An industrial shop vac is a great way to help keep commercial floor surfaces clean. As a commercial floor professional, you have likely used a wet and dry vacuum plenty through the years. However, when you have a new employee ready to take on this important task to assist you, it’s vital that they are properly trained.
Many people, young and old, might turn to commercial floor maintenance for their career and have certain preconceived notions based on your basic residential vacuum cleaner or home shop vac.
As you know, they are not the same.
Below are three critical things you should keep in mind and remember when you are training a new employee to use commercial carpet cleaning machines or wet and dry vacs.
Over many years and a lot of experience on your part, it becomes easy to overlook the things you (now) take for granted, not realizing this new person likely won’t know any of it.
First, just because a wet and dry vacuum can pick up almost anything, that doesn’t mean it should.
This should go without saying, but sadly, it does need to be said. A powerful 12 gallon shop vac can pick up a lot of debris. It can suck up nails, screws, small metal fragments, dirt, glass shards, water, other fluids, and so much more.
That doesn’t mean your new employees should be going around just sucking up everything off the floor. If you have a large piece of hard metal, for example, maybe 1-2 inches or more in length, with a very sharp edge, that can cause damage to the vacuum hose.
It could also potentially cause damage inside the vacuum collection unit.
Something large like this may be best picked up by hand or swept up quickly before bringing in the industrial shop vac.
Make sure your employees understand that larger items can cause damage, even though they can be sucked up without too much trouble by the machine. They’ll need to use their discretion and common sense as they are assigned tasks on their own, but if they understand the potential damage that can be caused, especially over time by picking up sharp, heavy objects that can hurt the interior of the hose and so forth, they may become more diligent and protect your investment in a vacuum cleaner.
Second, when cleaning carpets, start by moving furniture out of the way.
Not all furniture or other items can be moved in a commercial facility, but those that can be moved should be either taken out of the area or room altogether or shifted to one side.
This may require your team members, your employees, to do one half of the commercial carpet surface, wait for it to properly dry, and then move the furniture back on that side to clean the second half.
Some employees may tend to try and work around furniture, which may seem okay.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always lead to quality results. When you encourage your employees to move furniture out of the way, when possible, it will not only make the job easier for them, but also produce better results with the wet and dry vacuum you have.
Third, encourage them to treat the machine like it is theirs.
This is not always easy to do, especially with somebody who may not have a career path in mind within the commercial floor maintenance or cleaning industry. However, if you can encourage your team members, your new employees, to treat the machine as though it is theirs, they will be far less likely to cut corners and suck up heavy, potentially damaging pieces and be more likely to clean it thoroughly after each job.
One way you could potentially do this is through a reward system. Check the machine regularly. If you notice it is clean, properly maintained, give them points. After so many points, they might earn a gift card to a local restaurant or iTunes or Amazon. Something that motivates them to take care of the machine as though it belongs to them.
When you can bring accountability to the job, you will have people working with or for you who treat your business as though it is their own. That is one of the most effective ways to turn an average employee into an exceptional one who really knows how to use the industrial shop vac.