In a sluggish economy, building service contractors and in-house cleaning professionals are hesitant to shell out for high-priced cleaning equipment, including rider sweeper/vacuums that can cost upwards of $10,000.

However, distributors that can show a great and fast return on investment could find themselves making the sale.

Customers with large wide open or long carpeted spaces - for instance convention centers, airports, hotels and hospitals - are the prime prospects for sweeper/vacuums. Vacuuming 1,000 square feet with an 18-inch upright takes janitors 15 minutes compared to two minutes with a ride-on machine, according to ISSA Cleaning Times. Switching from a manual upright to a ride-on can save enough labor hours that customers can see a return on investment in three to six months.