As the # 1 producer of direct drive and power take-off truckmounted cleaning machines in the world, we get asked lots of questions from contract cleaners, facility managers, and restoration contractors about the relative advantages and disadvantages of a direct drive truckmount. A lot of criticisms directed at direct drive truckmounts are launched by salespeople or contractors who have never owned one. Sometimes what you hear is MUS (made up stuff). But, a lot of the questions we get asked are very legitimate, good questions. Providing an answer can help direct the inquirer to making the right truckmount investment for their business or facility.
- Doesn’t owning a Direct Drive require that you purchase a new van increasing your cost and potential payments?
- When looking at purchasing any new truckmount, it often makes good business sense to invest in a new van or vehicle simultaneously. Your new truckmount can make a powerful impression on your potential customers. You want to make sure that your vehicle makes that same powerful impression. Plus with used van prices on the rise and innovative financing programs from our partner finance companies, you can often finance a new van and HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE unit for easy monthly payments and end up with your dream vehicle and set-up.
- What happens if my van is involved in an accident?
- Most insurance policies will cover both van and unit and often times you could have a new van and new unit as quick as pulling your slide in unit, finding a new van and re-installing it. In fact, most rental companies will not allow you to drill the holes necessary in a rental vehicle to move your slide-in into anyways.
- Doesn’t a HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE cost a lot more than most slide-ins?
- A HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE costs you just a little more than a powerful air-cooled engine slide in unit and about the same or less than a water cooled engine slide-in. We believe when making any truckmount investment you should begin with your three to four year goal in mind. Plus, the HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE requires the least maintenance and is the easiest unit to train your staff to use. In addition, the space saving design allows you to store more equipment which means you don’t have to spend money on another vehicle to transport accessories. A HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE typically has simpler and less extensive service intervals and you have to maintain your van engine either way. The HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE simply lasts longer than entry level slide-in units so when you eventually pay off your HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE in 4-6 years, your unit will likely still be running strong. You also decrease maintenance costs on both the machine and your van (shocks, brakes, tires, etc…) due to carrying less weight and even weight distribution will offset any extra increase in payments.
- In addition, both the HydraMaster CDS and CDS xDRIVE are backed by the HydraMaster Ownership Experience Guarantee. We’ve got your back when it comes to support. The reliable track record of our direct drive truckmounts has been so dependable that both the CDS and the CDS xDRIVE come with a three year warranty. Compare that with the typical two year warranty on a slide-in truckmount and you have another reason why a direct drive truckmount from HydraMaster is such a worthy investment.
- Can the HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE do everything I may want or need to do as a cleaner or restorer?
- The HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE provides you with all the power and performance you need for cleaning and restoring any surface. Think of a CDS as a 200HP unit, because it gets its power from your van engine. CDS units have low medium and high, for upholstery, single wand and dual wand. The CDS will match power and performance with virtually all slide-ins, except for 50+ HP water cooled engine slide-ins. With the HydraMaster CDS XDRIVE producing a consistent 18-20KW of power, you are getting the equivalent of a 27-31HP slide-in unit. Even if you plan on dual wanding on every job, the HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE will provide you with all the power and flexibility you need.
- How does the fuel consumption of a HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE compare to that of a slide-in unit?
- Both HydraMaster Direct Drive truckmounts are fuel misers and wallet friendly. With the CDS, HydraMaster’s exclusive Electronic Speed Control (ESC) is engineered to work in conjunction with Ford & General Motors engine control systems to optimize van fuel efficiency during CDS operation. That provides you with all of the benefits of operating a CDS unit with fuel consumption (1.5-1.7 gpm) that is equal to most mid-size truckmounts, and better than a typical large format truckmount. Even better, a CDS uses that same fuel consumption that the engine needs to power the van to create a continuous flow of hot water for cleaning and sanitizing carpet and hard surfaces. The CDS xDRIVE provides you with a range of setting designed for you to be ready to take on the most simple to the most challenging cleaning jobs. The proprietary ECONOMY FUEL SAVER and BOOST settings are the first of their kind for a direct drive truckmount. Fuel consumption with a CDS xDRIVE ranges from 1.48 to 1.95 gph – the equivalent or less than a mid-size slide-in truckmount. Fuel efficient consumption and squeezing every ounce of energy out of that fuel, what could be more “earth friendly” and “wallet friendly” than that?
- How does a HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE affect the longevity of the van it is installed in?
- First the HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE provides more even weight distribution across the van than with most slide-in units and actually reduces wear on the van (lighter in weight, less tire wear, shocks, and brakes due to less weight and centrality of weight). The CDS runs the van at a low RPM and is only utilizing around 18% of the available capacity of the engine. It is like driving a van around on the freeway at about 25 to 30 miles an hour. Plus, there is no stopping or starting and puts very little wear on the engine. Many vans with CDS units have well over 150,000 miles on them with the same CDS unit still inside. In addition, when the time comes that the van engine needs to be replaced, changing an engine on a van is only marginally more expensive that replacing a liquid cooled engine on a slide in.
- What type of vans can I install a HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE in? Can I install it in a smaller “transit van?”
