing goal) that is ..... well you can do the math, but it breaks down to almost $60,000 per year average.

Portables will not deliver in the same way. Kevin, I would suggest you find yourself an old butler equipped van. You can find a good backup unit on the market for less than $14,000 that will run reliably with a little maintenance. They are very simple, very little to go wrong, and have very good vacuum.

It sounds like a big jump up from a portable based business, but it really only breaks down to a little over a single house cleaning per month to pay for it.....and you get another vehicle to boot.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by dp1 on Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:19 pm

Or you could buy a used prochem Everest *wink wink*, I'll sell it to you for $ 14,000 including all hoses, reels and chemical rack Very Happy
I agreed with most guys are saying up there, you will go through jobs so much faster hooking that tool to TM and with less browning issues, remember upholsteries brown much more than carpets especially the lighter color ones. Unless you're using self neutralizing ph cleaner. That would've been different story.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:16 pm

The other option Kevin is hire a helper and just carry the furniture to the truck. I am serious about that suggestion.

I cleaned a recliner and 8 microfiber kitchen chairs with button tufted backs out in the guy's driveway Thursday afternoon. They were all a jade green and were horrible! Elderly couple, lots of hair grease and spilled what-ever stains on the bottom cushions. Shocked

I took them outside mainly because it was like 95 degrees inside and I didn't want to suffer. They cleaned up real nice out in the gentle breeze and Sunshine (free oxidizer) and were nearly dry when I was done with the final chair.

Best part was the exposure. Was asked by the neighbors for a card and told to expect a call to clean their daughter's house out by the lake.

I like the floor show demonstration of cleaning furniture outside when you can. Better results normally as well.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by kevinj6121 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:56 am

I'd love to have a TM but not busy enough to justify it for one thing, don't have the money for another, don't think i could put one in my dodge grand caravan so i would also need another vehicle, best i could come up with now would be like 5grand, not quit enough. I would only buy something like that new if i did i like the TNT by judson, new I could get one for around $12500.
I've heard they are a good reliable unit. Question, how much better is an entry level TM at say 150 to 200ft then an good portable at only 50ft of vac hose anyway, I have no idea. I'd get one in a heartbeat if someone gave me some $$$ Lets start a "Help Kevin get a TM donation" page. Currently I have a night job that I do 6 nights a week so i have another source of income other then carpet cleaning. I'm not that aggressive with advertising that much for carpet cleaning because doing like 3 jobs a day with portable equipment isn't easy and i'm not 20yrs old anymore
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:36 am

You pretty much described every cleaner in the World at the start.....working full time, cleaning on the side, and not wanting to spend a lot of money on a TM van.

I was that way for 4 years Kevin before I took the plunge and bought my Butler unit. In the end, I wish I had done it 4 years earlier.

Vacuum recovery would be no different. Heat would likely be no improvement. Water psi, no difference.

What would be different is water flow (better flushing) and the really big one......increases the number of jobs and quality of jobs that you will get.

It doesn't even matter which TM or what size, just that you clean with a TM will open a lot of doors that would not be there otherwise. That can include a large commercial anchor that will provide a nice safety net for your business.

Buying a used van and TM for say $14,000 is nothing more than a car payment, yet it can make you a lot of money over the course of the loan....and be a tax benefit. A TM is also easier on the body in this industry.

It can be a big jump and there is no guarantee that it will work out, but it is also the greatest investment you can make for a cleaning business. The question is, how much do you enjoy your night job? Would you rather clean full-time?

That will only happen with a TM equipped van....or mounted in a trailer.

As for the TNT, it is a great design and simple as a #2 pencil to operate. I still don't like the propane heat though and wish it had a good heat exchanger that ran off the trucks coolant like my Butler.

