Today’s high-rise buildings and mega-facilities boast square footage in the thousands or even tens of thousands — a challenge for end users faced with the time-consuming task and expense of maintaining all that flooring. Fortunately the evolution of floor care machinery has kept pace, giving custodians the option of ride-on machines that allow them to sit down or stand up.

“It’s all about productivity and the demand on the budget dollar, reduced labor force and innovation — especially with battery technologies — that has helped with the morphing and evolution of how these machines were put together,” says Mike Jacobs, facility consultant for Tepe Sanitary Supply in Elkhart, Ind.

While distributors agree that traditional walk-behind units revolutionized the floor care industry, they also note that more and more of these machines are giving way to ride-on equipment.

“Both ride-on and stand-on equipment are excellent at reducing labor costs,” says Kurt Amig, vice president of sales, Quaker City Paper Company, York, Pa. “They both decrease fatigue because you’re not walking behind [the equipment], and productivity is huge.”

Ride-on equipment is also easier to maneuver than walk-behind units, according to Tom Wenzlick, sales rep for Lansing Sanitary Supply, Lansing, Mich. 

“A rider has the ability to turn in smaller areas,” he says. “With a walk-behind, you’re pushing the rear end around. A rider turns from the front, so you’re able to turn into elevators more easily.”

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