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Curious question!

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by All_Clear, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    I'm curious... I've been looking at some of the talk about people getting started in sweeping... Some say you could start with a broom and shovel.

    Seriously how many of you or someone you know have started this way. Or maybe you started with just a backpack blower and trash bags... whatever the case, you started as cheaply as possible, no big investment on equipment. Maybe $500 total start... (you can pm me if you don't want to post)

    I say this because out of all the stores around here large and small, I've only seen Walmart being cleaned by a truck in this town. I've never seen another lot being cleaned with equipment, most just send out their own employees with dust pan and broom. I know when i worked food industry throughout high school, thats what they sent us to do when things slowed. But heck we always begged to go out and clean the lot (goof off outside) lol

    Just curious...

  2. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    I would say the cheapest way to get started short of a broom and dustpan or backpack and trashbags would be something like a billygoat. They make walk behind units for cleaning pavement. I know a guy that had a used one here for around $200. They are much more $$$ new, but can't remember exact numbers for cost. My local lawnmower dealer gave me prices once. I don't know that I would suggest a broom approach or backpack/trashbag approach to this. You would 1)give up 2)quickly buy equipment or 3)wear out your back from bending over all night. Hope this helps.
  3. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Yeah i saw a billygoat go for $60 the other day... Worked good too...

    I'm not looking to get into sweeping but i just wondered how many seriously have started with next to nothing, after reading what these guys with trucks make, with a low overhead and the extra time it would take, what kind of profit would be in starting so cheaply, higher or lower profits. Lets say 20,000 sq ft lot with a broom and dust pan, blower and bags or billygoat... what would you charge and how long would it take? How often would you do it, daily, 3-4 times a week? Often they are loaded with cigarette butts, not really so much large trash, so the amount you'd be bagging would be minimal.

    Sounds interesting, possibly profitable, wont be starting anything anytime soon but i suppose enough research it may be an untouched market here in town. Might be worth my while to look into down the road.

  4. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Anyone use a billygoat on a lot? How did it work? Pros and cons?

    All Clear
  5. shepoutside

    shepoutside Member
    Messages: 88

    Well, I went to an auction, this past winter, and was lookng for a crack sealing equipment, and came home with a sweeper :) right place, at the right time. I got a great deal, more like a gift, and brought it home. Has a scrubber attachment too, and I told customer's that I now had this sweeper, and I have picked up 7 contracts with this. I have had many calls too, about future work. Funny how things work out sometimes.

  6. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Thats a heck of a machine. How's it working for you? Lots of maintenance?

  7. shepoutside

    shepoutside Member
    Messages: 88

    New gutter brush is all so far ( knock wood ) been using it a lot too, and used the scrubber a 2 jobs.
  8. drmiller100

    drmiller100 Senior Member
    from idaho
    Messages: 119

    i live in a small resort town.

    last fall i noticed a buddy had a sweeper, and i kidded him he should sell it ot me. it is a warehouse style tenant, runs on propane.

    well, 3 weeks ago, the buddy called me up, and said I should buy it from him. his girl friedn was running it, she left town, and he is making money as an excavator.

    make a long story short, he said I could have it for 5k, and pay for it end of summer.

    hardest part is bidding high enough. I thought I was bidding at 75 an hour, but the thing is going twice as fast as I thought it would, and i'm really making 150 an hour or more.

    btw, get a BIG backpack plower. I've got a redmax 7000, thinking on the 8000.
  9. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    I already had a bobcat so I guess I started with a little more then some. got a broom for it. Next I found a pelican for $5000 having the gutter broom was worth the 5K alone as the bobcat broom did not have one. After a few contracts to clean a few lots we got 2 backpacks for the corners. After the lots were cleaned we shifted to going only with the backpacks with vacuum attachments on them. Took roughly 3 hours 2 days a week to make the stores happy. We bid the jobs @ 100/hr with the backpacks. I now do the same lots with an Air Cub in 15 to 20 minutes for $250 per visit. Same results same price just less time and better equipment and not as many trips to the chiropractor.