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Starting Out

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by PPMnh, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. PPMnh

    PPMnh Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    what's the best way to start out? i can't afford to go out and buy a big sweeper off the bat (unless truck bed mount or tow behind? what are you opinions on those?). plus cost wise to rent a skidsteer with a broom isn't worth it unless i have a full day/night worth of work, even then there's a good $400 eaten up (that may be ok on a spring clean up, but daily/weekly contracts - i'd lose out). should i run a backpack blower and a billy goat, then shovel (so long as it's maintenance with relatively little sand)?
  2. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    I think you would get tired of this method real quick. I wouldn't buy a new billy goat to do this. Used for $200-400 maybe. What are your expectations? Gravel/sand cleanup after winter? Weekly cleanings for litter? If weekly or daily litter cleanup, then you might be able to start with a billy goat. It would get old quick though.
  3. PPMnh

    PPMnh Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    that's part of the point too...no way will a ground and a backpack blower do spring cleanups, but they may get by for debris (if a customer wanted cleaning 5 nights a week or whatever). i don't know...a few general maintenance contracts and i would simply go out and buy parking lot sweeper. Renting one is an option too, nations rent, etc. ...maybe break even, or lose money until i get more contracts, but then again i can't be stupid and run my business into the ground. what to do..:dizzy:
  4. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Do you have a skidloader? I would say a used bucket/broom sweeper combo could be bought easily for $100-1500. I got one in May for $1050 at an auction. This would work on spring cleanups. Cheaper than a truck, but not as convienent to haul around and use. This would still be better than nothing. I would not recommend losing money to get started. What if you find it tougher than expected to pick up contracts? Then you have spent money with nothing to gain. I have found it tougher to get contracts than I originally expected. There is a guy driving from an hour north of my town and sweeping for what I estimate around $25-30 an hour. Obviously less after his maintanence and drive times are included. I bid a job I expected to spend 2 hours at 1 night per week for $90. The manager said the other guy was half my price and from out of town. As far as I am concerned, he can do it for that price until he drives himself out of business and I might just pick up a cheap sweeper. lol

    CITY SWEEP Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I started out with a used truck mounted unit.I couldn't see spending alot of money on a big sweeping truck till i knew it was gonna work.As the guy from Hicks Lawn said also contracts are alot tuffer to get than i thought.One of my bigger accounts i spent well over six months trying to get.Also lots i
    thought would bring $80 to $100 to sweep are getting swept for $30 to $40.It can be a hard business to break into espically if your in a bigger town.
    I would look at a used conventional truckmounted sweeper or a slide in bed sweeper (A-tach,or Masco ).and a backpack blower.
    Go to Tommy Allen's site usedsweepersofamerica.com Good luck.