I guess I am just a direct drive cleaner and should have just purchased a newer Butler or CDS instead of my box truck.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by kevinj6121 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:27 pm

Good honest advice and opinions, thats why I love coming in here and talking to you guys. I just got home from a job that I did with another local cleaner, he has a TM, he had a job on the 10th floor that was not accessible with his TM and his porty is broken, he wanted to just give it to me to do i suggested we do it together and just use my equipment, we've swapped work with each other before but have never met in person and I wanted to meet him in person thats why i suggested we do it together, which we did. I have the mytee LTD5 portable duel HP 3stage vac 500psi, He was very impressed with the machine suction and said he feels like he is using his TM. when we were done we were at his truck and he fired up his TM for me to feel the suction with a 50ft 2inch hose which is what we used with my porty> gotta say I was expecting to be like wow can't believe the suction on this thing but that was not the case at all, was it better YES but not by much ( just going by feel) now at 150ft I think the TM and my porty at 50ft would be same, now I know there are better TM's out there then what he has of course but i was expecting to be blown away and i wasn't. If it sounds like i am knocking TM's i am not, I would still buy one if i cold afford one but not because i think i could clean better with one but because it would be a lot easier and faster, i'd be able to do more work a day which of course = more $$$ in my pocket. So as to the question, how much do you enjoy your night job? Would you rather clean full-time? Well my night time part time job puts $3000 a month in my pocket before i even do one carpet job. just paid off my van last month and have no credit card debt or any debt at all for that matter other than normal house rent cell phone bill and car insurance, you know normal stuff that we all have so things money wise are ok. Guess i'm being a cheapass as to not taking plunge to a TM. I take into consideration that if i had a TM and it broke i'd have to drive an hour just to get it some where and if i had to leave with them between an hour drive there then an hour driver back thats two hours, then 2 more to go pick it up for a total of 4hrs drive time. There's nothing I can't fix or replace on my portable that i can do in 30min or less and no drive time anywhere.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:22 pm

I was running just like you for almost a decade. Was bringing home about the same each month ($3250) before I cleaned anything. It was safe and I was comfortable with that.

Fast forward to a few months ago when that comfortable life ended with the plant closing. Scary times right now with winter approaching, but I have managed to replace the former income most months while working a few days per week. That means more time to enjoy life, which can be difficult when you are working two jobs in essence.

The vacuum isn't going to be a huge jump at 50 feet, it is the fact that it can still do that at 400 feet that makes the difference and I will go to my grave believing that more flow equals better cleaning.

Buying a TM is not everyone's business plan and if you can make things work by dominating those jobs were a TM cannot go, then you have a great situation. The beautiful thing about this industry is that you get to decide how you want to roll.

I would suggest this one last thing though. Ask you buddy to use his TM on a job sometime....especially a house and then you will be able to asses the situation fully. Down the road, the experience might pay off. You might hate the TM experience and then that would be that.....never know until you work with one.

In the meantime, I hope that night job continues to provide that comfort zone so that you can make your moves because you want to and not because you need to.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by dp1 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:50 pm

I couldn't agree more with what Bob said, hey here's an idea, ask Ryan if you can do ride along with him ? And see how long does it take to clean a home on average with TM and you can compare it with portable.
It's not going to be Apple to Apple comparison as each home would differ in size, access situation and soil level, but at least you would get an idea.
In my honest opinion, there is no portable that outmatched a TM, I have a decent size portable and I absolutely hate breaking that thing down from the van, that's why I charge $ 0.50 / sq ft with $ 200 minimum charge if I have to clean with portable. Most balked at that rate and I couldn't be happier they did, lol.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by kevinj6121 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:46 pm

Decisions decisions decisions, Well i've got 5grand put aside so far, so i'll just keep plugging along and save save save, in the meantime anyone willing to send me some money please feel to do so, LOL
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by dp1 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:39 pm

Kevin, winter is coming in fast, there will be great deals out there if people are motivated ( going out of business, etc ), there is also auctions out there, you might need to drive further out of state but a lot of times they are super great deals, once I got a regular everest with Nissan engine for $ 5500, complete with reels and hoses, check craigslist and ebay often.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by Mo on Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:35 pm

You could probably find a decent used TM for 5k. I think AC has a new reliabilt with a 45 blower for 5K
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:45 pm

You can find a decent TM for that kind of money in most areas, but you still need the van/truck/trailer to go with it. You could get set-up with a good clean van and solid mount for around $14,000 that would last you several years of hard usage.

