UniMac’s quest to find the oldest model still in service has ended at Zengeler Cleaners in Chicago. The legendary cleaner won the contest with a pair of 35-year-old washer-extractors that run six days a week.
“As expected, our Longevity Contest delivered a plethora of machines still in service from a variety of vintages,” said Steve Bowie, General Manager of the On-Premises Laundry Segment for Alliance Laundry Systems. “In the end, Zengeler Cleaners stood alone with their pair of UniMac machines boasting an impressive run.”
Zengeler Cleaners has a rich history of its own dating back to 1857, having survived and thrived through two World Wars and the Great Chicago Fire. The two 65-pound washer-extractors are critical players for the business, coming online each day at 5 am and running through 3 pm.
For fifth generation owner, Tom Zengeler, the decision to go with UniMac 35 years ago was more than a purchase, it was an investment in the brand as a foundational part of the business.
“One thing is certain: we simply can’t have a machine go down,” Tom said. “The UniMac duo has become that important to the success of our business.”
As winners of the contest, Zengeler Cleaners will receive a new UniMac washer-extractor and matching tumble dryer to help them increase capacity at their facilities.
With new machines on the way, does that mean the 35-year-old models will get a well-deserved retirement?
“No way … that’s just not going to happen,” Tom said. “Our UniMac machines are way too important to the success of our business.”