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Making the switch....


Nosey

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Hi All,

Hope everyone’s had a good Christmas and managed to have a bit of a break over this period.

I’m a trad window cleaner who keeps very busy and has good customer base. I always manage to figure out a way to clean them difficult hard to reach windows with my ladders such as dormers, above sloping roofs etc. But do know some are risky and it’s really not worth taking such risks.
 

So I’ve got a bit of money to one side and going to take the plunge and get a wfp system. I think for my type of work a trolley system would be ideal especially with the remote to control the flow. I don’t have a van, just a car. Is there any recommendations or tips anyone would be willing to give me? One of my commercial jobs is about 45ft high. So the pole would have to be able to reach that high. I do want a decent pole which is lightweight, but don’t have the biggest budget. I have access to purified water, so least I don’t need to worry about that aspect in the setup. 

Thank you

David

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If your wanting to just deal with a few hard to reach windows then a gardiner back pack would be ideal. If you already have access to pure water just put some barrels in the car and fill up as you need to. 
As for a lightweight pole at 45ft I’m afraid there isn’t a cheap option. A gardiner slx at that height is pretty weighty so probably better with an extreme but that’s £1100 + vat. 
How are you currently cleaning the 45ft windows?

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Pole wise you will need to buy a SLX 47 and a base section for a SLX 25, circa £800. You will be able to remove sections from the 47 and have a 25 as your daily pole. You don't want to be using a 47 all day. If you're busy and have an established round I'd get the money and go straight for a van set up, faffing around with a trolley set up, apologies to those that do, in my experience just makes the job much harder. 

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may be better to pass these  hard to reach houses on.     Pole size seems extreeme for a few windows extra to clean .      If you know a local waterfed pole cleaner   he may sell or even give you a few 25 litre drums to use  .   all you will need then is a backpack & pole.      Look at the costs .      if its only one or 2 houses   just tell them you cannot reach  or just l eave them.

Otherwise you are better going the full wfp  cleaning way  and start  to look if you would want to start cleaning this way.      You will need a van  eventually if you dont   atm

 

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Almost everyone who started off with a trolley or a backpack goes to a van mount, to test the water I would go with the @TWC's recommendation of a backpack and get a decent little trolley as this option is far cheaper than a trolley and it will allow you to see how you get on with wfp a trolley.

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you will need to produce pure water   if you cannot get some local to you in containers.   When you say commercial building  is it only the few ones above the ladder height you clean now..     

if you are looking at producing the pure water yourself  then thats more expense to consider.               to set all this up  if you are not thinking of the change over  altogeather .  its a big expense.      Unless these extra windows you cannot reach are worth it  to cover cost .

 

Otherwise ask a local windy  if he can clean these ones for you.  just pay him   for cleaning them.       some will help you out if they  are decent . i would if in my area.     Cash is king.  Just ask .     look for local windys in the area you want windows cleaning.     

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Get a

Gardiner backpack + a trolley

22ft clx + univalve

and a few 25l water barrels

that will give you a taste of everything without spending a fortune. The backpack will still be useful when you decide to go for a van mount.
The 22ft will reach a lot of domestic work and will likely become your go to pole covering 90% of your work. Fitting it with a univalve is invaluable for controlling water usage especially with the back pack.

using a pole at 40ft + takes a bit of skill that needs developing from working at a lower height. 
 

Highly recommend this as a trolley https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Handy-Folding-Sack-Truck/283622466443?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=710-134428-41853-0&mkcid=2&itemid=283622466443&targetid=1000553344282&device=m&mktype=pla&googleloc=9045743&campaignid=10199631727&mkgroupid=105678531007&rlsatarget=pla-1000553344282&abcId=1145987&merchantid=107374839&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjNDii9j17QIVB57tCh388gmfEAQYASABEgLZm_D_BwE&pageci=89ccea94-ab2b-46b8-b84a-deaa44d64943&epid=2254530540

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Whilst I agree that a van mounted system will likely end up being the better option for you, I wouldn't write off trying with a trolley. For me a trolley turned out to be by far the better option. I've been using mine now for 13 years.

However, my experience is that working with a backpack on a trolley/sack truck is nothing like working with a purpose built trolley and 25L barrels. I personally have not found it to be anything like as bad as others seem to have done and actually earn more on domestic work per day than a number of my mates do working from vans. 

I have a waterproof lining in the trunk of my vehicle in case of spillages. I fill may barrels in the car so as not to lift them when full any more than necessary. The only time they are lifted full is to move them onto the trolley, and then they are on wheels and easily moved. They are usually empty when going back into the car.

The weight of a trolley can make a big difference in use as well.  I've halved the weight of my PF trolley by kitting it out with a backpack pump, a 10ah battery and pneumatic tyres. It makes a noticeable difference both getting it in and out of the car and in use.  I've seen plenty of guys round my way spending as much time organizing their hoses as I do setting up my trolley.

You will have to consider safety as well. My car is a saloon with a fully enclosed trunk and I never drive more than 5 minutes to get to where I'm working and seldom more that at 25mph due to how close I live to all my work. I wouldn't want to be driving very far and at higher speeds in an estate car full of 25L barrels of water.

Just a few thing to think about.

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6 hours ago, Nosey said:

Hi All,

Hope everyone’s had a good Christmas and managed to have a bit of a break over this period.

