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Tuesday, September 01, 2015


What advantages are there to cleaning carpet with a truck mount verses a portable self contained extractor? Is there any recognized ISSA standard productivity rating for truck mounts? If so where can I go for the info?


Answer #1

Truck mounts have numerous advantages over portable units. You’ll encounter fewer interruptions to empty and fill tanks, and you’ll get more water onto the carpet to flush the dirt away.

ISSA's 447 Cleaning Times lists time #182, "Extraction Clean with 11-inch direct hook-up high flow machine." The machine mentioned here is a portable machine that hooks up to the water source within a building.

Because one need not spend time filling and dumping tanks, a truck mount with a similar size tool would probably be just as productive as a direct hook-up machine.

The truck mount operator would need to add "Fill" and "Empty" times separately. Fill and empty times are located on page 9 in the 447 book.

High-flow extractors have zero fill and empty time due to the fact that the water is applied directly from the faucet and emptied directly into the drain. No operator handling is involved. High flow machines also have higher flushing capacity (in gallons per minute) than either truck mounts or portables.

ManageMen, Inc.
Salt Lake City UT
John Walker (877.755.6711;

Answer #2

I cannot say that we have every type of carpet cleaning equipment on our campus, but we have many types. All seem to have applicability depending upon the nature of the work, the size of the job, time constraints, etc. So we tend to match the equipment to the needs of the job.

That being said, we have two truck-mounted machines. We run 16 hours of truck-mounted carpet cleaning a day. The carpet looks cleaner, the customer is happier and ergonomically our employees are happier.

It would seem that all equipment has a time and place.

University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame IN
Alan Bigger (574.631.5615; alan.s.bigger.1 at

Answer # 3

Anyone following proper procedures can do an outstanding job of carpet cleaning with either a portable extractor or a truck mount. The main differences are in power, heat, capacity and time. Many portables will offer spray pressures up to 400 psi, which is fine for carpet cleaning, and some will heat the water. Some provide good airflow by using two vacuums as well.

The truck mount will, however, offer a more powerful heat source for higher temperatures at the wand. It will allow the use of 150 feet to 300-plus feet of hose without significant loss of pressure or vacuum, placing the equipment well away from the work area. The tanks on portables require filling and emptying quite frequently unless you have a pump-out setup with auto fill. This will take time to connect at every use. The vacuum power of the truck mount cannot be rivaled by a portable, so better extraction is possible with faster drying times.

Because the truck-mounted unit is bigger, hotter and faster, it can save time and produce a superior job. It can also be misused, leaving the carpet wet and streaked. And it costs more to purchase and run.

Remember as well that the vacuuming, chemical introduction and agitation steps will take the same time for portable extraction as with truck-mounted extraction. Wand effectiveness and tank capacities are the big differences.

Krafft Cleaning Service
Watertown NY
Lynn Krafft (315.782.4437;