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Good Hunting

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Are you buying a used sweeper or scrubber? Please be careful. With the economic situation as it is many companies are looking for ways to lower or cut costs. Even the companies that would never buy pre-owned equipment are now taking a second look at them. Why, you ask?

It’s about the bottom line, money, of course. Before you sit back and count the thousands of dollars you’re going to save, there are several things to understanding the market.

Let’s look at the different avenues in seeking that machine you need.

1) Auctions; this is a very good way to purchase a good machine at a reasonable price. Remember, do your homework, find out what kind of equipment is going to be at this auction. Find out if it is what they call an “absolute auction” or a consignment auction. There is a big difference in the two. An absolute auction is what you want to attend. Forget about the consignment auctions. This is where an auction is held and many owners of equipment try to sell their equipment. Usually a minimum bid is set which is, by the way, also the value of the equipment in many cases. So, avoid this type of auction.

Your absolute auction is where I have purchased many a sweeper or scrubber. Don’t get caught up in the moment; be prepared, to walk away from any bid that seems too high!

Let me give you a good example of this. A Tennant Model 6600 that sells for approximately $30,000.00 new was purchased for $8,000.00. It had less than 500 hours on it.

Again, be prepared when you go and realize that all sales are always final. You’re stuck with your decision to buy, so make it a good one.

2) A sweeper/scrubber dealer is always a good source for used machines. The market is saturated, at the present time, so there are some good buys out there. Dealers are always looking for creative ways in which to put you into a machine. You could

a) Lease-to-Own
b) 12 Months, same as cash etc.

Many dealers offer a warranty or a limited warranty on the whole machine or at least the major components such as engine, hydraulics, etc. So I would shop and compare.

3) Today, a lot of the equipment can be found on the Internet. Have a game plan, don’t buy something your unfamiliar with. This is the same as auctions, use your good common sense.

Now, let’s talk about what to buy and why.

1) Try to stay within 5 years of the manufacturers date of the equipment. So let’s say, no earlier than 2004. If you aren’t going to use the sweeper or scrubber very much you could go older, but, I recommend against this, particularly a scrubber. Remember a scrubber makes contact with water constantly. Rust is not our friend. Anything past 10 years old, the manufacturer may have started to obsolete parts. All you need is to have a sweeper that the drive motor is no longer available, let’s say. If this starts happening, you’re going to have problems.

A perfect example of this is when a friend of mine purchased a Tennant Model 527 Scrubber. There were many of these scrubbers Made and a very good piece of equipment. A good price of equipment in their day. It ceased production in 1995. It properly lasted a year. Before he started to have hydraulic problems. Come to find out, the Wheel motors were no longer available. We had to rebuild them for him and that’s fine; if you can afford to have it down for any length of time! But, again when parts start to become “No Longer Available” be aware of the situation.

2) Try to stay with known manufacturers such as Nilfisk-Advance, American Lincoln, Factory Cat, Power Boss or Tennant.

These mentioned companies as a whole offer good equipment at Competitive prices. They all also are guilty of producing that “bomb” model you want to stay away from. So, again, know what you need and what is out there.

By that, I mean, for example: if you find a really good deal on a sweeper/scrubber, but only need a sweeper, don’t buy it. If your operation requires a sweeper, buy a sweeper.

3) Ask all your questions. Example: If you need your sweeper to be LPG, ask. I have many people who purchased a sweeper, only to find out that it is gasoline and now needs to be converted to LP.

If I can offer my many years of experience with any of your questions, I would be glad to help. You can call me at 800/346-2319 or e-mail me at

Thanks for Reading!
Good Hunting!

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