UK Window Cleaning Tools & Equipment

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Window cleaning pole, new design

3 reasons we need a new designed window cleaning pole

One of the most important aspects of the window cleaning arsenal is the pole. The pole like the traditional cleaners ladders, is what gets the cleaning equipment up to the glass

There has been many attempts in the last few years to revolutionise the first cumbersome telescopic window cleaning poles we used. And I must say now that the attempts have been admirable to say the least. What we have now is much lighter and much more rigid poles, which results in less fatigue. Modular poles which have been introduced recently are more costly, and more time consuming to use, but they do have the advantage of being able to fit a control valve on, if and when any of the manufacturers caught on to the fact this could be done.

Telescopic poles along with modular poles are time consuming to use, the telescopic need opened to the desired height, and then clamped in position, whereas the modular pole relies on carrying all the sections around, and the ends of the sections being joined together to reach the window. Both poles are usually in 6 foot lengths at least for reasons explained later, and the same pole used for cleaning above ground floor, is useless for when the ground floor is done.

Now back to the 3 reasons.

1/ The poles on the market are time consuming to use.

2/ The poles on the market are no use at going from second storey window to ground floor windows.

3/ The poles on the market because of there long closed length are harder to carry around, and transport in your vehicle.

The material used in the make up of the pole is irrelevant, when it comes to the 3 very important points above. Manufacturers ignore these 3 points for reasons I will give below. Weight and rigidity are the factors most mentioned by the window cleaner and manufacturer, and although they are very important, they are not the only ones to be considered. The 3 other factors I mention are equally, if not more important.

When finding out what the window cleaner wants the manufacturer ignores the 3 points illustrated because he thinks nothing can be done about them.

Point 1/ The poles on the market are time consuming to use. The fact that the sections need to be clamped or joined together, leads him to believe it can't be improved on.

Point 2/ The poles on the market are no use at going from second storey windows to ground floor windows. To improve on that each section would need to be made in a smaller size, and lead to more sections needed to reach the higher window above, which would need more clamps, lead to extra weight, and more tooling cost for the extra clamps. And after all that the pole would be even more time consuming to use.

Point 3/ The poles on the market because of there long closed length are harder to carry around, and transport in your vehicle. If they solve the problems in point 2, then the problems in point 3 will be solved as well.

But wait a minute if they ignore the points 1, 2, and 3 and make the pole lighter and stronger then perhaps no one will give a though to points 1,2, and 3? Probably spot on as the window cleaner probably believes points 1,2, and 3 is impossible to achieve as well :)

Copyright (c) 2008 Peter Fogwill

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Window Cleaning Forum

I would just like our members to know that our window cleaning forum has now been changed over to a new more reliable system, and everything seems to be working fine.

For new members looking for a new way to share tips and ideas our forum is the place to be. It is the biggest window cleaning dedicated forum on the Internet with over 2500 members. Yes there are bigger forums out there but the window-tools forum is the biggest one dedicated to just window cleaners.

Why not join up now and browse our FAQ traditional window cleaning, or water fed pole window cleaning pages. Or if you are thinking of getting into reach and wash type window cleaning our water fed pole board is the place to be. Here you can browse through previous posts by our experienced members and see what problems you are likely to encounter, and see what actions are needed to overcome them.

Thanks and I look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Peter Fogwill

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Window Cleaning Forum

A questition was posted in a window cleaning forum recently asking about my new style of pop-up pole, so thought I would place the post and answer here for anyone intereted to have a look at my answer.

"I'm a big fan of the clamp-less WFP poles. I've one of Peter Fogwill's, and I've a few DIY ones too. They're light, very short when collapsed, and extremely quick to use. BUT,.. they could be improved!

The standard pole is 24' in 7 tapered cylindrical sections. At full extension the pole is very whippy, and because there are no clamps, the sections spin within each other, so you have less control over the brush. Also because the sections taper, occasionally they stick a little. Not major faults, but still, I reckon there must be a pole somewhere that is more suitable to being used clampless.

So what I'm looking for is:

A 28' pole (or even slightly more) in at least 7 sections
With a positive stop mechanism so the poles can't come out of the top of the pole below
As rigid as possible
Designed so that the sections cannot spin within each other
suitable for using with a microbore size internal pole hose

Any ideas?"


The pole you described will be available definitely by June at the latest. I have tried, tried, and tried again to find the suitable materials I need for the pole in this country, Europe, and even China, and had to start sourcing the machine myself. I have found the machine I need which is quite an investment, but it will allow me to make the pole sections in house exactly how I want them for size, weight, rigidity, and anything else you can think of. These poles will be the only ones I know of made entirely in the UK from scratch. The machine is built to order hence the time it will take me to get this up and running, but it will be well worth the wait, as this type of pole will take over from any poles on the market to date.

Peter Fogwill

Thursday, February 07, 2008

New window cleaning pop up pole

The Reach and Wash window cleaning industry is about to witness another revelation in time saving water fed pole equipment with 50% time saving over any poles currently on the market.

Aquatec's new clamp-less pop-up-pole will double your earnings each hour of use, or half the time you have to work in the day while still earning the same amount of money. Strong allegations I hear you say, but we at Aquatec are so confident that the pole will do exactly what we say it will that we offer a full money back guarantee. If you find that the pole is not suitable, just send it back and get a full refund, no questions asked.

