In a prior article, I addressed complaints regarding weight and heat of backpack vacuums. In this continuing article we will address three other issues: hurting the user’s back, costing too much and poor pick up. As to hurting an employee’s back, I would caution you to make sure the user does not have valid back issue. I have found that if a backpack is worn correctly with the hips carrying the weight that I did not even notice it after a while. I did note that a double motor upright could really put a strain on my shoulder and wrist when compared to the light aluminum wand of a backpack.

Granted that most quality backpacks can cost more than an upright but I have seen that price drop. Again, my point is not in the cost of the unit but how many you have to purchase and do they improve productivity (think labor and benefits)? If so, then a backpack can be a bargain. Note that if you allot the same amount of time for the person to vacuum the same area, you may not have any noticeable savings to document. Please give serious consideration to team cleaning which identifies the “Vacuum Specialist” as a person who covers a far larger area that if he/she were Zone Cleaning.

The final argument against backpacks in this issue is suction. I have not seen any data to support that claim IF the trained worker knows how to use a quality floor tool. This is different from pushing an upright so again, reorientation and training is very important. I will note that a quality upright with the right height adjustment can have great suction as well IF used correctly.

Please proceed with caution and get your own experience. My comments are simple observations that may not apply to your particular case for many reasons. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or