I’m a trad window cleaner who keeps very busy and has good customer base. I always manage to figure out a way to clean them difficult hard to reach windows with my ladders such as dormers, above sloping roofs etc. But do know some are risky and it’s really not worth taking such risks.
 

So I’ve got a bit of money to one side and going to take the plunge and get a wfp system. I think for my type of work a trolley system would be ideal especially with the remote to control the flow. I don’t have a van, just a car. Is there any recommendations or tips anyone would be willing to give me? One of my commercial jobs is about 45ft high. So the pole would have to be able to reach that high. I do want a decent pole which is lightweight, but don’t have the biggest budget. I have access to purified water, so least I don’t need to worry about that aspect in the setup. 

Thank you

David

Depending the frequency and number of windows and cost  of the job , I doubt it’s worth spending 1k plus on a pole to do one job it will take a long time to even break Evan let alone make money from that job . 

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Really appreciate your responses.

Yes you are right. I’m best starting off with a smaller pole which is more fitting to the majority of my work than to just that job. It’s a good commercial job, but I manage to clean the windows externally from inside the building as each clean is inside and out. I was trying to kill two birds with one stone, but that is way out of my budget. 
 

Definitely want to be working towards a van mount system. But think a backpack will be a good introduction in to the wfp game. I’ve seen many people on here write that they have a van mount, but have a backpack on board as well for certain jobs. The purpose built trolley systems look great, but it is such a leap in price from the back pack to that for what it is. I know lugging the back pack round will be heavy, but if I can get a pf trolley will hopefully make it a bit easier and thinking about the areas I would be using it. There wouldn’t be much distance being covered with it. 
 

Ive looked at the gardiner website and the backpack and clx 27 comes within my budget. Things like the options such as gooseneck, brushes, fan jets etc is alien to me. Anyone able to simplify it for me for the most standardised pole and brush set up? I will have a good scroll through this site and get some videos up on YouTube. If I go for the clx 27 is there much difference in how it feels when in use against the slx at the similar size?
 

I will be getting the purified water off a friend of mine who has tropical fish, he has a full water purification kits which is very fortunate. See how it goes.

Thanks again.

David

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A lot of what your asking is personal preference so the following is just my opinion. 
You will find the clx far more bendy and whippy when extended. I have the 18 in both clx and slx and the difference is very noticeable even at 18ft. 
Another thing to consider is the length collapsed if it’s going in the car. 
I’d recommend the slx 22 and buy the clx extension #6. The 22 is slightly shorter which also makes it easier when using it in tight spaces. You can put the extension on when you need it but have a lighter pole when you don’t. 

It’s around £70 more but should last you a couple of years at least so not even a £1 a week more. 
I only really use two brushes. The super lite mixed medium and the ultimate flocked single trimmed. The ultimate is for leaded and wooden windows and the mixed for everything else. 


Standard pole set up is the free angle adaptor and the pencil jets with all season pole hose. You get a free brush with the pole so will need to order another if you have the same two as me. Yes more money I’m afraid. The connector is up to you but make sure it’s the same as the backpack options you select. If you get hose lock you can connect the pole to outside taps for cleaning fsg and Connie roofs. 

You will get through a lot of water so I hope your friends got a big RO system. 
Another thing you may want is a univalve to stop the water flow. If you search on here you’ll find out more. 


It all seems a lot of money at first but getting the right kit is key and will last rather than cutting corners and then upgrading later on. 
I’m sure others will have different opinions on the above. 
 

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We use the CLX27 and it's a very good pole to learn with, and is tremendous value for money. What I would say is if you have a full round you will find this pole heavy. I appreciate that if you're trad then you will be fit however you will be using different muscles so you might struggle. A light brush will be a big help for you. The alternative is to slowly convert your round and start by doing tops only and continue to trad the ground floor until you can get a van, upgrade your pole and make your own water.

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Unless you are dealing with deep sills the standard adjustable plastic gooseneck is a good choice.

Brushes will always divide opinion but I would say avoid heavier brushes on a CL-X, something medium mixed would be a good starting point.

A backpack can be strapped to a cheap sack truck for mobility.

As PT says it's a different set of muscles so will take getting used to.

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Forgot to say that I am slightly concerned about your mates water purification set up, I can't imagine that he has a de-ionisation set up as it would surely harm the fish? I could be wrong, I don't keep fish.

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39 minutes ago, Martyn said:

Forgot to say that I am slightly concerned about your mates water purification set up, I can't imagine that he has a de-ionisation set up as it would surely harm the fish? I could be wrong, I don't keep fish.

RO water is used in fish keeping I have several customers that have marine fish tanks and I supply them RO water as Ime cheaper than the aquariums and fish shops 😂😂😂

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The clx27 is only 7cm longer than the clx22 but it is 380gms heavier! Remember that Gardiner state the actual length of the pole not the height you can reach. 

A backpack can be strapped (not bungie) to a good trolley - something like a 'Handy brand trolley' they are collapsible and have puncture proof tyres. They are a bit difficult to get hold of at moment but they are probably the best at a decent price of around £50 (some sellers are jacking prices up as supply is difficult).

  • Like 2
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1 hour ago, Pjj said:

RO water is used in fish keeping I have several customers that have marine fish tanks and I supply them RO water as Ime cheaper than the aquariums and fish shops 😂😂😂

Nice little side line for you. 👍 Just wondering about the DI side of things for window cleaning, it might be an extra expense he hasn't allowed for.

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