That is still a big ticket item, but the cost of an average car is more than that these days. People buy them at the clip of a new one every 3 years, but their car doesn't earn them $150 / hour.....yours will.

I am actually thinking about selling off my box truck set-up and buying a newer direct drive instead. I love everything about using a box truck except the winters....a van works out much better in the winter around here.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:54 pm

I was just trolling through the CL ads in this area for cargo vans and found a real gem. A 1994 Dodge 1-ton cargo van with 39,000 original miles for less than $3000.

It belonged to the police department and served as a surveillance vehicle. It does have a office-like set-up in the back, but that could be removed easily. It is just a bench seat, desk, etc.

Although a '94 Model looks a little dated, it doesn't show any rust and is clean. With 39,000 miles and at that price, a guy could cheaply set up a TM van.

In fact, I might pick it up myself and move the TNT over if I decide to sell off the box truck. That would give me a solid second unit and cash in my pocket after I sold the truck.

Something to consider anyway.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by kevinj6121 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:59 am

sounds like a good deal, what state are you in again
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by dp1 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:57 am

He's in Nebraska Kevin.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:42 am

The van is in Kansas City Kevin....probably cost $800 to ship it to your area.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by ACpower1 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:50 pm

"Vacuum recovery would be no different. Heat would likely be no improvement. Water psi, no difference"

I would say that all would be much much better,  unless your talking like a hydramaster spitfire 3.2..    those arent much more powerful than a really good porty.  

The reliabbuilt was 6500 without the little giant heater which I already had in the garage,   then we added a waste tank for another 500.  

Its an awsome machine we have some hrs on it now and I probably would not buy any other TM,    it just works..     Suction is greater than the judson (judson is running on propane %15 loss,   and also is belt driven)      Reliabuilt is coupler driven and running standard gas.      If your glide is old you wont hardly be able to move the wand at 100ft running full throttle.      

The price is the main selling point for me,    when its time to add 3rd truck we should be able to be all set for 10-12k van and everything.  


Kevin I would put some money down and loan the rest since you have a good job to support.      Butler has a great lease program for a brand new van plus butler unit installed starting at $799/month.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:00 pm

It is a good lease program at Butler and one that I am seriously considering. I never liked the idea of not owning something in the end, but when you are talking about a TM Van, you may not really want it at the end anyway.

The idea of running a new unit and trading it in after a few years on another new unit sounds pretty darn good to me these days.

If you have the business or maybe I should say "If you can get the business" to support it, that price is pretty hard to beat on what is normally a $65,000 set-up.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by ACpower1 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:30 pm

ya 800 a month is a decent advertising budget that can be eliminated to pay for a van lease.

plus its a trouble free set up with full warranty.

but were most likely going the used van/reliabuilt route for 3rd truck before next season, it can be had all paid off and owned for 1 year of butler payments.

Its got 24/7 heat on tap, tons of vacuum and never ever has to go into a shop... like a portable I can fix anything in about 30min
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:54 pm

That's the deal right there....the reliability. There is no worst crime to a business than unreliable equipment.

I will have my box truck paid off by Spring which frees up a good chunk of money that may end up going to a Butler lease. Reliability of a new mount and van is the way that I want to roll into the busy season.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by kevinj6121 on Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:58 am

