When you have your carpets cleaned, you want to use the most powerful systems on the market to achieve the very best results. The best and most powerful systems out there are ones powered by the cleaning truck or van. They produce much more heat, vacuum and pressure. All of this translates into an exceptional cleaning job when coupled with an experienced cleaning technician. There are two kinds of truck powered carpet cleaning machines. You have PTO units powered by the van and Slide In units powered by a separate engine. Both work well, but there are some differences.
PTO units get the power to supply the machinery directly from the engine of the van or truck. They typically use a hydraulic system to transfer the power from the engine to the cleaning equipment. The benefit of these systems to the operator is that they are very reliable. You only have one engine to maintain and it is a tried and tested automobile engine. The disadvantage to this system is that these machines generally produce slightly less heat. They still provide good cleaning temperatures, but they are typically not as hot as Slide Ins.
Slide In units are powered by a separate engine. The engine is directly coupled to a vacuum blower either with a clutch or through the use of drive belts. These machines are powered by a 2, 3 or 4 cylinder engine ranging anywhere from 20 to 60 horsepower. Because manufacturers can harness engine exhaust heat, these machines generally achieve higher water temperatures. The downside to Slide In machines is that they are more prone to mechanical failures and require more maintenance.
Both styles of van or truck powered machines are more than adequate to clean carpet. The average consumer will not notice a difference between the two. Just choose a company that uses one of these systems that has a good reputation.