Portable vs. Truck Mount Carpet Cleaning

Ah, the age-old debate in the cleaning world: which is better, portable vs. truck mount carpet cleaning? 

Both have their charm, uses, and fiercely loyal fan bases. And while the portable’s convenience makes it a strong contender, the truck mount’s sheer power puts it at a level above the rest. 

Which option sweeps (or should we say cleans?) the competition away? Join us on this captivating journey to find out!

What this article covers:

What Is the Difference Between a Portable and Truck Mount Carpet Cleaning System?

What exactly sets them apart? Let’s break it down.

A Battle Of Power And Portability

Now, when it comes to sheer grunt, the truck mount has the portable beat, hands down. This system runs off the van’s engine, granting it unmatched power regarding water pressure and suction. Think of it as having a V8 engine for your cleaning needs.

But, the portable? It’s the nimble gymnast of the cleaning world. You can carry it upstairs, take it into tight corners, or even squeeze it into an elevator to reach that penthouse suite. 

portable carpet cleaning machine vs truck mount

Innovation At Every Turn

The industry doesn’t stand still. Both systems are constantly evolving. For instance, the latest water extraction machine technologies in portables have reduced their size while boosting efficiency. 

On the flip side, truck mounts are now designed to be more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly, ensuring that we not only clean our carpets but also play our part in caring for Mother Earth.

carpet cleaning what's better a truck mount for a portable extractor


While both machines use hot water to get carpets clean, the results are different. While portables generally heat the water they use to around 122-150℉, a truck mount can heat water up to 180, sometimes even 220℉.

This yields cleaner carpets, and an easier time getting them there.

Water Pressure

In terms of water pressure, the truck mount also has the portable beat. While a portable usually only delivers between 50 to 500 PSI, truck mounts like our Starfire Single Wand can deliver 2000 PSI.

best carpet extractor truck mount vs portable

This means that the truck mount is able to deliver a lot more power, making it capable of tackling much tougher jobs.

It’s the classic Rotovac system vs. truck mount carpet cleaning debate all over again. While each have their strengths, one will take you further in terms of power and results.

Vacuum Pressure

The portable system generally has lower vacuum pressure, making it suitable for jobs that don’t require intensive cleaning and a lot of water. Generally, its vaccuum pressure sits at up to 500 PSI.

Again, the truck mount offers a lot more power here. Most truck mounts will offer vacuum pressure with the PSI in the thousands, which significantly shortens drying time.

Understanding the Portable System

The portable systems are compact, and incredibly versatile. We remember after trying out this product in a tight spot; its convenience was unmatched. 

Ever had to clean a high-rise apartment? Dragging a truck mount up there? Not the best idea. But a portable? Piece of cake.

Pros And Cons Of The Portable System

Every piece of equipment has something that it’s best suited for, and the portable system is no different. Let’s find out what it’s best at.


  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Ideal for multi-story buildings or inaccessible areas.
  • Quiet operation.


  • Less powerful compared to truck mounts.
  • Smaller waste tanks mean frequent emptying.

When Is It Best To Use The Portable System?

Let’s say you’re working on a penthouse suite or, perhaps, a cruise ship cabin. Places where the truckmount waterlift vs. portable debate would seem laughable because of accessibility. In such scenarios, the portable system shines brightest.

truck mount vs portable carpet cleaning equipment

Understanding the Truck Mount System

This system is mounted to a vehicle, harnessing its power for a deep clean. After conducting experiments with it, we found it to be the Mike Tyson in the carpet cleaning world – a heavy hitter.

Pros And Cons Of The Truck Mount System

Just like the portable, the truck mount system has some stellar strengths. Let’s find out where it shines the most.


  • Exceptionally powerful cleaning capabilities.
  • Faster drying times due to high suction power.
  • Large waste tanks mean fewer emptying trips.
  • Can clean at higher temperatures.
  • Offers higher water and vacuum pressures.


  • Not as portable for tighter spaces and high-rise buildings.

When Is It Best to Use the Truck Mount System?

The truck mount system is suited for any jobs that don’t require fitting into tight spaces or high-rise buildings. And it really shines on the bigger and more difficult jobs, where you’ll be thankful for the high levels of heat and power that it offfers.

Our Verdict: The Portable or Truck Mount Carpet Cleaning System?

The debate reminds us of another fierce one on truckmount forums Cimex vs. Brushpro. Both systems have their strengths, making them unique in their own right. But if we had to crown a winner? 

The truck mount takes the gold. Its sheer power, efficiency, and deep cleaning abilities are hard to match.

 portable vs truck mount carpet cleaning


Whether you’re a fan of the nimble portable or the robust truck mount, it’s all about having the right carpet cleaning equipment for the job. 

At Truck Mount Forums, we’ve seen and tested it all over our 31-year journey. We’re not just here to run a business; we’re here to ensure you excel in yours.

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