And the battle in my mind continues I think 1st i will work on getting a regular full size van to replace the Dodge grand caravan, however i really do not mind using a portable, the Mytee LTD5 with 50ft runs works great with 2inch vac hose right to the wand. This is leaving it right outside the front door, sometimes I need a little more then 50ft so I carry extra hose for those times. finding 2 separate circuits is not a problem at all, at least for me it isn't. As i mentioned earlier I do have a second income so not totally reliable on carpet cleaning income, and although I would like a TM I don't see one in my immediate future, I already have the LTD5, A 15inch CRB, 175 rotary with solution tank and carpet brush, Oreck orbiter and a Vario OP machine, and various blowers. I prefer to buy only new equipment especially if it is to be a TM and to me an entry level TM although easier to use is not that much better then a good high performance portable, especially if you add an inline booster. I think I am leaning toward buying a generator and running the LTD5 off that from the van, then add the Mytee vacuum booster which only weighs 46 pounds and uses only one cord and leave that outside the front door. So i can add those two pieces of equipment for $2000 tops I also have the Mytee hot turbo heater I could use and leave outside front door. Currently I can unload LTD5, hoses and wand and be set up in ten minutes or less, add a few more min to fill solution tank with bucket if not using auto fill option. Keep in mind I only do one job a day 4 days a week, i'll set it up for 10am arrive time and take my time to do the best job i can for customer, this then leaves me plenty of time to go back home, relax for a while, take a shower and get ready for my other job which I have to be at by 4:30pm. I'm making money and not killing myself. By the way my other job is at a pizzeria doing pizza delivery, the owner lets me print up fliers for my business and put them on all the pizza boxes and I do get work from that for only the cost of the printing from vista print, one job more then pays for the printing. about 3grand a month delivering pizza part time, its the easiest money i ever made in my life and i enjoy doing it and talking to people, I'm a good people person, we have many regular people who order all the time and I have a good repore with them. Ok so now i think i'll stop rambling.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:49 pm

I delivered for Godfather's pizza for 2 years and might end up doing it again this winter. You can make really good money doing that....always could. I am always amazed how many people are on unemployment complaining about not being able to find a good paying job while there are delivery want ads all over the place.

The only variable that you haven't included in your rational Kevin isn't that a TM would clean that much better nor that it can do it more efficiently as you can get pretty close with a good portable set-up, it is that a TM gets more business.

I never had a problem cleaning with my Steamin Demon and HOS Orbot, but it was much harder to get jobs without that TM. I used to get that call all the time, "Do you use a TM?" and when I tried to explain how I could clean just as well, click...dial tone.

Same would happen with commercial accounts. Every major account that I ever had (franchises for example) included the requirement that I used a TM for the cleaning. Every single one.

I like your set-up and that delivery gig sounds awesome in that you get free advertising and would meet a lot of people which would certainly help you, but I know the lack of a TM will hold you back. This industry is 70% marketing and 30% cleaning these days and it takes more than just being a great cleaner.

I would suggest that you keep doing what your doing, but check the local ads each week in case you come across that great deal on a TM over the next 6 months.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by kevinj6121 on Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:32 pm

I agree having a TM can lead to getting more business. But I also somewhat believe that location has something to do with that as well, I have never ever been asked If I use a TM. I've cleaned carpets while living in Long Island NY for three years back in mid 80's ( granted TM'S weren't well known back then) also cleaned carpets 5 years living in San Diego CA, that was mid 90's. Cleaned for 3yrs in Denver, CO 2009 to 2011 moved back to NY 2011 to 2014 cleaned again now for almost 3yrs here in Calabash, NC it has never come up, I do however have people tell me no ones ever cleaned their carpets as good as i have even the guy before me that had a TM, I've had people pay me as much as $50 more then I charged them and saying you do too much work for what you charge. I know I do and should and most likely will raise my prices some soon. But I do plan on getting a regular van like a chevy of ford and sell the dodge grand caravan. I'll do that with in the next six to eight months, once I do that i'll start keeping my eye's open for a good deal on a TM but its gotta be something with at least a 45 blower. But for now, doing 1 a day 4 days a week plus the delivery job is working good, i'm making money and am not killing myself in the process. You guys are a good bunch, I appreciate and respect your feed back, advice and opinions.
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by milspec6 on Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:03 pm

Sounds like you are on the right path for yourself. Like I've said before, the cool thing about this business is that you get to call the shots. Who knows, maybe you end up opening up a pizza joint instead some day.

Glad to hear all is well on your end, keep up the success. Wine
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Re: Equipment advice please

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:41 pm

If a porty is working, then great.

Like Rob, I find it hard to believe that people wouldn't rather have a guy with a TM though.

If you were doing high rise, or there were no cleaners in your town, OR even if someone had a bad experience with the door hanging open, I can see it.

But I can understand not wanting to sign on the dotted line for such a big ticket item too.

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