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Parts...Obsolete or NLA

Friday, April 1, 2011

Seven years is the usual amount of time when you start to experience obsolete parts by the sweeper/ scrubber manufacturer. And, no matter how good or popular your machine is, every owner will experience this.

One of the most popular machines that were ever built was the Tennant Model 528 scrubber. Many people owned two, three or even four of these machines at a time and were always concerned with parts becoming obsolete. Let me back-up for a moment and say that this was a rider scrubber machine that was produced between 1989 and 1995. Actually, the Model 527 and then the 527 II were the forerunners of the 528. All of the scrubbers were basically the same; however, Tennant would update or redesign some features from time-to-time. So, in fact, you had a scrubber introduced in 1980 as a 527 and discontinued in 1995 as a Model 528. That’s 15 years of selling these machines. There were literally tens of thousands of these machines sold when they stopped the line in 1995. By 2000 parts began becoming no longer available (NLA) without replacement. Some hydraulic motors and such became NLA. In these cases we had to resort to rebuilding the motors. Machine parts such as shafts, pulleys, adjusting links we manufactured for our customers. And, still do today because these models are still out there and the parts are still needed. It is a testament to this model that companies are still using the Tennant Model 528 after 16 years. It was an excellent machine.

Another good machine that you still see from time-to-time is the Advance 5000. You do not see as many 5000B (Battery) machines. Mostly, you see the 5000 G/P that is Gas/Propane. This is another machine that has a lot of history. It was first produced around 1978 and was a hit from the very beginning. However, this scrubber, like the Tennant, had updates over the years. Just the engines that were put in the 5000 were Ford, Nissan, Chrysler and a few Toyotas. The Chrysler never was popular and was introduced for a couple of years in the early 1980’’.

Next, the Advance introduced an updated version of the 5000 scrubber and renamed it the 5010 and 5015. Soon after, parts for the 5000 started to become harder to get and/or they became obsolete.

One of the more good examples is the American-Lincoln Model 7000. This is, in my opinion; the first good designed Sweeper/Scrubbers. Introduced in the late 1970’s. It became the forerunner of the 7700, 7760 and today, the 7765. The basic design is the same; however, changes were made along the way. They began by putting a Y112 Continental engine that is, obviously, ancient history. They then used the Ford, Perkins Diesel, Toyota and today the GM. The hydraulic motor has changed over the years as well. Solution and recovery tanks have become bigger and better leaving obsolete parts along the way.

One does have to understand, as these sweeper and scrubbers get older it is becoming more difficult for these manufacturers to stock and supply the parts. However, in these times when companies are trying to stretch every dime out of the equipment, it is also difficult for companies to purchase newer equipment, so they are hanging on to that older equipment longer and longer.

So, again, one can see that great divide of parts needed and parts that are obsolete.

If you are trying to repair your sweeper or scrubber and the parts are obsolete you can try by contacting me at and maybe I will be able to help. You won’t know unless you ask.

Thanks for reading.

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