"The basic 3000 was the Husky II," he says. "The new owners had made a lot of changes to it and the changes caused some problems."
When he bought the company back and renamed it Python, he took a look at the S3000 and made some changes, including adding more horsepower to the engine and the hydraulic system with an 80-hp diesel engine, to make the S3000 much more of a "sweeper's sweeper."
The S3000 sweeps a path 138 in. wide with its patent-pending "Eliminator" main broom and two gutter brooms, and its 6-cu.-yd. hopper dumps anywhere from 21 to 147 in. Other features include a 300-gal. patent-pending "water saver" system, a 60-gal. hydraulic tank, and independent adjustment of gutter brooms.
"I went through the whole machine and took it back to the basics," he says. "We have simpler hydraulics all the way through, more hydraulic pressure to the brooms, and a separate pump for every function on the sweeper."
In fact the S3000 has four hydraulic pumps - one for each of four hydraulic motors (one motor for the elevator, one for the main broom, and one for each gutter broom).
"With this hydraulic system you can't stop the machine no matter what dirt you put it into," he says. "You can wear down the brooms but you can't stop them."
Nite-Hawk Sweepers continues to innovate
Of Nite-Hawk Sweepers' two units, the NH200-XLP is the manufacturer's designated (low profile) parking lot sweeper, a vacuum unit designed simply to pick up anything typically found on a parking lot, according to Tracy Day, Nite-Hawk president.
And recent improvements, such as upgrading the hydraulic system, have enhanced the parking lot sweeper's strength. "We took something that was tried and true, notably the hydraulic system, and made it even better without sacrificing any of our strength, performance, durability and efficiency," Day says. "We were able to increase the performance by using the hydraulic fluid more effectively."
Available on a ¾-ton heavy duty Ford or GM chassis, the vacuum NH200-XLP features a 103-in.-wide sweeping path including a 16-in. gutter broom. The 2-cu.-yd. steel hopper (stainless is an option) has a maximum dump height of 62 in., and a slight redesign has found room for a large blower holding toolbox behind the cab. The low 6-ft., 4-in. profile also makes it an option for sweeping parking garages. Plus, the NH200-XLP like its big brother the NH400-DX, offers new warranties: 5 year, 100,000 miles on both the hydraulic components and the chassis.
"We've been building sweepers for more than 25 years and after we boosted our already strong performance by using the hydraulic system from our (NH400-DX) sweeper making this unit the best-performing sweeper we've ever had," Day says.
Victory Sweepers' joystick draws attention
The newest unit to the parking lot sweeping market is Victory Sweepers' Mark II, a dual-engine vacuum sweeper with nine patent-pending features, according to Chris Nelson, sales manager at Victory Sweepers.
Introduced to the industry a year ago, the Mark II can sweep 90 in. wide with the hood only and up to 116 in. wide with dual curb brooms. It features a 4.65-cu.-yd. stainless steel hopper, and a rear dump height of 70 in. The dump system also slides rearward 3 in. to help reduce spilling onto the rear of the one-piece polyethylene rear toolbox that Nelson says can hold five people.
Other features include two 6-in. LED lights inside the toolbox for lighting at night, a two-piece sweeping head that is easier and less costly to replace, a non-adjustable air chamber that makes sure air flow and sweeping performance remain constant as designed (because flaps and not skid plates are adjusted), and a "hoods up" feature that enables the operator to lift the front of the head to suck in any debris the head was "bulldozing" along the pavement.
"The biggest deal, and the feature that's getting the most attention from contractors, is the joystick control in the cab which the operator uses to operate all the hydraulic functions," Nelson says. "It operates just like a video game and it enables the operator to keep his eyes on the road or parking lot at all times."