Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gym Floor Maintenance

Imagine for a moment, 12 individuals grinding out the last few minutes of a 20-minute high-intensity workout consisting of two 25 feet overhead walking barbell lunges, chest to bar pull ups, and bar facing burpees over the bar. Not just 20 minutes to complete these movements, but 20 minutes to complete as many rounds of these movements, and by a round I mean 25 foot overhead walking barbell lunges with 95 pounds on the bar for men and 65 pounds on the bar for women, eight bar facing burpees over the bar, 25 foot overhead walking barbell lunges (same weight), and eight chest to bar pull ups. Yes, all of that is one round! Seems like a lot of work, right? Let’s add some variables to that equation: it's 98 degrees outside, so inside a non-air-conditioned facility it could be anywhere between 85 to 90 degrees with a slight breeze. This means lots of sweat. Don’t forget the humidity factor. That doubles the sweat. Since they are sweaty and they have to use a barbell and do chest to bar pull ups, they also are using a lot of chalk so the bar does not slip out of their hands nor their hands slip off of the bar. Did I mention it is 20 minutes of this? Now imagine the clock has ticked down to the last second and all 12 individuals stop where they are, thankful they have survived another grueling workout and just lay out on the ground gasping for air (even the hot, humid kind) creating what is affectionately called a “sweat angel”. Their sweaty bodies have now made contact with a gym mat that has had countless of people do the exact same thing as they have done- worked out, got sweaty, and laid out. That gym floor has also seen lots of dirty shoes and that pesky chalk dust we talked about. This is what most typical CrossFit gyms are like. I know what you are thinking, “Another CrossFit cult victim writing another CrossFit article because all they can think and talk about is CrossFit.” Before you stop reading, let me assure you this article is not about the cultish CrossFit movement. It is actually about that gym floor I had mentioned.

If that gym floor that just endured that workout along with those 12 individuals did that five or six times that day, six times that week, with the stifling heat and humidity factors without being cleaned properly, it has now become a cesspool of germs- a breeding ground for a very dangerous infection known as staph. So, now begs the question, “How can this be avoided?” Well, I’m glad you are still reading.


  • Train members to clean up after themselves. I don’t have a fancy hyperlink for this but I can tell you what I tell my athletes, “Wipe down your bars and if you created sweat angels or used chalk, clean them up.” This step, although third on this list is really important for maintaining the cleanliness of a gym and it’s just hygienically well mannered.

Three short, easy steps can keep a CrossFit gym clean and safe for all athletes. You do not even have to pay a cleaning company to come in and clean your mats for you. This is something that can be done by you, the manager, the last coach of the night, or a member that is looking for a discounted membership. Your investment in these vital products will save you lots of money and time in the long run, not to mention the safety of your athletes. If you take anything away from this article, let it be that CrossFit gym floors can get very dirty, so just give us a call to help you clean your gym.

About the Author: 

Maile Miller has been part of the team at Southeastern Equipment & Supply since early 2007. Growing up as a Military Brat, Maile developed the essential trait of adaptability and honed her problem-solving skills; Both of which have proven to be key ingredients to Maile's personal success with the company. Over the years, Maile has worked in nearly every department. However, while finding ways to make regular contributions throughout the company, she currently focuses her energy on Managing the Accounting Department. For the past four years, Maile has dedicated much of her spare time toward her love for CrossFit; Through which she has - as we have come to expect - found competitive success as well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

**Batteries May Be Included

*batteries not may be included


In the world of commercial scrubbers and sweepers, there are many different options and features. One of the features weighing on a purchasing agents mind is going to be what kind of propulsion system to go with. While LP (Liquid Propane) is an option for certain types of sweepers and a small selection of scrubbers, the overwhelming majority of machines are going to be designed for battery power. This is because for the majority of commercial scrubber and sweeper use cases - whether ride-on or walk-behind - a battery system provides the correct balance of safety, usability, and convenience.

So that’s it - Battery is the way to go for your new scrubber, right? Well, not so fast… Now we have to consider what TYPE of battery is best for YOU. The truth is, all of the currently available battery configurations have strength’s and weaknesses respectively, and the best way to know which one is going to be right for you is to be thoroughly familiar with all of the differences and features. Let’s start with the most popular:

‘Old Faithful’ - Flooded or “Wet” Lead Acid Batteries – 

Flooded batteries are a great option for your scrubber because they provide an excellent balance of output, efficiency, and cost. They are by far the cheapest option and are typically readily available when it comes time for a replacement. The flooded batteries in your scrubber are much like the flooded batteries in many of our vehicles that help us start our cars; They are comprised of a series of lead plates surrounded by a solution of sulfuric acid and water. The fundamental difference between the cranking battery in your car and a “Deep Cycle” battery that will do well in your scrubber, is the thickness of the plates themselves. While this reduces the initial cold cranking ability of the battery, it dramatically increases the overall storage capacity allowing for longer run-times while also providing the durability needed to withstand the continual recharge and drain consistent with using a scrubber. However, this type of construction means that what you gain at accessibility and in price, you lose in the area of maintenance and many times longevity if not given the proper ‘TLC.' In fact, the primary difficulty our customers run into when their machines get put out for use is executing a solid maintenance strategy that results in a battery lifespan consistent with manufacturer expectations. Have no fear, the strategies, tips, and tricks to keep your batteries running great are here:

  1. Never leave your batteries discharged for an extended period of time.
  2. Always try to recharge your batteries completely each cycle.
  3. Always keep the terminals of your batteries clean.
  4. Be sure to regularly check that the terminal cables are tightened.
  5. Water levels should be checked daily and reservoirs filled using Distilled Water Only.

