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Need advise on a sweeper, thanks in advance

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by Omran, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Omran

    Omran Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 265

    Hello, I have been cleaning a parking lot for 2 years now for a supermarket and now they moved to a bigger store and bigger parking lot, till now I am doing all the cleaning with a backpack plower and a broom( yes it is a pain in the A$$) but I need to work, now I am looking to invest some $ to buy a used sweeper, nothing fancy but I hate junk, so do you guys can direct me to the easiest soultion, what do you think about a billy goat vacum the qv serious? and as I said it is only one account but I want to keep it, because I cut thier grass and push the snow too

    Thank you.
     
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    For several years I used a backpacker blower, broom and a Billy Goat to clean parking lots with. I only had a couple to do back then so it worked perfectly.

    Eventually my Billy Goat gave out on me and I bought the Cub Cadet version for a lot less money. I still use it to this day to suck up the heavy debris before I run around the lot with my 355 Tennant.

    So to answer your question, your plan will definitely work.
     
  3. Omran

    Omran Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 265

    thank you very much man, I just did not want to spend the $ before I get an answer .
    thanks again
     
  4. rsweeper

    rsweeper Member
    Messages: 45

    Well first off if you are going to be SWEEPING parking lots, you need to by a SWEEPER truck. Im sorry but if you are going to do this type of work you need to have the right equipment! What would you say to me if I got a job Plowing a lot and came out there with a 2x12 bolted to the front of my 2 wheel drive pick up. This is where all the problems start with low ball bidding, A landscaper ( I use to be a landscaper) says hey I can take care of you lot, and all he is going to do is blow the trash around. He dosent have the right equipment or the proper insurance or evan have an idea how to bid or do things right. Blowing and picking up the big things with a broom and shovel isnt how you do it. Im not saying you have to go out and buy a brand new sweeper for 60,000 you can buy a used truck and go from there. Us in the sweeping business have the right equipment for the job and know how to use it and how to do the up keep on it aswell. You have a lot of things to do to your trucks to keep them working right. We have the right insurance policy and a landscape policy wont cover you if anything happens, just wait and see. And dont be fooled by your broker call other brokers and they will tell you that you need different policy. A landscape policy wont cover you for slip and fall things inside a parking lot, will only cover you if the triped on a planter edge, shrub, edge of lawn etc. It is this type of thing that bothers me, every one thinks they can clean a parking lot but dont have the equip or insurance or knowledge. Now I will try and get off my high horse and tell you to go out and look for a used sweeper in good condition and get insurance, learn how long it takes to do the job correctly, figure out all your costs for repair, upkeep, your labor etc. then go out and bid apples to apples with others. Dont be someone that drags our prices down to nothing that will do nothing but have people to not like you. There are alot of used trucks out there, masco, schwartz, night hawk, air cub, to name a few. I have a couple of trucks but im in Calif, not close to you so I dont think you would be interested in what I have.


    Ed
     
  5. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    Everyone starts somewhere. I know when I began cleaning parking lots I wasn't doing it with a sweeper but I still got the job done as well as anyone else could've. I started small and worked my way up from there. It sounds like the OP is trying to do the same thing.
     
  6. Jacobsmovinsnow

    Jacobsmovinsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    Yah hold on Rsweeper. Business is based also on overhead. Some need more cuz they got more. If you have a lawn tractor with a sweeper attachment and the time go for it............ the big guys hate it.
     
  7. rsweeper

    rsweeper Member
    Messages: 45

    Camden, your right everyone statrs somewhere. When I started i was in landscape maintenance. Had a customer call and ask if i could do it, Went out bought a used sweeper ( Found one for 2000.00 )and did the job with the right equipment got the right insurance and have never looked back. Other then to decide I didnt want to do the landscape maintenance work anymore. Then we had customers call and ask if we could power wash for them, We went out bought the right equipment and now do the work in that field also. Would you sugest that if they called him he could do power washing with a garden hose and a narrow tip spray head so he has more pressure. Not doing the job right and not bidding apples to apples. This is how all company's get there prices put into the ground and nobody gets paid what they should. If you reread my responce to him, yea, maybe I was harsh. But I told him to use the right equip, get proper insurance, and told him names of sweepers to look for. That I would also think is helping him out.