- We recommend you install your CDS in a new Chevy Express or GMC cargo van. Our 45+ years’ experience manufacturing both slide-in and direct drive truckmounts tells us that most cleaning operations these days are too diversified and need to carry too much equipment to make a small transit van or “min-van” format practical. The CDS can sometimes be installed in low mileage used Chevy Van. A good general rule of thumb is less than 2 years old and less than 30,000 miles on the engine. Talk with your nearest HydraMaster distributor for more information.
- The CDS xDRIVE must be installed in a 2016+ T250 or T350 Ford Transit. It can be the low, middle, or high roof option. It MUST be the 3.7L gas engine.
- Both HydraMaster Direct Drive truckmounts provide you with the smallest footprint in the industry. Their compact, space-saving design allows you maximum flexibility in your van set-up. It is perfect for hauling restoration equipment (airmovers, dehumidifiers, directed heat), power wands, RX-20’s, upholstery tools, rotary hard surface tools, chemical solutions, hauling rugs and furniture and more. The HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE allows you to say “yes” to virtually any hard or textile surface cleaning or restoration job
- Does Chevy and/or Ford approve the installation of a direct drive truckmount into their vehicles? Won’t it void the van warranty?
- First off, let us address one of the most commonly mistaken and often repeated myths about after-market modifications of vans. HydraMaster is unaware of any specific certification or approval program maintained by Chevy or Ford when it comes to after-market modifications of their vans – whether it be ambulance conversions, news truck conversions, camper conversions, box truck modifications, or direct drive or power take off truckmount installations. HydraMaster has manufactured and installed the CDS direct drive truckmount in more than 15,000 Chevy Vans since 1979. In doing so we have worked with the GM Upfitter Group – a liaison group that provides us with access to GM’s engineering data. The GM Upfitter Group does not provide any sort of certification or approval for Special Vehicle Manufacturers like ourselves. Instead they provide Integration Best Practice Manuals for areas of the vehicle affected in our conversion process. Here is a link to the GM Upfitter website: https://www.gmupfitter.com/pages/about-us. We work with a similar group at Ford in relation to the Ford Transit and the CDS xDRIVE.
- In reference to potentially affecting your warranty protection on the van, the manufacturer’s policies are clear: The installation of the after market modification needs to follow the upfitter guidelines. Their policy has always been that if the modification caused a GM component to fail they will not warranty the component. If the modification did not cause “x” component to fail it will be covered under warranty unless it is determined the failure was caused from lack of maintenance. Our fleet of 15,000 CDS units are serviced by dealerships nationwide. We work with one of the largest Chevy and Ford fleet dealers in the United States, and in many places, our distributors and/or end user customers purchase vans from dealerships of their own preference. GM and their dealer network have almost always dependably honored the GM warranty unless it is determined that a failure is the direct result of the special vehicle modification.
- In addition, provisions of the Magnuson-Moss Act protect our customers from arbitrary decisions made about their warranty that unfairly attribute the cause to aftermarket modifications. The Federal Trade Commission requires that a manufacturer or dealer be able to demonstrate that a failure is the direct result of the special vehicle modification before denying warranty coverage. Even if a particular failure is demonstrated to be caused by an aftermarket modification the warranty remains in effect for all other parts of the vehicle. Here is a link to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Website discussion of the Magnussson – Moss Act. Pay particular attention to the point about after-market modifications: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance.
- There is one other practical consideration to keep in mind here. This applies to your van even if you have a slide-in. It has been our experience that is almost always smoother when taking your van in for service or maintenance to work with a Ford or Chevy dealership that has a strong commercial fleet division. There are many smaller, consumer focused dealerships that when you take your vehicle in for a potential warranty service, if they see any modification at all – anything from an after market remote starter – to a box conversion – to a direct drive truckmount installation, their first reaction is that they really don’t want to work on it at all. They throw out the modification as a potential “fly-in-the-ointment” when it comes to your warranty coverage. Everything is computer driven now. They need to plug into the SEIC system, and when they see after market things plugged into that also, they just ocassionally are full of excuses. Mindfully, not all small or consumer based dealers are like this. Just keep in mind that ultimately, if a local Ford or Chevy dealer is not cooperating with you, there are always alternatives. Those with fleet divisions generally are easier to work with. As previously stated, GM and Ford and their dealer networks have almost always dependably honored the warranty unless it is determined that a failure is the direct result of the special vehicle modification.
Compare any truckmount to the HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE and you will find the HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE provides with your highest return on investment. Best of all the HydraMaster CDS or CDS xDRIVE is ready for every type of business you may pursue in the future – whether it is for doing hard core water damage restoration, hard surface cleaning, or commercial night time carpet cleaning. Also, don’t forget that the HydraMaster CDS has the highest resale value of any truckmount system in the industry and the list of people looking for a decent used CDS systems is long. You are provided with a safer and more secure operating environment because you can fully close the doors of the van during operation. This quieter set-up also can also allow for late night commercial cleaning. The HydraMaster CDS and CDS xDRIVE allow you to clean any surface at anytime of the day or night at virtually any location. You have plenty of room left in your rig for all of the rest of your gear and equipment you need to carry. They are easier to train technicians how to operate and maintain, and they will be making you money for a long, long time.
If you would like more information about the HydraMaster CDS and CDS xDRIVE, including the full range of financing options, visit the HydraMaster website information request form.