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The Ultimate Boat Anchor!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Many of the questions I receive are regarding used sweepers or sweeper/scrubbers. Questions range from:

  1. What brand of machine should I buy?
  2. Do I need a sweeper or a scrubber?
  3. How do I determine what size machine is required for my factory?
  4. Are there good buys on e-bay?
  5. I found this machine on e-bay. Should I buy it? What do you think?

One gentleman was so determined to buy something off of e-bay that I responded and wrote. “If you find a machine, be very careful on what you purchase. Let me give you some rules to follow to help your search.

  1. Know what you need and don’t differentiate from your goal. My meaning is that if you need just a sweeper, don’t buy a sweeper/scrubber because you think that it is a deal that can’t be passed up. Pass it up and stick with your plan. Remember, just a sweeper!
  2. Start your search with a 500 mile radius. As you continue your searches try to narrow it to 250 miles then 100 miles. Make a list of what you have found by distance, price, age and condition. Be very diligent and patient.

    Distance: The further away the equipment is, the more difficult it maybe to make a decision. Pictures can say a 1000 words, however, it may not tell everything. Careful. Careful. And remember their meaning of excellent condition may not be the same as your excellent condition.

    Price: Stick with a price in your budget and stay with the plan. If you have $10,000 to spend don’t get wrapped up into a bidding war. Ten means ten and not fifteen. Again, be patient.

    Age: Eight to ten years is my maximum cut-off. There are all kinds of reasons you do not want to buy something past 8 to 10 years. For one thing, parts can be obsolete and many become harder to locate. Now, you are starting to buy used parts for a machine you just bought and that’s just no good.

    Another reason is that it maybe a rust bucket, especially a scrubber. Under that shell and outside paint, maybe one big boat anchor.

    Condition: This is everything when it comes to a sweeper or sweeper/scrubber. When you are narrowing your search, it is always best to find something close. You can always send someone or check it out yourself. Always do your homework on the equipment you are going to inspect. Why?


The seller is not your friend. He wants to get rid of the machine and is not concerned with what happens to it after you buy it.

Companies that just sell used equipment buy and sell all types of equipment. They may not be familiar with a sweeper or scrubber. So it is up to you to know.

I have seen these types of companies ask $5,000.00 for a 30 year old sweeper that I would not pay more than $200.00.

Finally, do not buy anything with high usage on the hour meter. Always try to stay under 1,000 hours. Never buy anything over 1,500 hours. That is my absolute cut-off.

Remember, keep away from the “Ultimate Boat Anchor.” As always, thanks for reading. You can e-mail me at at any time.

Thanks for reading.

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