A reader writes: “I don’t like these cordless vacuum cleaners because they are a lot more expensive, heavy and have low battery life. Your opinion would be appreciated.”

There are benefits and challenges to the use of cordless technology and vacuum cleaners. Today, you can get both backpack units as well as rolling units that can increase productivity and eliminate the need for a power cord. I am noticing the use of cordless more in day cleaning operations where cords can be a trip hazard. In too many cases, battery units do not have the same suction as a corded unit although they are usually much quieter which really helps in day cleaning operations.

As to battery life, many now have a monitor that shuts the machine down when suction reaches a critical level. One point to consider is that from what I have heard anecdotally, using a cordless backpack in stairwells also reduces the need to dust. Another point is that cordless back packs will usually weigh more due to the battery and training may be necessary to make sure workers wear them ergonomically. Check closely with Legal and Human Resources before requiring a worker to wear a unit if they resist, especially if they claim it hurts their back.

A suggestion is that in purchasing any battery type units, try to stay with the same brand so that batteries, charges, etc. are compatible. Finally, give serious consideration to purchasing multiple batteries so that the worker can simply replace the battery pack and continue operations. Note that costs continue to drop while run time continues to increase. Remember that any system or process that can reduce labor by increasing productivity is the way to go in the current market. Factors to consider include the costs of replacing the battery pack which does have a shelf life compared to a power cord for the traditional units. Always conduct an ROI (Return on Investment) before making a large purchase. There are many factors to take into account in making such a decision.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. 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.