    Jacobsmovinsnow, Yes business is based on overhead, if you dont have business you cant pay your overhead and stay in business. I still say you are wrong, in if you have a lawn tractor with a sweeper on it you can get into cleaning parking lots with it. That is made for small clean up jobs, sweeping some snow off walkways things like that. It was never ment to sweep a parking lot on a day to day basis. Thats what they made sweeper trucks for, to do the job correctly. Like i said in my post before, if I got a snow plow job and brought my 2 wheel drive pick up out with a 2 x 12 mounted on it, would you think I was doing the job correctly and bidding it at a real price. I doubt you would. All I said to him was do it right with the right equipment and all that goes with it. Heck if he wants my advise on how to do things right in the sweeping business he can call me , email me, pm me, etc. and I would give him as much help as I could. He is not in my area so what harm would it do to me.
     
  8. Jacobsmovinsnow

    Jacobsmovinsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    Okay all right but its sounds like he only has this one lot to do and isnt looking to change his name to Dusty anytime soon:jester:
     
  9. rsweeper

    rsweeper Member
    Messages: 45

    Well in another forum he says he can buy paint by the pallet, im not sure that is real cheap. He stated it was 80 plus per 5 gal. Sure by the pallet it isnt cheap. So spend some money and do it right with a used sweeper, and maybe you can make even more money having the right equipment and all. And come on now, word has it he wants that nick name
     
  10. Jacobsmovinsnow

    Jacobsmovinsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    Yes in any vocation if you want to continue or increase your market share you have to have the right equipment etc if you want to be a contender
     
  11. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    The only part that I have a problem with is that the Omran shouldn't tell his customers that he does parking lot "sweeping" if he really isn't using a sweeper. He should simply say that he does parking lot "cleaning" which can be sufficient enough for many places.
     
  12. rsweeper

    rsweeper Member
    Messages: 45

    But that still goes aginst my business when I have spent the money on the right equip for the job. I believe that if you are going to do something you need to use the proper equip.
     
  13. rsweeper

    rsweeper Member
    Messages: 45

    If I was where he is, and im not. I would want that job he has. My parkinglot sweepers start at 60,000 and go to 90,000 each and my street sweepers start at 200,000 and go up from there. I want every job I can get and when people dont bid apples to apples it ticks me off as I know what I have to charge with the right stuff.
     
  14. Omran

    Omran Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 265

    Well I guess I have to tell you guys some more details, First of all thank you all for your help it is awesome to know that there are very good members on this site, and I respect all of your inputs and I am learning from it.
    Insurance I have a very good 2 million $ insurance and workors comp.
    2- The only reason I am doing this lot only because I work for a real estate company which was tired of fulling with the other guys,( who never showed up)
    3 I have a T250 bobcat, I have a kubota tractor two trucks two trailers and all this nice stuff, but I really can't find any good used sweeper less than $10K and I don't see this making any money for me to sweep only one parking lot.
    The real estate company here let me do bush hoging, grass cutting, snow removal and alot of other repairs on thier almost 30 acers land, 20 acers are just grass now, and because they are so good as a client I want to make them happy, but they did build another supermarket next door and I know I can handle it like what I am doing now, but to be honest I don't want to go in dade for only one lot.
    I always do a really great job with just the blower and broom, but I need just suggestions and a little help to make my work a little easier and faster for me.
    The company never had not even one complain since I took over.maybe this info will make the subject a little easier to understand.
    In the town where I am doing the job, there is only one guy who has a sweeper and he is the one who got fired, that's why I don't try to sub the cleaning part.

    Thank you all again

    Omran
     
  15. rsweeper

    rsweeper Member
    Messages: 45

    Omran, then there is another reason to buy the equipment, take more jobs from him and do them right and make more money. there are trucks out there for less money, believe me I know. Hell I got a older slide in unit that you could put on one of your trucks and take it off if you needed too. And I dont want anywhere 10,000 including freight
     
  16. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    I have an extra Tennant 355 that just sits in the shed. It's ready to sweep right now. I would sell it for way less than $10k and I could probably deliver it too.
     
  17. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Have a 1997 Schwarze A-4000 for sale for short money: dual steering ISUZU, truck chassis 17,995 gvw (this truck was built for holding 3-4 yards of sand and/or litter) and not the typical 14,000 gvw . Powered by ISUZU on both truck engine and sweeper motor. pm if interested.