Today’s trolley essentials

3rd of February 2023
Today’s trolley essentials
Today’s trolley essentials

What are the most important elements of a contemporary cleaner’s trolley?  And how far are these requirements changing with the times? Ann Laffeaty asks manufacturers about the trolley essentials of the 2020s.

A cleaning trolley is a workstation on wheels – basically a manual version of the mobile worker’s van. So there is no such thing as a typical trolley.

It simply needs to be equipped with the right set of items and products required for carrying out the cleaner’s work, just as a van needs to accommodate the tools of an operator’s trade.

Certain items such as detergents, cloths and mops will be commonly found on most trolleys. But the specific configuration will depend largely on the needs of the sector, according to TTS export sales manager Alessandro Costantini.

“For example in a congested office with corridors, narrow passages and lots of furniture your trolley will need to be easy to manoeuvre and should take up as little space as possible,” he said. ”In a
hotel on the other hand, the trolley should be discreet and unobtrusive and capable of facilitating room cleaning and linen collection.

“And a hospital trolley should be configured to help prevent the risk of contamination between the washing, storage and waste collection areas.”

The TTS Magic range includes closed trolleys for healthcare environments incorporating frames that separate the washing, storage, and waste collection modules.

Adaptable models

The essential components of a typical cleaning trolley are the drawers, a lockable door, a facility bag, buckets and a handle holder for the mopping system according to Greenspeed’s digital trade marketer Eva Meerts.

“There is increasing demand for trolleys that can be adapted to the working environment,” she said. “Today’s market is also seeking a high level of functionality along with customisable products. And if a trolley is modular, that’s also a plus because it means it can easily be adapted to suit the customer’s needs.”

However, each environment has its specific requirements, she adds. “For example, a hospital should be served by a flexible, closed trolley with multiple compartments and lockable doors for hygiene and safety reasons.” The Greenspeed C-shuttle 350 has three compartments and can carry up to 200 kg, allowing it to accommodate the heavy laundry requirements of a hospital. And its wheels are designed to prevent the accumulation of dirt and can also be disinfected between uses.

Buckets, a wringer, trays and a bag holder are among a cleaning trolley’s most essential components according to IPC’s product manager for tools Elisa Marcon.

“However, trolley requirements will depend on the area of application and the context in which it is used,” she said. “For example, the ideal hospital trolley configuration would incorporate a pre-impregnation system for mops to ensure the correct disinfection process. And a hotel trolley will have specific storage requirements because it will need to be able to accommodate clean sheets.”

Every trolley should offer waste collection, storage and wet mopping capabilities according to Filmop’s business development manager Paolo Scapinello. “These elements should be customised and accessorised according to specific needs,” he said. “And vertical frames are required to separate the waste collection compartment from the others to ensure the highest levels of hygiene.”

A bag holder and bags are both essential in the waste collection area, he adds. “The storage compartment should be able to accommodate buckets, drawers and shelves depending on requirements and the cleaning compartment should house a traditional wet mopping system or a mop soaking system.”

He says every environment should have equipment that is fit for purpose, and this particularly applies to the healthcare sector.  “Cleaning here needs to meet the specific needs of the sector and provide the ability to reduce the spread of micro-organisms while also preventing injuries,” he said.

Trolleys in a hotel need to be well designed and aesthetically pleasing, he adds. “They also need to incorporate waste collection, dusting and wet mopping functions and be designed to help staff members prepare guest rooms quickly, easily and discreetly,” he said.

Segregated waste
The Alpha Hotel and Emotion lines are available in a motorised version which is said to allow operators to easily handle loads of up to 150 kg. And these models can be used in corridors with a gradient of up to eight per cent.

Hygiene requirements plus the type of flooring in the area to be cleaned both play a major role in determining the type of trolley required, says Crisp Clean’s sales manager Keara Page.

