I frequently get asked, "Do you rent buffers?" This seems like such a simple question that could be answered “yes” or “no.” But what is a floor buffer? Are you speaking of a floor machine or polisher? Do you mean a conventional speed, burnisher, rotary machine, side to side, scrubber, or high-speed machine? Which machine will work best for your specific project?
FIRST, you need to determine the floor surface that will be cleaned. Is it VCT, wood, tile and grout, concrete, brick, or carpet?
SECOND, you need to determine the task at hand. Are you stripping and refinishing VCT (Vinyl Composite Tile)? Are you shining wood floors? Are you restoring tile and grout?
THIRD, what is the size and scope of the job? How many workers will be on the job? Will you need a wet vacuum to compliment the stripping process? Are you dealing with square footage large enough where multiple machines may be necessary, if so how many? As you can see, the answer is not simply “yes” or “no”. The questions “Do you rent buffers?” actually leads us to numerous other inquiries.
7 Things About Floor Buffer Rentals that You Should Know:
1. Determine the floor surface that will be cleaned. This will help you to choose the correct piece of equipment and the correct accessories for the job.
2. What is the square footage of the floor surface to be cleaned? If you are dealing with an area over 2500 square feet, an automatic floor scrubber may be your best option to improve productivity. If you are dealing with an especially large surface area, you may need multiple machines to handle the job efficiently.
3. Is the rental machine equipped to handle the job? Not all floor cleaning equipment is built the same. Is the motor strong enough to shampoo carpets? Do you have the correct brush to clean tile and grout? Is the machine heavy enough to strip the finish from the surface?
4. Is the rental safe and clean? Clean and safe equipment is an important representation of how you conduct business. Your choice in rental companies can influence your image as a business. Ensure the cord is in good shape with no electrical tape or cuts. Is the machine properly grounded? Reputable rental companies will test the equipment in front of you when you pick it up. If your rental company will not perform this test for you, take your business elsewhere. This will reduce the possibility of equipment failure when you are on the job.
5. Learn how to properly operate the equipment. Ask for a demonstration. You may be surprised to learn little tips that can prove helpful on-site. Even if you have worked with a similar machine in the past, this model could be updated or set up differently.
6. Determine the cost of the rental equipment before you set-up or quote the cleaning job and include the cost of the rental(s) in the quote. Labor is your largest expense. Don't skimp on the supplies and rental equipment. Look for premium supplies and rental equipment to provide optimum results.
7. You are responsible for the condition and cleanliness of the rental equipment from the time of receipt until return. Failing to return the rental in the same condition as when you received it could lead to additional expenses that would cut into your profit from a contract. Consider transportation before choosing a rental. You may need a truck or van to properly transport the rental equipment safely. Some rental companies will even deliver the equipment to the work-site.
When deciding which machine to rent, seek the help of a professional in the business. An expert at a reputable supply company will point you in the right direction. They can also provide advice that can make the job quicker and easier, which in turn could increase your profit from the contract.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.