We are so confident that the above type of pole will completely take over the window cleaning water fed pole market that we are investing heavily in our own pultrusion machine which will give us the exact specification we need for manufacturing our own poles. These poles will be the only pultruded window cleaning poles manufactured in the UK, and will be available to all window cleaning supply companies. If your supplier tries to sell you anything else he will be putting his inflated profits before your well being.

We have also invested in Patent protection for the pop up pole, as we believe that this pole is the best pole there has ever been in the window cleaning market, we have put in place Patent protection to stop any industrial theft.

The above pole with Aquatec's Patent applied for Autobrush make a perfect and unique combination for window cleaning, not only are you saving a great deal of time, you are also saving a great deal of water. With water restrictions in some parts of England making it difficult for water fed pole window cleaning, you want to make the best use of the water you have. There really is no point of spraying water all over the walls when a simple tap with the brush is all you need to stop the water flow until needed.

When a customer buys a window cleaning system from Aquatec he is not only getting the very latest water fed pole system on the market, he is also getting the very latest and unique equipment available. Not only that he gets the very latest equipment at discounted prices, should a new product come on the market after his initial purchase.

Peter Fogwill

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New window cleaning trolley system

Since designing my original trolley system a few years back which was the first one on the market to utilise separate water containers, with the benefit of not having to pour water, there has been quite a few imitations. There has been a lot of talk from window cleaners about what is best, van system or trolley system, with each having their advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage of the van system is sometimes your too far away from the window to reach it with a hosereel, and the disadvantage of the trolley system is your lifting it in and out the vehicle all the time, and they only carry 50L of water.

Keeping the above in mind I set about designing a new trolley system, one which didn't need lifting in and out the vehicle all the time, and one that carried much more water. One that could be left on the vehicle and used as a van system when needed, and taken off when needed without any lifting.

What this trolley system does is allows the window cleaner to walk up to the vehicle with the trolley, line it up in the centre, and push the handles up towards the vehicle, and that's it attached. You can have the trolley fitted to the vehicle in the time it would take to walk up and open the boot. Taking it off when needed is just as easy, a push up of a pin, and lower the wheels to the ground is all that is needed.

The trolley itself can be used in three different modes, flat truck mode (and carry up to 150L of water) Stand up mode has two different positions, balancing on two wheels, or resting on a third wheel. Each of these modes can carry up to 100L of water. So whether you are cleaning a large office building or a small domestic property this system is all you would need.

The trolley system comes with 6 water containers, a pump box with 100psi pump. a hose reel with 40M of micro-bore hose, and an 85AH battery. It also comes with the necessary fitting to attach to your tow-bar. Also included is a water treatment system of your choice, the Patent Pending Autobrush and pole.

Peter Fogwill

Friday, June 09, 2006

Backpacks, and reach and wash window cleaning

A few window cleaners lately have asked me if the backpack is up to the job we as a window cleaner has in store for it, my answer is quite simply no.

Remember the pump in the backpack although it is 40psi it is a little toy compared to the pumps in the trolley and van systems. It means the higher you go and the more hose you go through the less water you get at the brush. I personally don't feel that the water comes out the brush fast enough, and I feel that you are hanging around too long for enough water to pass through the brush to get a decent finish on the glass. Lot's of others seem to think they are great though, but I have a feeling that it is because most of them have just changed over from ladders and compared to that it is a godsend. They may have heard how fast reach and wash window cleaning is, and may even have seen a competitor using a system. If they had to clean the windows at the same speed, then the window done with the backpack would not nearly be up to the same standard as a window done with a real system.

How many times have we seen on the forums window cleaners complaining about loosing customers due to the water fed pole? How many of these window cleaners have backpack? My guess is quite a few of them.

Granted the backpack is a cheap way to get into water fed pole window cleaning at around £550 for a complete system, but is it really worth all the time wasted hanging around waiting on enough water to pass over the glass?Only you can decide.

Peter Fogwill

Monday, March 20, 2006

First the brush now the pole

Window cleaners are starting to see the benefits of the brushes I supply as standard and now I am starting to hear murmurs of the pole I supply being better than the alternatives on the market.

Let me start by telling you about a demonstration I had set up for me by another water fed pole supplier. As I was a using the water fed pole system daily he thought it was better me doing the demo for his prospective customer who had travelled over from Southern Ireland. He had arranged for the cleaning of a car dealer showroom maybe about 24 foot high and all glass. He had a trolley system all set up with a dense bristle brush and one of the glass fibre water fed poles. I set about cleaning the windows to show the guys what the water fed poles were all about. About 2 minutes into the clean I was getting nowhere fast, the brush didn't glide over the glass like my Salmon brush, and my arms were starting to ache with the weight of the glass fibre pole. Luckily by chance I had my Unger Tel-pole and Salmon brush on my trolley all set up in my car and ready to go. I put the other system aside and started to fly with my system, what a breeze the whole thing was done in about 15 minutes, and the guys from Ireland were impressed, I think they took two systems away with them.

Again the moral of the above story is, what everyone else uses is not necessarily the best. The fibre glass poles were developed for the USA military many years ago, and the manufacturers seen a very lucrative market for them when window cleaners started using water fed poles.

I have heard comments before that I sell a cheaper version of the real water fed pole to keep costs down, this is not true, the fact is the Unger pole I supply costs me more from my supplier than the glass fibre poles would cost me straight from the manufacturers. I supply the Unger pole as standard with my trolley system because it is the best all round pole for both domestic and commercial window cleaning.

Peter Fogwill