“For example, kitchens and bathrooms need to have a mopping system on the trolley whereas offices and hotels – which tend to be carpeted – require a waste collection receptacle and a vacuum cleaner,” she said. “And here the trolley also needs to have larger wheels so that it can be easily moved across the carpet.”

A healthcare trolley requires a segregated waste collection system, she says. “A hospital trolley needs to be equipped with a double bucket wringer system or a dosing system using a clean mop for every 10 to 20 square metres,” said Page. “And in public areas it is important trolleys don’t become an eyesore and that all harmful chemicals are secured out of view.” Crisp Clean offers trolley systems that are both lockable and fully enclosed.

Trolleys can be adapted to suit today’s changing needs simply by making them modular and fully flexible, she says.

“Being able to accessorise a basic trolley layout gives the customer the ability to fine-tune their own configuration,” she said. “We use CAD-generated 3D images and computer models to allow customers to stay involved at every stage of the process from initial concept to prototype development.”

Kärcher’s product manager for manual tools Beyza Gügercin agrees that the essential components of a trolley will depend on the task, the environment and the client in question. “The operator needs to be able to fulfil his or her cleaning operations using the appropriate method and in the most efficient way,” she said.

For example, she claims a hotel trolley’s main requirements are that it should be robust and easy to push when fully loaded.  “It should also have large wheels and flat shelves to accommodate linen and towels as well as trays for holding amenities items,” she said. “And a hotel trolley should have a lateral bag support to contain rubbish or dirty laundry.”

She says office trolleys need to accommodate surface cleaners and dusters as well as floor cleaning equipment such as pre-impregnated mops or a double bucket and wringer. And trolleys in hospitals should be easy to clean and disinfect.

Add or remove

“These should have smooth, rounded surfaces and no gaps or crevices where dirt and bacteria could collect,” she said. “And all buckets and other elements should be colour-coded while touch-free components also work well here.”

Kärcher’s compact Swift and larger Expert models allow operatives to easily switch from one task to another by adding or removing components, she claims.  And the Flexo Box tray can be opened and closed via a foot operation for added safety in healthcare environments.

So, how are trolleys being adapted to meet the needs of our changing times? Commentators agree that the two greatest drivers for change are technological innovation and today’s more stringent hygiene requirements.

Filmop’s Paolo Scapinello confirms this. “Covid-19 has required manufacturers to adopt new approaches and take stricter hygiene measures, so our Alpha and Alpha Hotel trolleys can be customised to incorporate hand sanitiser and gloves holders,” he said.

“And operators are increasingly demanding new tools to help them manage and organise their work as technology gains ground in the professional cleaning sector.” Filmop’s Alpha and Emotion trolleys can be accessorised with a tablet holder while the motor-powered versions of the trolleys have an integrated USB socket for recharging tablets and mobile phones.

IPC’s Elisa Marcon agrees today’s trolleys increasingly need to integrate tablet-holders and sanitation accessories, while Greenspeed’s Eva Meerts says she too has noticed a growing reliance on technology - along with an increasing desire to be able to carry larger cleaning equipment on a trolley  “We are responding to these trends by providing trolleys with an mop holder and by ensuring scrubber dryers can easily be mounted on our C-shuttle 150 and 250 trolleys,” she said.

TTS’ Magic multipurpose trolleys can be equipped with an adjustable tablet holder with a flexible arm, says Alessandro Costantini. “Our customers are increasingly demanding these accessories,” he said.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has also heightened people’s focus on hand hygiene and many of today’s customers now want direct access to hand sanitiser and disposable gloves on their trolleys to prevent the risk of contagion.”

And Kärcher’s Beyza Gügercin adds that demands for enhanced productivity is a major driver for change. “It is becoming increasingly important for users to be able to save time and boost productivity by transporting multiple machines on their trolleys,” she said.

“For example, they might need to incorporate vacuum cleaners, scrubber dryers or battery-operated window washers on their trolleys to cut down on unnecessary journeys to the cleaning
storage room. This machine-integration concept is in fact one of the key features of Kärcher trolleys.”


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