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When Is Enough Just About Enough?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

When is enough just about enough? That is, when can you determine to replace your machine?
Is it when your budget on repair parts have doubled or tripled? This, of course, could be one factor. Could it be the age of the sweeper? Yes, it could. Or, how about the hour meter reading? This is a tell-tale sign of usage.

Let’s delve into these ideas and explore when to replace.

#1 Budget. Of course your budget has to be one of these determining factors in regards to the replacement question. For example, say your budget is $500.00 per month or $6,000.00 per year for repair parts. General maintenance could be items such as tires, tune-up items and fluids, such as hydraulic or motor oil. These are all items in the budget. The items not included would be the sweeper brushes, because these have to be replaced on a regular basis anyway and should have their own set budget.

However, when your repair parts budget increase to, say, $2,000.00 in any given month then you may have a problem.

#2 Age. Replacing your sweeper strictly because of age, I think, has never been a good idea. If you are replacing your machine about every three years, that could actually be foolish.

If a machine has been well maintained through the years, there is no reason why one could not get 5 to 7 or perhaps 10 years.

#3 Hour Meter Reading. Although, I think 10 years is a stretch for many companies, the 5 to 7 year range can be in many instances a very practical way to conserve your cleaning budget. With these items being said, I think the underlying factor is the hour meter reading.

I will give you a couple of examples of the “why” this is important. If, for example, you buy a new sweeper with this knowledge in mind, your entire budget, maintenance and approach should be arranged around the hour meter reading.

I have companies replace their sweeper every three years no matter what their situation. It may only have 800 hours on it. This is absolutely low hours.

My personal ratio over the years with many conversations with many people is for every hour it is equal to 62.5 miles (1 hour = 62.5 miles). Many may disagree, that’s fine. So the 800 hours I mentioned above would be equal to about 50,000 miles.

The most important I should talk about is maintaining your equipment. If one doesn’t maintain the equipment then we should not even be discussing life of your machine because it will be a relativity short time.

Over the years I have seen sweepers with 1,000 hours on it and have seen very nice machines with 2,000 hours. Which leads me back to the most important point, which is strictly maintaining your machine by the OEM hour meter chart. If you are changing the oil every 50 hours or if you are replacing the hydraulic filter every 100 hours then you are going to have your machine for a very long time. Four thousand (4,000) hours should be a reasonable goal.

If you have a machine without an hour meter maintenance chart, e-mail me. I probably can help. By the way, the most hours I have seen on a sweeper are 8,000 hours.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article please do not hesitate to contact me.

As always, thanks for reading. You can e-mail me a

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