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A Commercial Floor Sweeper Buyer's Guide: Costs, Types and Purchasing Advice

For larger facilities and commercial cleaning companies, a commercial floor sweeper is a must-have, not a luxury.

These machines come with a wide variety of features, and incredible variations in size. This makes finding the right commercial sweeper to meet your needs a challenge. Costs vary from around $500 to $20,000 and more. The key to determining which machine you need is understanding your budget, your requirements, and the differences between the different sweeper models.

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What Are the Types of Commercial Floor Sweepers?

Floor sweepers bear little resemblance the broom sitting in your utility closet. There are many types of commercial sweepers, but they all have a few things in common.

Each machine includes brushes at the front and rear of the unit, and usually comes with different types of brushes. The operator chooses which brush type to use for the specific job. To remove lighter material, use brushes with finer bristles, whereas stuck-on dirt and heavier debris require rougher brushes with stiffer bristles.

The two main types of sweepers are walk-behind (also called pedestrian) and ride-on. Power options include battery or fuel (propane, gasoline, or diesel).

Walk-behind floor sweepers are better for smaller areas, or those with narrow access that require extra maneuverability. They are available in both battery- and fuel-powered models. The operator walks behind the unit (hence the name) using the controls on the handles or, if the sweeper includes this option, pre-programs the unit.

Ride-on floor sweepers are typically more heavy duty and used for both indoor and outdoor applications. Though you find a battery-powered ride-on unit, diesel and propane models are also available. Ride-on models typically include a higher-tech extraction and filtration system than pedestrian models do.

Choosing between these options depends on your budget and cleaning needs. The rider models clean a much larger area, around 52,000 square feet per hour on average, compared to 30,000 square feet per hour for a walk-behind model. Look at the actual square footage that needs sweeping, and how often you would use a commercial floor sweeper when deciding between the rider or walking models.

How Do I Know Which Commercial Sweeper I Need?

The easiest way to determine the best model for your needs is to answer the following questions.

  • Do you prefer electric or fuel? If using the sweeper in an enclosed area, a fuel-operated machine may not work well, due to fumes.
  • How much time do you want to spend sweeping? The amount of time it takes to clean an area determines your labor costs and influences the size machine you want.
  • What is the size of area you need to clean? This includes total square footage as well as the width of doorways, aisles, and hallways. You also need to look at areas with obstacles and limited maneuverability.
  • What kind of dirt are you sweeping? Removing food scraps from a kitchen or restaurant is a totally different beast from removing grease and gravel from a warehouse or dock, and different again from the relatively minor dirt and debris found in an office setting.
  • What type of flooring are you cleaning? Is it concrete? Warehouse flooring? Office flooring? Smooth linoleum? Different flooring types have different brush requirements.

How Much Does a Commercial Floor Sweeper Cost?

Again, costs vary dramatically based on size, features, brand, and location. We can offer some basic guidelines, though.

Walk-Behind Sweepers

  • A basic model with few features starts as low as $150 and goes up to around $500
  • Manual push sweepers start at around $500 and go up to around $2,000
  • Self-propelled push sweepers range from around $2,500 to $5,000
  • A push sweeper with a 25,000 square foot rating averages around $875
  • An electric sweeper with a 30,000 square foot rating averages around $2,500
  • A 3,450 RPM electric sweeper averages around $3,500

Ride-On Sweepers

  • Ride-on models start at around $5,000 and exceed $20,000
  • An electric model rated at 65,000 square feet averages around $5,500
  • An electric model rated at 91,000 square feet averages around $14,500

In addition to the unit, the cost of a maintenance plan averages around $750 per year. Check whether any warranty or maintenance plan is included with the unit, and what comes with an additional cost.

Regular maintenance extends the life of the machine, and saves you from expensive repairs, so consider purchasing a maintenance plan if the warranty does not include one.

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