Carpet care equipment runs the gamut from portable, lightweight machines to ride-on machines that rival the size of a SmartCar.

For facilities with big swaths of carpeting that benefit from larger floor equipment — such as hotels, convention centers and airports — walk-behind equipment and ride-on models have their pros and cons.

From a volume standpoint, ride-on machines have a productivity advantage, as users are going to prefer sitting or standing on a moving machine versus pushing a large, heavy machine. However, in facilities where maneuverability around desks, chairs, tables or other impediments is an issue, a walk-behind machine could be preferable.

Getting carpets clean should be the top objective no matter what machine is used; productivity, energy usage and machine costs are all factors that contribute to the dilemma.