You have choices!

With another year under our belt, many business owners may be discussing the topic of new equipment for their fleet. Some will be buying forklifts while others may be purchasing manlifts. But for some the discussions will be a new sweeper or scrubber or maybe a combination sweeper/scrubber. So let’s discuss that topic today.

There are so many choices one has today that you simply didn’t have 30 years ago. One example would be the choice of a combination sweeper/scrubber. Before 1985, the discussion was -does our facility require a sweeper or scrubber? There wasn’t any of this sweeper/scrubber talk, because those machines just didn’t exist. I recall many large companies had both machines, a sweeper and a scrubber. They required both. So think about this-the decision to make a sweeper/scrubber was resisted for as long as possible by the OEM’s such as Tennant and Advance. Those guys wanted to sell two pieces of equipment not just one. However, PowerBoss, being the new kid on the block at that time, made the decision to make the first sweeper/scrubber. Tennant still resisted manufacturing sweeper/scrubbers and continued selling scrubbers with pre-sweep, such as the famous 528 scrubber. Another type of machine Tennant offered was a sweeper that could be converted into a scrubber. First introduced in the 1974 was the very popular Tennant Model 240 Sweeper. Tennant sold the idea in this way -buy the 240 sweeper and by purchasing a scrubbing attachment with it, you can have both a sweeper and a scrubber. It did work but to convert from a sweeper to a scrubber and back again was a hassle. One had to remove the hopper box and install the scrubbing attachment and all the hose and lines needed to make it a scrubber. And remember, you still had a sweeper or scrubber not the combination sweeper/scrubber introduced by PowerBoss.

So, it would be another 10 years before Tennant jumped into the sweeper/scrubber business full throttle and never looked back. In 1994, Tennant introduced the model 8400, a large sweeper/scrubber to compete against the PowerBoss TSS Models. Advance introduced the TigerCat Model 4500 and now you had choice. So this period in the mid1990s could be known as the tipping point for innovation.

Then by the late 1990s two things happened to change the make-up of a cleaning machine. #1. Companies are starting to use their warehouse space more wisely and effectively with the isle getting smaller and smaller. #2. The idea of global warming is starting to take hold, so the battery/electric machines are becoming more popular. Today you see the market share increase with small to mid-size battery sweeper/scrubbers.

Today there is a sweeper, scrubber or sweeper/scrubber made for just about any environment or situation. As late as May of 2017, Tennant introduced the Model M17 Battery Sweeper/Scrubber. There is even a stand-up rider scrubber never imagined 20 years ago. When buying a new machine I suggest you do your -due diligence- because YOU HAVE CHOICES.

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions about this article or the sweeper/scrubber industry, please e-mail me.

Creamer’s Corner is a monthly conversation with Hi-Gear’s Mike Creamer giving you advice, technical assistance, brand comparisons and on the job stories on repairing, maintaining or replacing your sweeper/scrubber. For your comments or questions, please e-mail Mike at



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