Just northwest of Hartford lays the small town of Simsbury, Connecticut – a town where the largest employer is the local school district. Five elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and an administrative building comprise Simsbury Public Schools, a district with a total of 750,000 square feet of facility space. For over two decades, it has been Steve Twitchell’s job to oversee maintenance of that space from floor to ceiling. He does so with the help of ProTeam vacuums.
Twitchell was introduced to ProTeam vacuums by his distributor back in the early 2000s. Twitchell previously used stainless steel canister vacuums, but he was attracted to the speed of backpack vacuums for routine cleaning.
Fast and Affordable
“ProTeam backpack vacuums are fast and affordable,” said Twitchell, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds. “They are built for speed. When a custodian puts on a ProTeam backpack, they just keep moving until the space is clean.”
Twitchell also invested in ProTeam ProForce 1500XP upright vacuums to clean in each building’s lobby as needed. Twitchell says the ProForce uprights are quick and convenient for cleaning up soil tracked in from outside.
A few years after Simsbury Public Schools bought their first ProTeam vacuums, a team from ProTeam visited Twitchell’s department. The ProTeam engineering department sat down for an educational session with the custodians.
“We threw some suggestions at them, and they actually incorporated some of them,” said Twitchell. “They also gave us a good service manual. It helps us identify what is going on with a vacuum, how to repair it, and put it back together they way the factory recommends. We learned a lot from that visit.”
The Importance of Filters
One takeaway was the importance of regularly changing their vacuum filter bags. A filter that is more than half full weighs down the vacuum and puts undue strain on the motor. If the custodian keeps vacuuming with a full filter bag, they can cause a motor failure. Simsbury custodians now change their filter bags at the end of every workday, ensuring their vacuums operate at peak performance.
“The custodians absolutely love their ProTeam vacuums,” said Twitchell. “There’s a sense of ownership: ‘That’s my vacuum, so I’m going to take care of it.’ That sense of ownership leads to better vacuum maintenance and cleaner buildings.”
The High Dusting Difference
Over the last winter break, the custodial department rented a rolling lift to tackle high cleaning in one school. They paired their backpack vacuums with ProTeam High Dusting Kits to clean dust off of ceilings, overhead ducts, and fans.
“We could feel and see the difference after cleaning with the high dusting attachments,” said Twitchell. “During summer vacation, we’re going do high dusting at all of the other schools.”
Even without a lift, Simsbury custodians can reach more areas with their High Dusting Kits. One school has a 14-foot wall of windows with windowsills that gather dust. Using the extension wands, a custodian can reach and vacuum those windowsills with their feet planted safely on the ground.
It is critical to remove dust from every surface, because dust can be inhaled and trigger asthma and allergies. For Twitchell, creating healthy buildings is a top priority.
“Our ProTeam vacuums are so effective, we know we are doing our part to make our buildings healthy,” said Twitchell. “The buildings look and feel so clean, people think our buildings are new.”
Learn how another school district uses ProTeam cordless vacuums for speed and safety.