So you want to start a parking lot sweeping business. Well when you get out to the lot at night what are you going to need to do? Obviously you will need a parking lot sweeper, but you will want to make sure to get the one that is right for you. There are roughly four categories of power sweepers and they are used for different purposes. You will want to identify which one will be suitable for you. There are a few different kinds of technology used in parking lot and street sweepers, some are mechanical, some use regenerative air, and some use a fan based vacuum. Please keep in mind that the technology used is not really relevant for someone starting in the business. I recommend focusing on results, i.e. parking lots that are clean once you’ve left. With that in mind here are the most relevant sweeper categories:
Truck Mounted: This type of sweeper is mounted on a pick-up truck chassis. For example a Ford 150, GMC Sierra, or Chevrolet S-10 chassis. The truck beds on these trucks are removed, and a sweeper unit is mounted in it’s place. The cab remains the same. These trucks may have one or two sweeper arms, and are intended for sweeping parking lots. It’s very normal to see these trucks having only one sweeper arm, because that’s all that is really required to clean curbed areas in a parking lot. They are also good for cleaning parking garages, because multistory garages often have a low ceiling clearance. Since this type of sweeper is mounted on a consumer vehicle it can easily meet the clearance requirement. Street sweepers generally require sweeping arms on both sides, because they are intended to clean the streets. This type of parking lot sweeper is not intended to clean streets, and often does not come with two sweeping arms.
Box Truck Mounted: This type of sweeper is also used to clean parking lots, but they are used for larger lots. They are capable of sweeping larger areas without filling the hopper as quickly (the hopper is where the garbage that gets sucked up is stored). These types of sweepers would be used to clean parking lots for retail super centers, or large shopping malls.
Street Sweeper: This kind of sweeper is used by municipalities, cities, and counties to clean the streets. This is the kind of sweeper that gets accompanied by ticket writing meter maids that strike when you forget to move your car on sweeping days. They are very large, and are not relevant for someone looking into starting a parking lot sweeping business.
Construction Sweeper: These are very heavy duty road sweepers. They are often used in construction clean up and are capable of sucking up bricks, nails, and pieces of 2 x 4. You will often see these kinds of sweepers on the free way when there is road construction. They are there to remove the gravel and junk that emerges when crews are working on roads. This kind of sweeping tends to have a very high profit margin because the work is project based, and since these kinds of jobs come up when construction projects require them they afford charging more money.
Miscellaneous: There a couple other kinds of sweepers worth mentioning. There are sweeper units that are designed to slide into the bed of a pickup truck. They are best described as truck mounted vacuum units, and they do not come with a sweeper arm. These are great for people starting out, and great for landscaping contractors. It isn’t really necessary to have a sweeping arm, with these units you would blow all debris into the direct path of the truck and the vacuum unit will suction all the garbage up. Slide in sweeper units can deliver the same results as sweepers with a sweeping arm. Second, there are tow-behind sweeper units. These kinds of sweepers are good to have as a backup sweeper, and good for people just starting out in the parking lot sweeping business. You can purchase one of these sweepers much cheaper than all the other types. These will work to help you get started up.
Now you know what kind of sweepers are relevant for your needs. Since you are interested in starting a parking lot sweeping business you will also need more equipment.
• A Leaf Blower
• High Visibility Reflective Safety Jacket
• GPS Navigation
• Sturdy Work Boots
That’s all you need to you need once you’ve determined what sweeper is right for you. Once you have this equipment you are pretty much ready to start your business cleaning parking lots.
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