In a prior article, we looked back just a few years ago when the first low speed, side to side floor machines were introduced to a world eager for a better, faster way.  Along with the high speed machines generating up to 2,000 RPM, some creative manufacturer developed a propane burnisher that was faster and not limited to a 110 electrical outlet.  Of course, they were loud, smelly to some degree and could be a maintenance nightmare if not serviced correctly.  


Floor pads and finishes had to evolve to take advantage of these machines since the old fashioned finishes would be ripped up and burned off in a matter of seconds due to the extreme heat and friction generated.  No one knew at the time that the floor finishes being developed could have negative impact on the environment due to the “heavy metals” used to give them their durability.  Before green cleaning and environmental issues became the vogue everyone was clamoring for higher density finishes that ranged from 18% solids up to 30% or more.


BSC (Building Service Contractors) soon learned which products were more durable and which gave a longer lasting shine.  Manufacturers listened and responded with various products and processes that met and sometimes exceeded those demands.  Hogs hair pads, white polishing pads, maroon pads and other colors indicated their purpose and end users bought them up hoping they had found the Holy Grail of floor work.  


Although rotary (going in a circle) machines were dominant, a new species of orbital (think back and forth) was slowly gaining a foot hold due to benefits they claimed could change the world.


We will continue this evolution in a future article.  


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