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Cordless Backpack Vacuum Helps School Custodial Program Absorb Budget Cuts

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Crystal Lake Educational Center (CLEC) is an early childhood learning facility in Lakeville, MN, that sees about 88 staff members, 650 students, and many parents pass through its doors on a daily basis. This school of 68,846 square feet is thoroughly cleaned by only 1.5 custodial workers each night due, in part, to the GoFree® Pro cordless backpack vacuum from ProTeam®.


ProTeamAccording to Jane Dettmer, head custodian, her staff previously cleaned the school with 2.5 workers a night during a shift that lasts from 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. When budget cuts came down from the school district, they needed to reduce their cleaning staff by one full-time worker without compromising on cleanliness. Ed Nelson, supervisor of buildings and grounds for all of Lakeville Area Public Schools in Minnesota, investigated possible solutions and learned about the ProTeam cordless backpack.

“Since we were going to have a reduced staff, we had to make up the time with better equipment,” said Dettmer. “With the GoFree Pro and two extra batteries, we shortened the vacuuming time of the whole school by an hour each night.”

Previously, the custodians vacuumed with a ProTeam Super HalfVac® Pro hipstyle vacuum, which is similar to a standard backpack vacuum but can be worn with or without shoulder straps. Since the students are ages three to five, most outlets in the school’s classrooms are covered, making it a challenge to effectively cover every square foot. Now that they use the GoFree Pro cordless, outlet changes and cord management are eliminated, reducing vacuuming time from four hours a night to just three hours.

“I think the GoFree Pro does as good a job as a corded vacuum. It has a lot of suction,” said Dettmer. “Even as the battery is at the end of its charge, there is no gradual loss of suction. The suction dies all at once when the battery is fully used.”

A 6-foot-2 custodian, Ron, is the primary user of the cordless backpack. Even though the battery makes the GoFree Pro heavier than a corded backpack vacuum, Ron has no problems with discomfort or fatigue from wearing it for three hours a night. When Dettmer took over his vacuuming duties while he was away for a week, she was surprised to find that she could also comfortably use the GoFree Pro, even though she is only 5-foot-2.

“I wore it all week and had no problems,” said Dettmer. “I adjusted the harness straps, and the vacuum just stayed with me. It was an easy adjustment.”

Since last September the GoFree Pro has saved time, money, and effort for Dettmer’s cleaning program at CLEC. They have also been implemented widely across Lakeville Area Public Schools thanks to Nelson who discovered the cordless backpack through Greg Belde of Hillyard Minneapolis.

“It is a big timesaver for us,” said Dettmer. “I wish we had another one.”

Posted On June 29, 2015
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