Part 5 of 7: Floor cleaning machines are a big investment. Do not waste money on a machine with poor design.  The key to floor machines, auto scrubbers, carpet cleaners, and sweepers is well thought out design.  Your machine should not only be easy to operate but also safe for the operator. Walk behind scrubbers can weigh between 350 to 650 pounds and it only takes a second for your operator to lose control. Ride on scrubbers can weigh up to 1300 pounds and likewise you want not only the operator to be safe but also people surrounding it.  Part 5 of this guide goes over fail safe controls, drive systems and squeegees.

1. Drive system

Is the machine “brush assist” or does it have a transaxle to move it.  Brush assist is less expensive, saving the cost of the motor, however, the pad driver or brush is “canted” to one side so that as the brush turns, it pulls the machine and the operator forward.  Brush assist machines do not have full pad contact against the floor. Is the brush “cant” optimized for pad contact?  Also, because the brush is set in one position, reverse requires more operator effort, to counteract the machine’s pull.  Machines with transaxles usually have both forward and reverse, and full pad contact.

Features of Tomcat machine

Features on the Tomcat Autoscrubber

2. Fail Safe Controls

Does the machine have a “Dead man’s” feature which turns off the brush motor and solution if the operator leaves the machine on? Any type of floor cleaning machine can be very heavy and thus dangerous if it can move forward with no one behind it.

3. Squeegee

How is the vacuum and squeegee activated, hand lever or foot lever.  Hand levers are more convenient and safer, keeping both of the operator’s feet on the ground.  Is the squeegee flat or curved (parabolic)?  Parabolic squeegees provide better water control and solution recovery, allow higher flow rates and promote faster cleaning.




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