Stewart-Amos markets non-CDL broom unit
When manufacturers bring a product to market they always have a niche in mind they want to fill. For Stewart-Amos, which introduced its Starfire S-4 sweeper in 2005 but only went into full product last fall, the design criteria were clear.
"We wanted to manufacture a 4-cu.-yd. mechanical broom street sweeper on a non-CDL chassis," says Frank Chulick, president of Stewart-Amos. "We wanted a mid-size street sweeper that is easy to operate, and we wanted it to be easy to maintain."
Non-CDL sweepers must be less than 26,000 lbs. GVW, and the Starfire S-4 is typically mounted on a GMC W5500 HD chassis or an International Harvester CF600 chassis - both of which come in at about 19,500 lbs.
The Starfire S-4 features a 4-cu.-yd. hopper that dumps at variable heights from 16 to 122 in. With dual gutter brooms the Starfire S-4 offers a 114-in.-wide sweeping path, and a 200-gal. water tank provides dust suppression. Also standard is a 7-in. color monitor inside the cab that can be activated when the sweeper is put in reverse.
Chulick says that the sweeper uses four hydraulic motors, and each motor carries the same part number to ease replacement. In addition, all metal parts of the unit are etched with the part number so even if the manual isn't handy the mechanic can see what the part number is. And electric wires are color coded and numbered
MASCO Sweeper offers cost-effective flexibility
Still another unit designed for parking lot sweeping and to offer a contractor some flexibility with his pickup trucks, is MASCO's Model 2200, which slides in the back of most ¾-ton or ½-ton pickups trucks, much like a camper slides into a truck.
"The idea is you can put a sweeper in the back of a customer's truck and Bingo! He's in the sweeping business," says Masco's Mike Dyck. He says that while MASCO has produced the 2200, which also can be removed from the truck if necessary, since 1970, the manufacturer has seen a resurgence in its sales in the last 18 months.
"We think there's more interest in this type of unit because it's less expensive than a lot of the other parking lot sweepers on the market," Dyck says. "Guys are out there sweeping parking lots and they're not getting more money to sweep than they were years ago, but sweeping trucks are more expensive than they ever were and many contractors can't afford to buy those trucks. The 2200 does a great job sweeping parking lots so it's getting more attention."
Dyck says the Model 2200 has undergone a "rebirth," which also likely had an impact on sales. He says in addition to converting to stainless steel 3-cu.-yd. hopper, MASCO added an engine cover on the unit and converted the exhaust system from updraft to downdraft. The high-dump hopper lifts to 5.5 ft., enabling the sweeper to dump into any standard dumpster.
"If property managers aren't going to allow contractors to charge what they need to make a profit and be successful, then contractors have to look to other equipment to get the job done," Dyck says.
Scorpion Sweepers boasts lightweight ease
Designed to fit the niche of the easy to use, easy-to-repair, and lightest weight parking lot sweeper, Scorpion Sweepers offers several versions of its sweeper, including a customized unit and unit that is modified (for conversion to ethanol fuel, for example). But the manufacturer's bread-and-butter sweeper is a low-profile (6 ft., 2-in. height) sweeper that features a lightweight 2.5-cu.-yd. hopper and is attached to an unmodified Chevy Colorado cab and chassis straight from General Motors.
"It's a very basic parking lot sweeper that's easy to handle. It's not a complicated piece of equipment at all," says John Russell, national manager, Scorpion Sweepers.
In addition to a hidden side-mounted storage area, the Scorpion features fold-down areas on each side of the unit offering 36 sq. ft. of storage space for non-sweepable items. An electric-powered side blower is standard, and a rear-mounted sweeper head provides a 76-in. sweeping width.
Russell says the main selling point of the Scorpions is that because of its cab-and-chassis setup it can handle up to 800 lbs. more debris and still stay within the gross vehicle weight requirements of GM's Chevy Colorado. Russell says the lighter weight unit helps extend brake and tire life, and helps on fuel efficiency.