While carpet cleaning vans are the preferred vehicle for most cleaning companies, sometimes you just need more room. If you find your van getting a little to crowded you may want to consider using a ‘box’ truck.
A box truck is a vehicle usually ranging in size from 14 to 24 feet that carries a separate cargo area i.e. box, that sits atop the chassis or truck frame. The cargo area is separate from the cab and usually there is no access from the cab to the cargo area. The cargo area is accessible via a rear garage-type door that rolls up. The most common use for these kinds of trucks is for moving vans, rental trucks e.g. Ryder or U-Haul and for appliance or furniture delivery.
Box trucks are made by a wide range of companies. GMC, Freightliner, International, Isuzu, Ford, Nissan and the list goes on. They’re also available in diesel or gas models so the decision to consider a box truck will take a considerable amount of homework. However, once your homework is done, there are a plethora of sites on the Internet to research, review and purchase a new or used box truck.
From a carpet cleaning perspective, the advantage of a box truck is the additional space it can provide for all your cleaning equipment. Vans can sometimes get downright crowded when used for steam extraction cleaning via truck mount machines. In addition to the truck mount equipment, you also need room for the water tanks, hoses, lines, cleaning wands and chemicals. While cargo vans are usually sufficient for this task, there is usually little room left over after accommodating this equipment.
The real challenge comes when you want to offer additional cleaning services to your customers. Common up-sell services might include carpet repair, odor control, floor cleaning, leather cleaning and conditioning and fine fabric care. Each of these services has additional equipment and space requirements. These take the form of more tools, other cleaning wands or brushes, additional chemicals or dyes, etc. The ability to carry all of this equipment for each cleaning job allows the operator to sell additional services to the customer that can be performed on the spot vs. scheduling another visit and possibly losing the sale.
Each carpet cleaning business must assess its own needs with regard to the services it wishes to sell and the equipment required. Once this is done, a proper decision can be made on whether a box truck or a van is the right solution.