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DISCUSSION FORUMS : Forkliftaction.communicate
Forum: Industry News & Whispers
Discussion:  Sweeper/Scrubber Idea
Number of messages: 6

Louisiana, United States
Hey everyone,
   I've been selling forklifts in a large market for over 4 years and I get so many requests from our customers to rent sweepers and scrubbers that I've thought it may be a good idea to start my own sweeper/scrubber business.
   You could offer sweep/scrub contracts similar to forklift PMs where you come out every 30-60-90 days to clean the warehouse. You could either rent the machine or provide the machine with an operator to do the job.
   Customers claim it's difficult finding a rental sweeper scrubber or a company that offers this. Does anyone have any idea why? I know the machines can be costly especially the riders vs giving a warehouse worker a broom but what other things would be worth thinking about? Any ideas?
   Has anyone out there ever had any experience renting or selling sweeper and scrubbers? Positives and negatives? I know this isn't really forklift related but any thoughts would help.

Posted 5 Jan 2016 05:51 AM Reply  Report this message
REPLIES: Sort replies by
Ontario, Canada
I think its a great idea I know several of the dealerships here in Ontario do rent/ sell scrubbers and there doing quite well mine does not. I really like the idea you had about coming monthly to do the scrubbing. They are such a large investment that many companies im sure would not like to pay. However in saying this I feel like once you get in you will find that it is just or more competitive than forklifts. Cost of entry is low and im sure there are companies offering these types of programs. Do your research and make some call if the demand is there than get at it!!

Posted 5 Jan 2016 06:26 AM Reply  Report this message
Georgia, United States
You might want to call a couple dealers, talk to the rental manager, in your area and ask the why they don't  offer sweepers /scrubber rentals, based on their websites.  Two I have had past acquaintances with  that do or did represent Crown Lift Trucks.  Thompson Lift, headquarters in  Birmingham, Ala & Daily Equipment, (Pearl  I think) LA.  I only mention Crown because they do a lot in in warehousing & warehouses generally like to keep their floors clean.   Check with you local Raymond dealer.

There is a guy on this site, FAC screen name starts with BudOne (I think).... or some name close to that works for Thompson & is very knowledgeable , maybe he will chime in on this thread.

Just recalling comments dealers  i worked with in the past mentioned that  scrubbers, sweepers are a high maintenance products - like  any thing that  plays in dirt does,  brushes & squeegee rubbers.  The parts department loves them keeps up their parts sales, kinda like skid steer loaders - they are "parts eaters" which means - maintenance costs are high - this has to be recovered  in your rates.  Secondly, a lot of warehouses do floor cleaning in "off peak" work hours - supplying  rented operators might be an issue.  To start up your idea you need to factor in the costs to buy support services from a second party - things like pick-up & delivery of equipment, some one to do regular maintenance & repair work, warehousing of rental products and some of on the shelf parts inventory to keep the machines "up & running" & back-up equipment when machines are down for an extended period.

Do you homework, calculate all you expected costs and figure out what you need to charge your customers for your services (including product liability insurance) then add another 20%  to cover some of those "non expected" costs - then approach your prospective customers to see if they are will to pay.  There are reasons why dealers will not rent with maintenance to places like  "pickle foundries" or "meat packers" at best the do maintenance on a time & material basis - which always call for a lot of interesting discussion with the customers..   Also this often why companies want to shift their costs & responsibility to keep their floors clean to someone else at a lower cost than what they  have experienced.

In the end if you determine can make a buck don't jump in with both feet and put everything at risk that you have worked for so far including the pictures on your homes wall and your Callaway Big Bertha golf clubs or Ranger Bass Boat - start out slowly.

Just my 2.4 cents worth - if you want to trash can it  that is OK won't hurt my feelings.

Posted 5 Jan 2016 11:15 PM Reply  Report this message
California, United States
I can attest to what Johnr has said.  Having worked for a Toyota dealer that was also a large Advance sweeper/scrubber dealer.
I am going to say that our rental, and this covered 2 states, was only about 2% of units purchased.
Also as Johnr mentioned these things eat parts.  Let me put it this way, which happens to be a true story, one of our customers tore the front drive unit off a scrubber and when I asked why they continued to have this person operate this scrubber they said that "because he could not operate anything else with out destroying it." They figure how can some one do any damage on something that is traveling less than 3mph.
As far as rental goes they can be a nightmare.  You would need to make sure that whoever you are renting it to is actually using it for what they said.  Had many a unit come back that was totally destroyed because they used it to pick up concrete dust and then let it sit for a day or two.

Posted 6 Jan 2016 00:00 AM Reply  Report this message
Colorado, United States

I will agree with the previous post, the units usually come back either damaged, or clogged. In my experience with sweeper / scrubber rentals it is best to rent only to customers that you know will use it a warehouse scrubber not a parking lot and road sweeper. It is almost impossible to make good rental profits on a machine designed to sweep, that is driven by someone who is unfamiliar with its capability. To sum it all up, we rent scrubbers / sweepers only as a convenience to our good existing customers, renting to everyone would ***.... for awhile anyway!!

Posted 12 Jan 2016 06:45 AM Reply  Report this message
Punjab, India
Road sweepers machines an great idea to work smartly.


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