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quiet forum

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by nightowl, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. nightowl

    nightowl Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    It has been a long time since anybody has posted.Is the sweeping business dying?High fuel costs,national vendors low profit margins got the best of us?
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I still plan on sweeping all the same locations I've been doing for the past few years. When the nationals call I listen to them and get their prices. Last one I got was for a Best Buy location and it was either $25 or $35 per time. I wouldn't even put my key in the sweeper's ignition for that kind of money.
  3. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870


    Can't say I'm surprised, but wow!!
  4. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    I've been thinking about adding a sweeping service. Is the market really that bad?
  5. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    It's not bad in my area yet. The only places that aren't willing to pay fair market value are the businesses that have contracted with national service providers for their outdoor maintenance. Other than that you can do fairly well.
  6. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    That's good to know. I'm interested in learning more about sweeping, any suggestions?
  7. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    A few of my snow/landscape customers have shared what they pay...$25 for the best buy Camden mentioned seems to be right on with the rates that have been shared with me (not nationals, local managers)
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  8. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I picked the brain of one of the other users on this forum...I believe he goes by the name "hickslawns" or something like that. I sent him a PM and he gave me a wealth of info (which I don't think I ever properly thanked him for!).

    I'm small potatoes compared to a lot of guys who have posted in this section so I'm not your best resource. Maybe look into doing what I did and see if one of the seasoned vets will take you under their wing.

    It's crazy, isn't it? How can you pay an operator, pay for fuel, insurance, upkeep and come out ahead with rates like that? Kudos to the folks who can do it because I can't.
  9. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,403

    I saw someone said they could justify the rates when they're grouped together and they only do a full sweep once a month. Which makes sense to me.

    Notice I'm not a sweeper. Was very interested in it just never tried it out.
  10. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Crickets? Yep. Sweeper forums are quiet. I don't get on here often because it takes 5 minutes to upload all the ads and crap they have littering the site. Plus it seems like there is a lot of testosterone on this site from guys with a plow on their two trucks wanting to stroke their own egos when they should be out working. lol

    The industry? I am sure there are guys making fair money at it. We used to do okay. Nationals are destroying everything. Lowes paying out $25/night for 1-2 days a week? Sure. Go spend $65k on a sweeper, $4/gal diesel, and put a driver in your truck. See how long you last. I am just too stubborn to quit. There aren't a lot of guys in my area sweeping. I am waiting for them to go out of business. Not sure how, but they haven't done so yet.

    I would not recommend anyone to try to break into sweeping right now. There are better business plans out there with lower operating costs, lower entry costs, and better margins.

    Camden- Might have been me. I don't remember. If it was, you are welcome. If it wasn't, well, I am taking credit anyway. :D
  11. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Thanks, man! :drinkup:

    I started off sweeping a few businesses in my little town in central MN and now I travel to IA, ND, SD and WI. I enjoy it more than any other warm-weather work.
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    You'd have to pay me $50hr to sweep.

    what a dirty grimy job.
    then when the equipment breaks down,
    and it does what a nasty job fixing a conveyer full of sweepings
    sweeping up dead skunks, yea.....

    I've run little tenets, Vac truck, to Elgen street sweepers.

    It's a no brainier why you are being called out.
    It's right there with pumping septic tanks.

    Have fun being a dust bunny.

    (yes I know about spraying water)
    (but not all sweepers have the option)
  13. oncallmaintenan

    oncallmaintenan Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    IM new an was surfing web when I found this site an had to put my 2cents in the sweeping game. Now that said I live in florida so no plowing but I've been in sweeping since I was a kid and IM now 39. Ive worked up from a helper to GM for 3 different companies over the years (changed jobs from sell outs an such) All of them6 to 10 truck a night operations with lawn, pressure washing, porting, and maintenance. All that said Id hope to know a thing or 2 about the sweeping game...

    Yes third party maintenance groups are killing many of us all over on sweeping but like everything you have to roll with it. We don't make much off sweeping at all now an I don't care as long as we don't lose accounts an Ill tell you why. The money is not in sweeping anymore but sweeping is the door to the real easy money and thats Porting and maintenance. You use sweeping to get foot in door (an again no plowing in FL) to get the Porting which is nothing more then a guy with a few rags an cleaners an a couple rolls of trash bags that you hire as private contractors so even they pay for own supplies or pay them just above min wage as employees an the margins are big enough to make up for sweeping an some along with maintenance which to me is even the biggest up sale. when I can charge 125. plus an hr to do stupid things like open a door b/c manager is busy or put up signs that we have had made at near nothing an charge huge mark up then that's how you make your money .

    Now all that said you cant be lazy you got to get old cell phone camera out and drive your accounts an be sure to look for an take pics of anything you can think of that a PM will want done such as busted or misplaced curb stops, bent or missing signs. safety paint on ballard's or curbs flaking off, large debris removal, graffiti, parking lights out, ceiling tiles falling in units, unit clean outs, light plumbing repairs, WINDOW CLEANING(very good money) cracks in side walks or trip hazards, pot holes an offer to hot fill them which is nothing more then torching the bag fill, painting trash can lids or railings, I mean I can on and on but you got to look at centers like a pm would an do all the easy high profit work you can an the sweeping is allways your in just make sure you not taking a loss in sweeping just in case things get slow but with enough accounts there is always plenty of things to do for easy profit. You just have to get out there an go after it. Heck another big one for me is I got a roofer doing leak repairs which is great money....

    Remember always use sweeping to your advantage to make good money else where...

    Best of luck to anybody starting sweeping an I do agree try not to start in flooding sweeping markets b/c you always have a couple morons that think they can sweep lots 75% cheaper then everybody else then go under sale trucks to another newbie trying to sweep for nothing. but try to stay a float an make your money else where an sweeping will be rewarding... AND HAVE GOOD PEOPLE IN CHARGE or all is for not... YOu got to stay on top of things or it can fall down as easy as a house of cards in a hurricane....

    thanks for hearing me out, lol
    Matt owner On Call Maintenance