Technology Gives Sweepers a Boost

Last Month, several Schwarze managers discussed the evolution of sweeping, and new technology and trends, including Vice President of Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Product Management Greg Heyer, Regional Sales Manager Raymond Massey, Sales Operations Manager Joe Hendrickson, Schwarze Product Manager Jim Adair, Schwarze Product Manager Brian Giles and Warranty and Training Administrator Costas Cordonis. This month, the discussion continues with more views on technology and trends and how they affect government fleets.

Any other changes that have emerged over the past few years (e.g. water tanks, chassis, controls, etc.)?
”Oh, definitely,” Hendrickson says. “Water continues to be a hot topic and customers are looking for maximum water capacity to reduce refilling times and thus sweeper down time. And we listened. Schwarze offers 600 gallons of water to our customers that need it just to answer those needs.”
Giles continues, “While some chassis manufacturers have come and gone, the amount of suitable chassis for sweepers is better than ever. And even the Schwarze GS6 Tempest chassis-less sweeper, which is very popular in Australia and internationally, actually mounts on any popular chassis on location.
“Console systems have received dramatic enhancements lately. Bright color-coded LED switches, with easy-to-read icons and text, control the sweeper’s engine, lights, conveyer, water system, hopper, main broom, gutter brooms. The switches themselves now change color to show activity.”
Adair adds, “Something we introduced is the Six Sense Controls™ on some of our console systems. This brighter, user-friendly, smart, informative control system is something we’ve not seen before on any sweeper.”
“And we have added a stand-by mode so you are ready to sweep at any moment.”

What are the benefits of having these new technologies available?
“The benefits are really too many to mention, all we can say is just try them out by requesting a demo,” says Heyer. “If you’ve never swept with a Schwarze sweeper before, you’ll be truly amazed.
“We haven’t encountered any drawbacks but there has been concern with the price increase going from Tier III to Tier IV engines but we have and will always continue to look at ways to reduce cost without compromising quality and performance.”

If you could give a fleet manager advice about sweeper technology, what would it be?
“The advice we give to fleet managers is take the time to evaluate your sweeping program,” says Hendrickson. “Review what regulations, like stormwater and air quality regulations they have to comply with. How many curb miles per day, week or month will you be maintaining on a regular basis and talk to an industry professional to discuss the right equipment for your sweeping program needs. “
“Choose a sweeper that offers the versatility to sweep any surface you would encounter, including clean catch basins and remote areas with a rear-mounted hand hose. Street sweeping is something that is performed year round and the versatility of Schwarze sweepers provide excellent heavy conditions sweeping, cost-effective maintenance sweeping, and an unmatched leaf sweeping capability.”
“Schwarze also has trusted dealers and regional sales managers covering the entire United States,” says Heyer. “Just give them a call and explain your needs and we’re sure there is a Schwarze sweeper to meet your needs.”

What trends have you seen in government fleet purchasing? Has anything changed over the past couple of years?
“We continue to see longer and longer life cycles and smaller fleets,” says Giles. “Value has become so important in the purchase of equipment. These days cost of ownership means more than purchase price. Productivity, extended warranty and quality products all provide value.”

Does it seem like government fleets are purchasing a specific type of equipment lately?
“Yes definitely,” says Massey. “Regenerative Air Sweepers have become the main choice for government fleets but with recent enhancements to our mechanical sweepers they have been gaining ground.”
Have government fleets been buying more alt-fuel sweepers? What fuel preferences have emerged over the last few years?
“Yes,” says Giles. “CNG has evolved in more areas other than the traditional areas of Southern California and some areas in the northeast. We are now seeing interest in Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, and various other areas of the U.S as more fueling stations become available.”
“The cost of CNG is around 20 percent less than diesel and various funding is available through state and federal agencies and private grants,” adds Adair. “For instance, owners of a Schwarze alternative fuel sweeper can get a sizeable tax rebate from the federal government for properly registered products. The IRS website (www.irs.gov) can provide more information on the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit.”
“We expect continued growth in the sales of our alternative fuel sweepers as more cities and regions require that alternative fuels be used.”

Has there been any change in how long fleets keep their sweepers? Does it seem like they keep them longer? Shorter? Does it depend on certain models/uses?
“Yes, the life cycle has become longer. What used to be 5 to 7 years is now easily 10,” both Massey and Giles collaborate.
Heyer continues: “That’s why quality is so important. And excellent customer service, training and support of course, to keep that sweeper lasting as long as possible. That’s why Schwarze opened a 7,000 square foot state-of-the-art Training Academy to train operators and service professionals.”

If there were one thing fleet managers should know about sweeper purchasing trends, what would it be?
“Even though purchase prices for new equipment will continue to rise with increased regulations, keep in mind that it is still way more cost effective to remove street debris before it gets into the sewer or stream system,” says Giles.
Massey continues: “More than ever before it will become more important to choose a versatile long lasting sweeper. Multi-configuration sweepers like the M6 Avalanche with its interchangeable elevator system that easily changes from squeegee to belt conveyer will become even more popular. The need for more than one kind of model sweeper to tackle a range of different surfaces will be a thing of the past.”

Any other sweeper trends we should know about?
“We have to stress that if you’re looking to buy used sweepers, you need to be careful before you choose to put your money in an older machine,” says Giles. “Equipment owners looking to purchase older sweepers should be aware that some states are considering enacting emissions regulations that are more stringent than the EPA requirements. Municipalities are starting to require meeting these stricter guidelines to participate in the bidding process for government purchases and contracts.”

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
“Yes. Did we mention you should buy a Schwarze?” Heyer stresses, as the room fills with laughter.
“For forty years in the street sweeping business, Schwarze Industries has been committed to providing an exceptional level of customer support. Schwarze Industries offers one of the most comprehensive sweeper lines in the sweeping business, including models for parking area cleaning, industrial sweeping, mall and shopping center sweeping, airport runway sweeping, street sweeping, milling cleanup and stormwater runoff (PM-10) management.”

For more information, please visit www.schwarze.com

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