Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

ProTeam Vacuums Help Custodial Staff At St. Stephen's K-8 School Clean Better While Saving Time And Money

September 19, 2010

James Borck is the Maintenance Supervisor at St. Stephen''s Lutheran School and Church, a private parochial K-8 school in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Borck and his wife Trudy also own and operate Excel Klean, a local contracting cleaning company. Three years ago, he purchased three new vacuums for his contracting company from his distributor KleenMark of Madison, Wisconsin. Two of the vacuums were traditional uprights, and the third was the TailVac® hipstyle backpack vacuum from ProTeam, The Vacuum Company®. Borck was skeptical about using a backpack vacuum because years earlier he had worn one on a job and had not liked the experience. "It was horrible," he said. The older backpack "was heavy and hot on my back," and its performance was less than desirable. But when it came time for him to purchase new vacuums, his sales rep at KleenMark encouraged him to give the ProTeam backpack model a try.

Compared to uprights, Borck wasn''t convinced that the small TailVac backpack would pick up as much dirt. He stuck with the uprights at first, but noticed "a lot of dust bunnies running around." After several repairs and parts replacements, he decided to give the TailVac a try. Borck said, "I started using my backpack unit and was amazed at how much it really did pick up." Whereas the upright vacuums seemed to throw a lot of dust back out, Borck found that with the TailVac, "there wasn''t anything going back into the air. The suction was phenomenal." As a result, dust levels on hard surfaces were noticeably reduced.

Plus—contrary to his prior experience with a backpack vacuum—Borck found the TailVac to be surprisingly comfortable. At only eight pounds, the TailVac is ProTeam''s lightest vacuum, and is a preferred tool of professional cleaners across the country. Its lightweight hipstyle design allows the user to wear it around their waist, carry it by the heavy-duty handle or sling it over their shoulder for easy maneuverability. The vacuum''s ergonomics and power coupled with the 50-foot extension cord affords the user the mobility and performance to clean better, faster and more productively.

Borck was so impressed with the results he was getting with the TailVac at Excel Klean, he decided to see how he could bring this new level of clean to St. Stephen''s School. Considering that indoor air pollutant levels are up to five times higher than outdoor, according to EPA data, and the fact that faculty and students spend up to 90 percent of their time inside, maintaining a high standard of indoor air quality (IAQ) in a school setting is crucial. A quality high-efficiency vacuum cleaner is considered to be one of the most effective tools for achieving optimal IAQ. And studies show that as IAQ improves, so do student test scores and worker productivity.

Borck''s rep at KleenMark suggested that he purchase two ProTeam Super QuarterVac® backpacks for St. Stephen''s School and a TailVac for the adjoining church. Like the TailVac, the Super QuarterVac is a lightweight version (10 pounds) of the most powerful backpack vacuum on the market, ideal for high traffic areas. His rep gave him information about the Four Level® Filtration system and how every ProTeam vacuum captures 99.9% of indoor pollutants one micron or larger—making them an ideal choice for the school. Borck took this information to the St. Stephen''s Board of Property Maintenance, and the Board approved the purchase.

The three female and one male custodians on staff at St. Stephen''s have been using the new ProTeam backpacks for two-and-a-half years now, and all love the vacuums. Borck said the staff uses the Super QuarterVacs and TailVac "for just about everything now." The staff has been able to save time by eliminating extraneous work, like dust mopping and sweeping, and are able to maneuver more easily around and under desks and chairs and in stairwells. Borck said that having the attachments on the tool belt, right at your fingertips, and being able to vacuum large areas comfortably without needing to unplug and replug the cord often has made a considerable amount of difference in worker productivity.

Whereas the staff used to get tired from pushing the uprights and lifting them where they couldn''t be wheeled, not to mention frustrated by running over and ruining cords, they now feel freed up and don''t get fatigued. "They can just keep going," Borck said. And the faculty at St. Stephen''s has noticed a difference. They compliment Borck and the other custodians, saying it "looks and smells better." Borck attributes the improved suction and superior filtration of the ProTeam vacuums to making a "100% difference" in IAQ at St. Stephen''s School.

To learn more about how you can improve air quality while increasing productivity in the workplace, and to find out about ProTeam''s three-year warranty on parts, labor and motor, visit