This is the third part of a three-part article on the use of orbital equipment.

In addition to saving building service contractors time, orbital machines also result in less downtime for customers’ facilities. The time savings are a tangible benefit in facilities with areas that are difficult to shut down, such as hospitals and surgery centers. Customers in those facilities notice a big difference when janitors strip and finish with orbital equipment since they don’t need to shutdown overnight.

“They don’t have to lockdown areas while it’s being stripped, because it’s quick,” says Rager. “The next thing you know they’re all laying the finish and they’re out the door within five, six hours.”

Four workers with three machines can replace 15 janitors, he adds.

When stripping floors with chemicals as opposed to an orbital machine, janitors should wait 15 to 20 minutes for the floor stripper to work before they can begin the next steps.

“Then you’re looking at [more time] to scrub the floor, to strip it with a black pad, then wet vac it up, then rinse it, then wet vac again and then tight rinse and then wait for that to dry before you can even lay your finish down on the floor,” says Rager.

In comparison, after orbital machines strip the floor, janitors simply wet mop, let the floor dry and lay the finish.
“So, you’re eliminating a lot of steps and a lot of processes,” says Rager.

Another benefit of orbital machines is their weight. The dirtier the floor, the heavier the equipment needs to be. Orbital machines are heavier than conventional machines, resulting in fewer steps.

“The more weight makes it easier to cut through sealers and things like that on the floors,” says Rager.

In Rager’s experience, orbital machines strip floors in about half the time of other equipment.

Susan Thomas Springer is a freelance writer based in Sisters, Oregon.

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New Floor Care Equipment Makes For Happy Employees