‘No Maintenance’ - Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

You may be in a situation where the maintenance requirements of a flooded battery are not desirable. For instance, if the scrubber is going to be used by others; Particularly if there are going to be multiple individuals or teams using the equipment without direct supervision, it can become difficult to ensure the proper maintenance steps are taken on a consistent basis. If this poses too much of a risk to the longevity of your batteries, then sealed batteries may be a good alternative for you. 

Sealed batteries come in two main categories – Gel batteries & AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat). Both styles are constructed with a series of Lead plates much like their flooded battery cousins. However, instead of being submerged in an acid solution, the electrolytes necessary for the battery to function are suspended in either a silica gel substance (In the case of Gel) or in a specially designed glass mat (In the case of AGM). The voltage limit will differ from a flooded battery of the same specification so If you are going to go with one of these battery options for your scrubber, be sure to tell your sales person so the appropriate charger can be included. The primary drawback of sealed batteries is going to be their cost. Sealed batteries can cost anywhere from 50% - 100% more when compared to their flooded counterpart. Though, don’t get too stuck on the cost; Sealed batteries (AGM in particular) can offer the following advantages:

  1. Faster Charging times
  2. Instant/On-demand high load currents
  3. Glass mats allow for greater lead density leading to a better power to weight ratio
  4. Better performance in colder temperatures
  5. Low to little maintenance means a greater chance of achieving the full lifespan of the battery
  6. AGM batteries do much better at withstanding deep cycling applications such as in a battery powered scrubber

‘The New Guy’ – Lithium-Ion Batteries 

Tennant T1 with optional Lithium-Ion Battery
A relative newcomer to the battery field, Lithium-Ion batteries are increasingly common in consumer electronics like cell phones and laptops. Lately, they have also begun to make an entrance in the renewables field, and we are even seeing floor cleaning equipment manufacturers implement the technology. Compact scrubbers such as the Tennant T1B, leverage the incredible power to weight ratios a Lithium-Ion battery provides to allow for world class specifications in a compact package. A properly implemented Lithium-Ion Battery can provide the overall best performance of all the options discussed through:
  1. Greater depth of discharge
  2. Less self-discharge
  3. Will have an overall longer lifespan
  4. Requires little to no user maintenance
  5. Charges very quickly with the appropriate ‘Smart Charger’
If you’re thinking “Well that settles it, the lithium-ion is the way to go”, You will first need to consider that a Lithium-Ion battery option is not always available for every scrubber. As the technology continues to grow, the options will expand, but being a niche product in the cleaning field, the cost may at times be prohibitive depending on the use case. Don’t forget to add to the conversation the need for a ‘Smart Charger’ – This is not only for the health of the battery but to avoid a potential fire hazard.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN??

Batteries may often be an afterthought when considering your cleaning equipment purchase. When you look at things closely, though, you see that there are a lot of factors to consider. The decision can be a huge piece in your equipment performance puzzle and greatly affect your long term satisfaction with the machine. The bottom line is that there is going to be an option that is best for you and with a little research, and hopefully some help from our spectacular Sales Team, we can make sure you end up with YOUR best solution.

About the author:

Philip Carmona has formally been with Southeastern Equipment since February of 2016. He has brought with him more than 12 years of successful team building, project and operations management experience from his previous entrepreneurial endeavors. His background provides a unique perspective and invigorating energy to the Southeastern Management Team, that positions the company to capitalize on their stellar track record of success. Originally from Upstate New York, Philip and his family have recently relocated to Columbia, SC from Charlotte, NC to be at the Main Operations Center daily.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Protecting Your Investment

Your new or reconditioned floor care equipment has just arrived!

How do you protect your investment?

This is a question many ask themselves after they have purchased floor care equipment. Here are a few tips on how you can protect your investment.

Maintenance Routine
Depending on the make and model of your floor care equipment you will want to perform some and/or these tasks daily...


  • Recovery tanks should be emptied and rinsed.
  • Clean and shut-off filters, make sure to leave lids off so that they can air dry.
  • Solution tanks should be emptied.
  • Brushes/pads should be cleaned and rinsed.
  • Vacuum ports and squeegees should be cleaned 
  • Jets should be cleaned regularly (expert tip: soak jets in a mixture of vinegar and water overnight to keep down mineral deposits.)

