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Sweepers and Scrubbers, Decision Time! Buying New or Reconditioned

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This question is forever. Do you buy a:

  1. New machine to replace your sweeper or scrubber.
  2. A reconditioned machine

In these uncertain times, many more owners are taking a harder look into the latter, a reconditioned machine. It is only natural that anyone would want to save money. I would submit a third option in this debate. And that third option is to have your existing machine reconditioned.

We are going to examine each of these choices. And these choices are not going to be the same for all owners. So, let’s begin:

  1. Buying New
    A meeting has just adjourned and a discussion was made about replacing their PowerBoss SW7V Sweeper. It has been an excellent machine for them for many years. It is simply worn out. Their maintenance cost has increased exponentially and down time is now becoming a problem. Down time is money, so it is costing them.

    To purchase a new piece of equipment was their final agreement. It matters not what it will be replaced with. The point here is that a new machine will be purchased and the correct decision was made. Why? you say, is that correct? Simply put, their environment, I believe dictates new. They operate a foundry where very fine dust is a lifestyle. To control the dust monster is an impossible, never ending task. In this type of severe environment a reconditioned sweeper simply would not hold up for long. And to recondition their sweeper is not a practical idea because over the life of this sweeper the foundry’s sand just has destroyed everything from all the bearings to seals. The cost effectiveness is just not there.
  2. This now leads me to the next scenario. A medium to large parts manufacturer has operated a Tennant Model 528 for some 17 years. They use it approximately 10 hours a week. It has been regularly maintained, however, it has seen better days. Parts are getting harder to find and taking longer to get. So, it maybe time to look for something to replace the Tennant. The factory is about 125,000 square feet. It is a very clean operation. Several oils are exposed to the floor surface from time to time. However, the scrubber is cleaning mostly natural dust and dirt that occur.

    This operation says to me reconditioned machine. If they received 17 years out of a new machine, it should be probable to get ten to twelve years out of a reconditioned scrubber. The trick is, of course, that you have to be fairly knowledgeable about the equipment.

    Talk to many people, get their opinions, advice and be diligent. You must be able to trust your vendor and know that they are looking out for your interest. Usually, reconditioned equipment comes with limited warranties and are sometimes parts only warranted. Those are the drawbacks. Of course the advantage here is a savings of perhaps 30 to 40%.
  3. The third, and final, scenario I advise often because it fits. A warehouse with roughly 500,000 square feet of cleaning. He had two sweeper/scrubbers. These machines were sisters, meaning that they were identical in every way. American-Lincoln Models 7760 that were maintained properly. After ten years of operation, they were still in good shape, however, getting fatigued and needing attention.

    Replacing these two sweeper/scrubbers with new is always an option. Moreover, it would be an expensive endeavor costing $100,000.00 or more to replace. The new model is the American Lincoln 7765. This model has been updated, but to me this situation screams out “recondition!” Since you have two machines, simply have one machine reconditioned at a time. The advantages of having this work performed are:
    A. You keep machinery that is familiar to work on
    B. Your operator is already familiar with this as well
    C. Your maintenance cost and break down should subside
    D. You should figure to save 30, 40 or 50% off new.

Someone always surprises me with an environment that they use a sweeper or scrubber. So, e-mail me about how your machine performs in an unusual environment. The more unusual, the better.

If you have any questions or comments, you can e-mail me at

Thanks for reading!

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