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Going Green II

Monday, September 1, 2008

It is inevitable that our conversation continues with going green. Even though LP Fuel is not as expensive as gasoline or particularly diesel fuel, battery or electric seems to becoming more attractive. It is catching on!

There are costs; however, related to the electric models an owner does not have to contend with when running I.C. engine machines.

Example #1; For some companies space is an optimum premium. If that is the case, with your customer, consider that a certain square footage is required for the battery charging area.

Example #2; With my machine being purchased, an extra battery, for me, would be a “must have,” when eight hours is usually a minimum when charging your sweeper/scrubber battery. This is a particular true necessity for any rider sweeper/scrubber. Of course, it is easy for me to say this when a good battery is going to cost on average of $2,500.00. One also has the battery charger to purchase and maintain.

Example #3; which leads me up to a maintenance person. They are not cheap; at least a good one is not. If you’re already running electric lift trucks, this is a non-issue. Of course, if you
or your customer is not, I suggest you read on.

Example #4; For when you purchase an electric weeper/scrubber the owner has already the above mentioned items. You still have to maintain the electric sweeper/ scrubber; the most important and perhaps the most expensive venture. Of course, with a sweeper/scrubber you have to replace the main brush, side brush and scrubber brushes on a regular maintenance schedule. The sweeper just has the main and side brushes to replace. With exception of a few hydraulics, everything is electric. You have the electric drive/propelling motor. The main and side brush motors could be hydraulic, but, in most cases are electric. The vacuum motor for the hopper is electric as well. So one has to have the skill to maintain and repair these electric motors or send them out for repair. Of course, the third option would be to simply purchase a replacement. Another expensive item on any electric sweeper/scrubber, is the Curtis speed controller. With Curtis trying to control the market, prices are going nowhere but up.

One may argue each and every point that has been made, that a sweeper/ scrubber with a I.C. engine has many of the basic items to maintain, just hydraulic instead. Well, you would be correct in your assumption. And, after everything is said and done, the maintenance, the performance, the costs is what we really are talking about. The ability to control our destiny in this instance is fuel cost. Without it, we become a nation of reactionaries.

As with any business decision you must weigh the pros and con’s, if you will, to determine the best fit for your business environment.

With any decision, I have always made a column with the positives and a column with the negatives. The results may surprise even you.

Try going green.

Thanks for reading. I always enjoy hearing from you at 800/346-2319 or

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