Valve Manifold

Truckmount Carpet Cleaning System?

Has anyone built their own truckmount system? Where did you buy the parts? How much did you save versus buying a new pre-fabbed unit? Would I be better off to buy one ready to go?

I've been in the truckmount cleaning business for many years, and never heard of anyone building their own. To my knowledge, the parts you will need won't be available to purchase for personal assembly. Even the replacement parts I order must be purchased through an industry supplier. The manufacturer does not sell direct. I recently had to replace a cracked brass check-valve manifold, which costs close to $300 for the part. This important manifold is exclusively machined by them at one location. I tried to buy it from the manufacturer, but they told me I would only be able to get it from the local distributor I have my business account with. These distributors do not sell truckmount kits to build on your own. Even if you were able to get your hands on all the parts you need, they are individually expensive and probably would not be cost effective.

Also, unless you have extensive knowledge with carpet cleaning truckmounts and what is required to make them effective in the field, I wouldn't suggest building your own. There is a lot more to a well-built truckmount system than just a good high-temp water pump and a strong vacuum blower. Though your machine may seem powerful, it may create undesired effects in the field and leave you liable. These machines are designed by specialists who focus not only on the mechanics involved, but primarily the science and math that allows them to perform as intended. One consideration would be your recovery system. You might have a very powerful tri-lobe blower, but find that your carpet remains overly wet and browned out. Factors such as airflow (CFM), inches of lift (in Hg), air watts, and several others must be fine-tuned to prevent ineffective performance. Here is a good article on the subject: http://www.hydramaster.com/inside/articles/article2.asp

I recommend buying a truckmount built by one of the 3 industry leaders... HydraMaster, ProChem, or BlueLine (which branched from ProChem). You should have a distributor close by no matter where you live. Try Jon-Don or Interlinksupply.
Most distributors have their own financing team or special banks they go through that specialize in approving you specifically for equipment needed for a start-up carpet cleaning business. Other than using your own money, friends, or family, this may be your best chance to get the funding you need.

Another avenue would be buying used equipment. With some skill in mechanics, you will be able to get the unit up-to-par and keep it that way without breaking the bank. I've always just paid for parts and installed them myself.
Most of the distributors will have used truckmounts to sell, or at least know of a few owners trying to sell equipment or even their entire business.

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