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Anyone else in the Sweeping business???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SlimJim Z71, Feb 11, 2001.

  1. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Just curious as to how many people in here do parking area sweeping in addition to snow plowing. I'm currently using a broomer, but I'm working on getting something along the lines of a Schwarze 348-I or a Tymco 210. Anyone have any recommendations, do's, dont's, or any other advice? Thanks!


    P.S. Oh yeah, I found a web-sit related to the sweeping industry if anyone's interested. They also have a forum there... http://www.sweepersonline.com/
  2. Chip

    Chip Member
    Messages: 43

    Thanks for the website Tim. Next year I plan on offering the service to my commercial accounts but was planning on subing out the work. Maybe in a year or to we can do it ourselves.
  3. Yardworks

    Yardworks Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    I do a small amount of sweeping in the spring and summer. It's like every other job, if you do a great job you can make great money. I only have an eight foot broom on a single axle dump truck and a five foot broom on a tractor. I think if a person would want to do more full time sweeping you should get a self contained type truck or machine (with dust control) with just a broom it is way to dusty in some conditions to keep people happy. I am very limited to when I can sweep. Just a light rain is perfect.
  4. guido

    guido PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 261


    We use the larger tymco without broom (only gutter brooms)

    They work okay, but they're a lot of $$ and time to keep maintained properly.
  5. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031


    This is more the machine I was looking at...




    With something like this, you can do large parking lots, roads, etc. in a reasonable amount of time, and with a lot better efficiency than with our "Broomers". I've talked to a few other sweeping contractors, and they've said that they make really good money, and get to spend more time with their families. Sounds good to me, but it's one of those things where you get out what you put in.

  6. Rooster

    Rooster Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 650


    Have you check into start up costs.

    What I have herd $45,000.00 and up for new equiptment.
  7. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Yes... new ones run anywhere from $60K on up to $80K for the ones I'm looking at. But, like I said, you can make a VERY good living at this.

  8. gene gls

    gene gls PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 481

    I have heard that the sand in parking lots is considered haserdest waste because of cars that have oil leaks and it costs big bucks to get rid of.

  9. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Slim I'm still doing it,most likly not well but none the less. Got another three yearsfor our city streetsso that will keep my big one busy for another year,plus spring clean up and the weekly stuff.
  10. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031


    I'm trying to get one ASAP mainly for the spring cleanup. I've been told that even one-time sweeps (for the spring cleaning) can be very profitable. I've got to figure out how to get ahold of some property managers, and start doing some talking. If I can spark enough interest from them to the point where I figure it's affordable, then it'll make it easier to get a new sweeper.

    Any advice on which models to go with or stay away from? I've heard a lot of good things about Schwarze and Tymco, but I've heard that the Tymco's are a little more costly to maintain.

  11. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Yes my other business is pavemant maitenance.We do have sweeper a 348-I vaccum truck.
    There are two types of sweepers on the market
    1) a vaccum truck for liter chasing
    2) a mechanical broom for heavy sand
    On both trucks the maitenance cost are high.I would not go out and buy a truck today unless I had a 2 or 3 year contract.The trucks cost alot to buy and then if you are liter chasing you must have a committed sole to be there 7 nights a week.
    Anyone who wants to talk more about this subject you may call my office at (845)896-7734 I will be happy to talk with you.
    Mike Nelson
    Dutchess Blacktop Sealing inc.
  12. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Sweeping is not a easy business,it can be good money in the right area,but involves alot of maintenance and employee headaches. If you only intend on doing spring clean up it will a tough road,where sweeping holds it own is in the repetative business, the weekly accounts.
  13. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    My main goal is to do the sweeping myself, on a regular basis. Getting a sweeper before spring would just help me get my foot in the door. By offering my services in the spring, when their lot is the worst, I'm thinking it will help land a bunch of contracts. I plan on being the only "employee" for now, so I won't have to worry about anyone else messing things up for me. The town I live in has gotten pretty big over the last few years. There are a lot of restraunts, "Wal Mart" type stores, car dealerships, and office buildings. I don't think getting a few contracts would be all that tough. If I'm just running one sweeper, a few nights a week (especially if I get a few large lots), that should bring in more than enough to cover what I'm making now at the dealership.

