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Parking Lot Sweeping

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Emerald, Apr 3, 2003.

  1. Emerald

    Emerald Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Dose anyone clean or sweep parking lots in the off season (summer) I am thinking of adding sweeping to my business but I don't know what to charge or how to bid any help would be AWESOME I plan on using our Sthil backpack blower, Billy Goat push blower, Ariens 3ft broom and a Billy Goat vac


    EMERALD:confused: :confused:
  2. NNJSnow

    NNJSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    Trying private messaging member: Temco. I know he has his own sweeping business.
  3. SLC1

    SLC1 Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    We do any accounts that we take care of year round. First it is a going to be very hard to do it without a machine that is selfcontained and a high dump that can empty into a dump truck. Second whatever machine you have is going to require constant maintenance, always cleaning airfilters, changing oil, ect. Got to plan on blowing up a motor every now and then. There is money in it, but we have found that there is not enough money for us to do it for other contractors or just as a one time deal but we do keep our sweeper busy for our selves doing our own accounts all spring. I am sure that if you get in with the right people and contacts that you can make some money at it, gotta start talking to people in your area. Just my two cents
  4. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    We do litter chasing 7 nights a week. Totally different than mechanical sweeping.
    Doesn't pay to have a machine that only works part time for heavy clean ups.Cheaper for me to call someone,rather then pay the truck insurance.
    Schwartz sweepers and most others have handbooks they give out for free on how to get into the biz. Also there is a sweeper association out on the web with info.

    Good Luck and feel free to call me if you'd like
  5. nben

    nben Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    We use a pick up broom on our skidsteer for our year round customers. Like most have said, having a dedicated piece of high maintenance equipment doesn't always make sense. We have about four weeks of dirty, nasty, disgusting late nights and early mornings. I don't think I would want to do it on a larger scale.
  6. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    Ok, here is a more positive reply. ;) Our business is snow plowing and parking lot sweeping. We sort of fell into the sweeping. We were looking at buying a Bobcat, and a friend knew someone who had one for sale. When we contacted him, it turns out he had a sweeping business that he wanted to sell, including all his equipment. The Bobcat was exactly what we wanted, so we decided to go for the whole deal. He had some good contracts already in place (some retail and grocery stores and shopping centers). The truck is a Tymco 210. What has been said about high maintenance is true as far as needing to keep the truck clean. The screens have to be cleaned often and it is a grimy job. However, we have found it to be a good source of revenue in the summer, and our biggest customer wants sweeping year round, as permitted by weather. As more of the "big box" retail businesses move into our area, the demand for sweeping is increasing, because they have corporate policies that require it on a regular basis for litter control.

    We also have a lot of one-time "spring clean" customers who just want us to come in after the snow melts to clean up all the gravel that has accumulated over the winter. That is harder work, since we are cleaning up gravel and packed debris instead of just loose litter like on the maintenance sweeps. But we charge a higher hourly rate for spring cleaning. This is also where the Bobcat comes in handy. We have an angle broom attachment for it that works great at getting up gravel and mud. We also have a Stihl backpack blower and a hand held blower. We have also rented a power broom for really heavy debris in the corners that the blowers won't get.

    The maintenance sweeping is pretty much night work, since you need to get in while the parking lot is empty. Depending on what kind of customer it is for spring cleaning determines if we do it daytime or at night. Hotels, condo complexes or apartments of course have to be done during the day, and require the manager's cooperation to get all the cars out of the way.

    The trade organization for sweeping contractors is North American Power Sweeping Association, www.napsaonline.com

    We have gotten a lot of information and support from our Tymco dealer. You might check into sweeping truck dealers in your area to find out what the prices are like in your market. In the Denver metro area, the going rate is about $50 - $75 per hour. But usually for the maintenance sweeps, you just figure how much time it will take you and bid a flat per-sweep rate. The more often you sweep, the lower the rate. For example, if someone wanted swept just once per month, you would charge them a much higher per-sweep rate than the customer who is having you sweep every night. And as I mentioned, spring cleans, or new construction cleanup, is a much higher rate since it is thicker debris and harder on the equipment.

    It seems to us that this is one of those jobs that are not desirable to a lot of people because you get dirty and a lot of it is night work. But if you are willing to put up with the drawbacks, you may be able to find a nice revenue source that does not have a lot of competition. Plus, it dovetails nicely with snow removal services - you can offer your customers a year-round package that includes both.

    Just like with plowing, though, if you are going to get into sweeping, do it in a professional way. Have written contracts, proper insurance, etc. and do your homework first so that you know what you are getting into.

    Best of luck - keep me posted on what you end up doing.
  7. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Hey Karen, Great to see you survived the storm. That explination should give EMERALD a good start for sweeping.

  8. Emerald

    Emerald Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for ALL the good info it gives me a lot to think about thanks again

    EMERALD:p :p :D