30 Nov Rambo’s Ramblings: Making the Switch, From Truckmounted HWE to VLM
I have just completed a 100% switch to VLM cleaning!
Previously, we had been running three HWE truckmounts (which included a Butler, a Prochem “Legend” and a Bane “Perma-Mount”). I packaged up 75% of my business (which included two trucks and customer list) and sold it. After that, I continued to operate with my Bane truckmount and service only my home county.
I started OP cleaning this year and was blown away with the results! I had used bonnet cleaning systems in the past, but always used HWE as our number one method.
The reasons for switching to 100% VLM were mainly:
– new chemicals
– ease of use
– easier to train new employees
– having something “different” to offer my customers
We use and will market ourselves as using all natural cleaners. Two tag lines (slogans) come to mind: “I’m a Natural” or “Environmentally Safe Carpet Cleaning”.
I have much lower operating expenses now. Additionally, I use a smaller vehicle to operate out of (I just purchased a Chevy Astro van – not possible to operate the Bane Perma-Mount TM in this type of vehicle). My Astro van handles all of my VLM equipment quite nicely and my GPM (gallons per mile) is higher now that I am not hauling a 2000 lb. TM everywhere I go.
With VLM, it is very easy to expand the business without spending an additional $15000.00 for another HWE truck mount. “Tripping hazards” are almost non-existent, because OP cleaning does not require hoses running throughout the home. Insurance costs less, as well.
I have found that “Padding” is easier on the body than wanding. I recently OP cleaned 6000 square feet of dirty carpet, all in one day without any back pain! Padding is almost as fast as wanding for us. VLM gives you something to talk about at Chamber Of Commerce and Real Estate meetings, especially if you are using an all natural cleaner.
We also clean a lot of furniture using the Von Schrader Dry Foam System as our number
one method (using LST is our number two method). Stairs are cleaned either with the Von Schrader System or by using the OP method (via the Argonaught).
We use a portable extractor on small water damage jobs as well as cleaning certain types of rug fringes and that is all. I really love not having to ride around all day with a 120-gallon waste tank right behind the driver’s seat (and all the odor that goes with it)!
I am not sure how fast VLM will increase in its market share of the “carpet cleaning pie”,
but I see it as growing faster than ever before. Remember that Von Schrader has been around for over 60 years.
I have completely disabled my Bane Perma-Mount truckmount, so there is no turning back now. I am 100% VLM! I look forward to the challenges and the rewards.
Ray “Rambo” Moody