    Mike Nelson,
    How do you like your 348-I??? That is the machine that I am mainly looking to buy. The rep from Schwarze is going to come out here towards the end of the month and give me a demo of it. What are your major repair/maintainance items on it? Being a mechanic, I can save myself a lot of money on the labor end. But I suppose if the parts costs are high, I can see how that could add up.


    (Sorry so long...)
  14. cut-rite

    cut-rite Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Slim, have you checked masco sweepers?
  15. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Slim have you got the used sweeper news letter yet and also pavement mag.I would stick with a big name for my first sweeper,tymco,schwarze,elgin,or broom bear,they have a new one called a cub.we use the nighthawk,we like it because the maintenance is minimal,it has not aux motor so cost is much less.I will admit it is not the sucking machine that some of the others are but I works great for the weekly stuff,and if the 350 starts your in business no trying to get some small motor running as well.Also if you look at alot of the used sweepers out there they all have new aux motors on them,and they run around three grand.I would look in the internet yellow pages for some one not in your atrea and call a couple and pick there brains.
  16. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Yes, I've seen tha Masco sweepers, but I'm not real fond of them. I think I would rather spend the extra money and get a Schwarze, Tymco, or Elgin. I'm really starting to look at the Elgin models. Mainly because they are built a few towns away from me, and I actually used to do some work for them (installing radios in the sweepers as they were getting built.)

    Yes, I've gotten two issues of Pavement, but not the Used Sweeper News. Where do I get that one from?

    I've talked to a couple of Sweeping company owners, and they have all given me a lot of information. I spoke to one guy who went and bought a Schwarze unit, and does some roads, and a few big accounts, and is making more than enough to live on comfortably. And like I said, the town I live in has A LOT of big parking lots that could use sweeping. I don't think I would have a problem getting business. I just have to sit down and write my business plan, and then go for the dough.

  17. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    I say again Walk slowly don't run.

    Yes you can make money in just about any business,but this one has alot of overhead.
    If you don't have yearly contracts and just going on spring cleanups you don't need to spend the money on a new truck.The 348 and ANY air machine is not made for sand.Yes it will pick it up ,but you will wear the machine out.
    Anyone who tells you different is fooling you.
    P.S. We hire another company to do our spring cleanups and make a good buck doing it.Best of all we don't have to worry about maitenance on the truck.

    Good Luck
  18. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031


    As I said in a previous post, I'm not in it just for the spring cleanups. I fully intend on getting weekly/monthly contracts. All I meant was that in the spring, after all the snow has melted, is when their lots look the worst. That is a good time to go "knocking on doors" and get some business.

  19. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    I fully agree,lots look terrible in the spring.Before my truck came in I personally handpicked the lots 7 days a week for about a month and a half.
    The sand is going to chew up fan blades,suction hoses.and wear the hopper.Also in heavy sand it takes a longer time to pick up with air than if you used a mechanical sweeper.
    We toyed with the idea of buying a used mechanical but don't want to have to maintain it.In my market I could only generate about ten to fifteen thousand in spring cleanups.Just not worth the investment for us.
  20. SLC1

    SLC1 Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    We currently run a PowerBoss 88 high dump sweeper. It is a small ride on unit 72" wide and it dumps into a one ton dump no problem. We use it do do small-medium lots in the spring and we have a few weekly lots and parking garages. This is just the right size for us, we can do average size lots and small lots in no time and a few times we even did a very large lot (1,500car) it took a long time but we did it. We run it almost every night and weekend in the spring doing sand and debris cleanup and then we use it about once a week doing litter cleanup. This unit has been a perfect unit for us, we do commerical grounds maintenance, so I am happy with it, if we did sweeping full time it would be too small, but for us we can tow it with our reguler landscape trailers and behind a one ton truck. Most of my accounts we can do with our sweeper, if we come across one too big we just sub it out to another sweeping contractor. Maybe you can start with a small unit and then move into something larger once you get enough work. Just my two cents