These simple preventative maintenance steps performed either by you or an employee (the equipment operator) on the equipment daily can really go a long way in protecting your investment.
A solid maintenance routine can prolong the life of the equipment and catch small problems before they become big ones. Additionally, routine maintenance will reduce costs over time because equipment will perform better and last longer.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Keep Equipment Manuals. Keep manufacturer information where you can find it easily.
  • Follow a daily maintenance task list. Daily maintenance needs usually are listed in the owner’s manual. Create a daily maintenance task list from those recommendations. 
  • Train employees and all equipment operators. Always train a new employee/equipment operator on how to use the equipment.
  • Track equipment use and maintenance.  Keep a record of maintenance, including a description of service and who did the service.
  • Don’t hesitate to call in a service technician. Service technicians are typically factory trained and give you someone to call in when there’s a funny noise or a vibration that doesn't feel right. Catching a potential problem early may save you money and time in the long run. 
  • Budget for replacement costs. Regardless of how well it has been maintained eventually equipment must be replaced. Be proactive and build that replacement cost in your budget You’ll eliminate downtime and improve productivity by being able to replace the equipment right away. 

While following, these steps will ensure you get the most you can out of your equipment, sometimes you might need a little help. At Southeastern Equipment & Supply we know how important it is to have someone to call on when you need help. That is why we offer an extensive inventory of OEM parts, aftermarket parts, have a knowledgeable helpful customer service staff and employ factory trained maintenance/service technicians.

For more information visit our website at www.southeasternequipment.net or call us at 1-800-440-6723 or 803-252-0100.

About the Author:

Emily Martin has been part of the Southeastern team since our start in 2001. Her extensive sales and marketing background makes her an essential part of our marketing group and she works with our Orbio team to deliver new technology options to our institutional customers. Born and raised in SC she has extensive local knowledge, but her bilingual abilities, allow her to work fluidly in Spanish and English markets.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

3 Steps to Keep Your Business Floors Clean During the Winter

Snowy Footprints
When I was thinking of writing on this topic, I realized that this may only benefit a small number of our subscribers.  A number of our customers are either in a warm climate, in the southern hemisphere (where it is currently summer), or you just don't have that much snow.  Where we are in South Carolina, snow comes maybe once or twice a year.  However, the principles of caring for your floors in the winter time can apply in any setting. Here are the tried-and-true commercial floor cleaning tips we recommend:

1. Entrance Floor Mats
This tip is pretty intuitive but incredibly important to emphasize. Snow, rain, slush, and ice can be a huge headache for your business, not only from a safety perspective but also from a floor wear perspective. Salt melt that is tracked into your home or business can be detrimental to your floors.  A manageable solution is ensuring that you have proper matting at your entrance.  Have a good floor mat at your place of entry captures a majority of the salt granules, dirt, and moisture that is tracked in from people's shoes.  It has been recommended to have at least 15 feet of matting to stop most of the contaminants from ever reaching your floors.

Viper ShovelNose Wet/Dry Vacuum
2. Eliminate Moisture
In order to ensure the longevity of your flooring, it’s important to remove moisture as soon as it accumulates. Mops are one solution to this issue, but they aren't able to effectively sop up all of the wetness, and your floors are left slick. If you’re looking to reduce manual labor and increase efficiency, a better option is using an industrial vacuum to suck up puddles and cover a greater surface area. We suggest our New Viper ShovelNose Vacuum—it comes mounted with a 2-foot-long squeegee attachment.

3. Routine Maintenance
Entrance matting is only the first line of defense for protecting your floors.  Most of those in colder climates use some sort of ice melt in their parking lots.  Ice melt is composed of sodium chloride which is very harmful to floors.  Sodium chloride deposits can harm floor finish and create a slippery film.  The best way to combat the salt build up on your floors is regular cleaning with a neutral cleaner.  Neutralizing excess calcium chloride buildup should be near the top of your “to-do” list in order to ensure salt does not fester and become difficult to remove. If you’re looking for a DIY neutralizer, channel your inner chemist and mix vinegar with water.

For a more effective solution, we suggest selecting one of our neutral ph cleaners—they’re specifically designed to lower calcium chloride pH to the base level of 7. After melt chemical residue is removed, apply an industrial strength degreaser to eliminate all remaining traces. If you’re consistent in repeating this process every few days, you can avoid the stress of tackling this daunting project all at once. The neutral cleaner will keep the floor clear of salt and prevent damage to your floors. Keep an eye on the “shine” of your floors. If you start to notice a dullness in your floors, increase the frequency of your floor care routine or burnish if necessary.  A word of warning, be sure your floor is completely clean of salt and dirt before you buff your floors.  If you burnish while there is any residual build-up, irreversible damage could occur.

Conclusion
Caring for your floors in the winter takes a lot of time and energy. Just by taking a few simple steps you can save future costs and labor in repairing or replacing your floors.

Do you have any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting, emailing or give us a call!

About the Author:

Dave Abercrombie started out with Southeastern Equipment in 2002 as an equipment technician and rejoined in March of 2016 to manage their e-commerce.