Truck Mount vs. Portable

There are some big differences in the performance and ability of rental “shampooers” and hot water extraction units that professionals use.  The major differences are in suction power, water temperature, spray jet power, and mobility.  There are other services in the service area as well.  Professional companies use high quality cleaning chemicals.

Suction Power

Rental machines are powered by electric vacuum motors.  These motors are stronger than the motors on your vacuum.  They are designed to extract liquid.  Truck mount carpet cleaning machines are powered by a gasoline engine.  The engine turns a piston at around 3,000 RPMs and creates suction for up to several hundred feet of hose.  Comparing electric motors to a gasoline engine is like comparing a remote control car to a go kart, there is no comparison.  A gasoline motor has far superior power for suction.  Better suction means extracting more dirt.

Water Temperature

It is a widely accepted fact that water is a better cleaning solution when it is hotter.  Science has proven this.  Now, when you rent a machine, you can only get the water as hot as your tap will allow.  Rental machines do not have the power to heat water.  By the time you extract, the water has actually cooled down.  A truck mount machine heats has the capability to heat water to up to over 200 degrees.  This offers much better cleaning capability.

Spray Jet Power

Rental machines spray pumps are also electric powered, they offer around 250 PSI.  This is the power at which they spray the carpet with water and cleaning chemicals.  The more powerful your pump is, the deeper you can attack the dirt with.  The dirtier the carpet, the deeper down you want to spray and the more powerful of a pump you will need.  With truck mount machines the pump is also powered by the gasoline motor, allowing for up to 1200 PSI.  The truck mount machine has the power to blast the carpet fibers with cleaning chemical and the suction power to suck it all up.


Rental machines are big boxes on wheels that are rolled around.  They carry the clean water and the dirty water adding more weight to them.  If you have a 2 story house you have to drag the heavy machine up the stairs.  Then you have to unload the water before you bring it back down the stairs.  Truck mount machines stay in the work truck; hose is run from the machine to wherever the carpet is.  A light weight wand is the extraction tool that is taken into the home, allowing for very easy movement.

Rental machines just do not have the power that professional machines offer.  They can clean the surface of the carpet, but are no substitute for professional cleaning.  They can be used for small problems, but will never be as effective as a professional machine.