80 years young

08 March 2016

To celebrate its 80th anniversary last year, Kärcher launched a nationwide competition to find the oldest Kärcher Professional machine still in use.

Their search took them to the Scottish Lowlands and fellow octogenarian, farmer Gordon Stewart.

Long before the famous yellow Kärcher domestic machines, and before the cleaning expert expanded into vacuums, sweepers, scrubber driers, steam and ice cleaning technologies, Alfred Kärcher first made industrial cleaning solutions. Back in the 1950s Alfred was credited with inventing the hot water pressure washer, so it seems fitting that the winning machine comes from this family of products.

Back in 1979, Gordon Stewart purchased a Kärcher HDS 600S Hot Water Pressure Washer for £700 (around £2,476.15 in today’s money). While it represented a significant investment for the 360 Acre mixed arable and dairy farm, Gordon has certainly got his money’s worth from it over the years!

Back then the machine was used to clean the milk parlour. “It was straightforward and a revolution for cleaning the parlour as everyone took pride in their parlour and animal husbandry,” says Gordon. Nowadays the farm is run by Gordon’s daughter Marjory and her husband Lindsay Ashworth and they use the machine for cleaning in the silage pit and cattle courts. On the arable side, keeping the farm equipment clean helps to protect and maintain these valuable assets. Over the years the machine has been used for all manner of tasks around the farm from cleaning out farm sheds, washing down equipment and even removing moss from the roofs whilst standing in a basket on the forklift.

Local Kärcher dealer Tayside Pressure Washers secured the original machine sale 37 years ago at the Scotbeef event, after Gordon had received demonstrations from both Kärcher and a rival product. Gordon explained that this relationship continues, as all these years on it was Hugh Gamlen from Tayside Pressure Washers who approached him at a local farm roadshow and highlighted the competition, as he was aware how old his machine was and that it was still in use.

Kärcher received many competition entries for machines sold in the early 1980s, however the Fife machine just pipped them to the post.

Kärcher Professional’s product marketing manager, Phil Power, said: “It’s great to see how many longstanding relationships exist between Kärcher users and their machines, and it’s a real demonstration of the robustness of the machines, that they perform solidly for their owners over so many years.”

Gordon’s competition prize was the modern-day equivalent of his old machine, an HDS 6/12 C, a state-of-the-art compact hot water high-pressure cleaner featuring Kärcher’s eco!efficiency mode that reduces diesel consumption by 20% without compromising daily cleaning performance. Its Machine Protector system prolongs component life and its central one-button operation, makes the HDS 6/12 C easy to set-up, intuitive to operate and cheap to run.