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Please teach me the ways of the sweeper

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by dieselboy01, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    Hello all! Right now I am a snow only company and I'm looking for something to do in the off season. I was thinking about sweeping but I know nothing about it and I don't do things half a$$ed. I would appreciate any and Advice.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I found a contract one of my customers sent me two or three years ago. She pays $46.80 per time, twice per week for sweeping the lot, blowing off sidewalks, emptying garbage cans, picking up trash in landscape beds. The parking lot is about 95k sq ft. The work is performed by "regional" company based in Mn. Seems like a tough number to make work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  3. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    Wow that does seem low. You would need a lot of lots close by to make that work.
     
  4. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    Anyone else with some advice, tips, or tricks?
     
  5. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 Senior Member
    Messages: 477

    my boss just bought a sweepster skid steer brand sweeper and is offering to clean up parking lots, he only does the really bad spot and most stored pay another company of do all of it all year round but he is planning on buying a used street legal sweeper to offer a sweeping service. used sweepers are not too expensive on craigslist
     
  6. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Thats a tough one. The nationals have driven the prices for lot sweeping right into the toilet, just like they have with snow work.
     
  7. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    I've heard the nationals have not been good for the sweeping industry, either. I was wondering if there was a market for this business in my area. I don't know anyone around here that does it.

    My problem is I don't know the first thing about sweeping, the equipment, bidding, pricing, anything like that.

    I'm looking to expand my business, I'm just not sure what I can do in the off season.

    Thanks for all the advice so far, I really appreciate it!
     
  8. fendt716

    fendt716 Member
    from nw nj
    Messages: 37

    that lot now is 28.50 five times a week. no money in parking lot sweeping. got out of that 30 years ago and was getting 35.00 never look back. any cheap sweeper is junk. sweeper parts are very expense. sweeper mfg. co. deal mostly with govs. with open end p.o. so prices are 3 times higher. to rebuilt a cheap sweeper 20,000.00 to 60,000.00. if you catch a manhole or catch basin wrong way you are going to have big pile of scrap metal and 5,000.00 poorer.
     
  9. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I just wanted to add, I do think there is a good sweep market, if you can do industrial sites, such as power companies, paper mills etc. The EPA is breathing down their necks all the time, and sweeping is a must. Also, spring sweeps for school districts, and check with your county maint. office, and small surrounding towns for spring sweeps. You should be able to pick up an elgin pelican or whirlwind, in decent shape, for around 20,000. The bigger machines are pretty much required for the industrial work. Sweepers are an expensive piece of equipment to own and maintain, so trying to line up some work beforehand is always a good thing. Good luck!!
     
  10. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    This gives me a lot to think about, thanks everyone for the advice!
     
  11. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Where I am in northren Manitoba this is going to be huge in a couple weeks once the lawns clear off we do resi lawns to clear the snirt and commercial parking lots. Spend the money on a quality dust mask no cheap ass paper mask, I smile as I watch some of the hacks sweeping dog **** off lawns all that flying feces and no respiratory protection. Do you have any equipment now?
     
  12. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    Chineau, I do not have any sweeping equipment at this time. I would like to learn more about the business and see of there is a good market before I invest in new equipment.
     
  13. Jim74

    Jim74 Member
    Messages: 50

    New equipment is huge money, lots of maintenance on them to. Spring cleanup is good money, a company I know gets $120 an hour on a four hour minimum. The companies I see that go out nightly to the walmarts,etc; get **** money, they seem to be using it to get the other services from the properties, landscaping,sealcoating,etc. Do some serious due diligence, not the business to "try".
     
  14. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Dieselboy what kind of work do you think you can break into each area will have its own niches if you spend well you can set up and make your money back. The first year I swept with a Sthil hand unit it made for some long days but if you can set up a tractor or skid steer with angle broom it can be good.
     
  15. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    I'm not sure what I can break into. I know any other business endeavor I go into will cost money (some a lot more then others). I've been thinking of what service I can offer in my area that there is a need for but nothing comes to mind. I thought stump grinding, lot clearing, sweeping. The grinding and clearing is popular in this area. I'm at dead end right now of what other services I can offer.
     
  16. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    You want work in the summer? Buy a good pressure washer. Pressure wash decks, re-stain them. Driveways, siding. . .Pick up a contract with your local refuse service to wash their trucks at night. There are ways to make money without spending $20-30-40k on a used truck. Anymore I think I could make better money selling equipment than using it. Installing fences? Seems like there are very few companies doing that in my area. Just saying, there are better ways to make extra money seasonally if all you are looking to do is stay busy in the off season.
     
  17. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Hey guys just under the heading an oh duh moment I left the shop the other morning to sweep a lot of the winter sand build up, the lot is about 3-4 minutes from my shop. New brushes on my angle broom and I thought get anything right wrong sometimes the way dirt flyers you need to hand sweep. Gues who forgot to throw hand broom and shovel in the back of toolcat, just like going out snow plowing some stuff you always need with you to get r done.
     
  18. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    Thanks Hicks, That gives me more to think about!
     
  19. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Dieselboy how are you doing with the summer work have you got into any sweeping or are you trying some thing else? Today we did a small parking lot for a apartment block I do the snow at during snow season, patched potholes at another then swept half a dozen lawns of gravel and sand plus placed and level ten yards of a-base with skid steer a productive day.
     
  20. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    I'm not sweeping, I doubt I will. It seems like a lot of money for start up and with no real connections I think it would take a long time to make that money back.

    As for my summer work, I'm a union Millwright (Industrial mechanic) by trade and I've been working at a power plant for the past 2 months but I should be getting laid off later this week.

    I like being my own boss and I'm getting tired of the union BS so I'm still thinking about other endeavors for the off season.