Tank vacuums consist of a tank on wheels that holds the dirt, a motor housing that sits on top of the tank, a hose, and a wand.  These units are effective in construction cleanup of large chunks of debris that could damage or clog other units.  The tank usually is mounted on a wheeled carriage to make movement easy.  Examine the wheel and construction of the carriage carefully.  Bent wheels or a broken carriage can slow productivity dramatically.  Some tank vacuums will have a beater bar instead of, or in addition to, the wand.  This allows them to work well on carpeted floors as well as bare floors.  The tank, if the machine is designed for wet and dry use, may have a valve for draining the water from the tank.  Some wet/dry vacuums have a wand built onto the tank.  A wet/dry machine’s tank should be treated so it resists rusting.  Look for stainless steel or high impact plastic in the tank.

As the name implies, specialty vacuums are designed for special needs or situations.  Perhaps the most popular example of this specialty vacuum is the one made for using on computer and electronic equipment that does not generate any static.  For carpet cleaning, the most widely used specialty vacuum is known as a “Pile Lifter”.  This high powered, dual motor vacuum fills a special role in grooming commercial carpet prior to cleaning.  We will discuss this in detail later.  There is a complete line of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuum systems have multiple filters that can be required in clean room operations such as making computer chips. 

When working around wood or delicate furniture, you may want to equip your upright vacuums with a soft cover.  This is a padded cover that goes over your vacuum head to help minimize the damage from banging the vacuum into furniture legs, moldings, etc.  Another option is to attach a magnet to the front of an upright unit to capture paper clips, staples and other metallic items before they are sucked into the unit.

Although backpack vacuum cleaners are more productive in most cases, you should always select the best unit for the flooring and conditions you have to deal with.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.  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 CTCG50@comcast.net.