To read this WorldSweeper Newsletter in your web browser, click here.
Developing – and Tracking – Your Sweeping Professionalism
by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor
First off, I'd like to welcome to WorldSweeper new France-based advertiser, FAYAT Group, one of the largest sweeper manufacturers in the world. They are now offering their Ravo, Dulevo, Scarab and Mathieu sweeper lines in the U.S. market as well as in many other countries around the world.
As our regular readers will recall, his Sweep Inspect app earned Kentucky-based contractor, Jim Blackerby, the WorldSweeper/World Sweeping Association's 2021 Award of Excellence in Power Sweeping. Since that February award, Blackerby has updated and enhanced his program so extensively – including integration with ServiceChannel – that we decided it deserved another look. We're glad to provide you with that info in a Zoomcast I did recently with Jim.
And speaking of tracking your work... In 1965, at the age of seven, Mark Schwarze became the 'trained and designated' broom pusher on all sidewalks for his dad's contract sweeping business.
Sweeping contractors will no doubt benefit from reading Mark Schwarze's essay on the importance of, as he puts it, "getting your ducks in a row."
Whether a contractor or a municipal sweeping organization, when renowned safety professional, John Meola, offers advice on that topic you owe it to yourself to listen to him. In these tumultuous times that all too often include substitute operators and more, safety protocols become ever more important.
Plus, there's even more in our spooktacular October issue: Our annual reminder to plan for your Section 179 deductions; the link to a t-shirt you may want to order now for Christmas; and, info on the sweeper built by the "largest vehicle manufacturer in the world," Studebaker!
As always, if you have any news of potential interest to the power sweeping community, please let us know. Between this publication, the WorldSweeper.com website, and the World Sweeping Association, we'll be sure to get the information passed along to interested readers.
Executive Director, World Sweeping Association
Member, PAVEMENT Hall of Fame
PS If you're a contractor I urge you to check out the many benefits of membership in the World Sweeping Association. Also, if you haven't 'liked' our WorldSweeper Facebook page, what are you waiting for? That's where we offer a variety of industry previews and updates on an ongoing basis.
October Newsletter Contents
(Scroll down to read stories or click on links below.)
- Sweep Inspect Software Adds Many New Features
- Mark Schwarze On "Getting Your (Contractor) Ducks in a Row"
- Defensive Driving Best Practices Can Combat a Leading Cause of Fatalities
- Now is the Time to Plan for Your Section 179 IRS Deductions!
- Info on Studebaker's Acme Sweeper Circa Early 1900s
- New T-Shirt Design Added to WorldSweeper's 'Gear' Section
Sweep Inspect Software Adds Many New Features
In mid-2019 the 2nd generation owner of Louisville Power Sweeping, Jim Blackerby, introduced the Sweep Inspect account management software. As a result of the ground-breaking nature of the software, WorldSweeper awarded Blackerby and his company its 2021 Award of Excellence in Power Sweeping. Since that time, the popular software has added many enhancements to make it more powerful in a variety of ways.
Today's Sweep Inspect package does much more than assess the quality of performance of your employees. Added features include direct client interfaces, a timeclock, add-on job bid proposals, on-site time tracking, calculation of profit per client – even integration with ServiceChannel. If you are a sweeping contractor, you owe it to your company to watch the linked video where Blackerby details the many features his software now offers.
Sweep Inspect is available by monthly subscription of $150/month, with $25 of that donated to the World Sweeping Association's Memorial Scholarship Program. Note you can also take a 'test drive' of the software on the company's website, http://SweepInspect.com.
Check out the latest Sweep Inspect feature story; includes a 45-minute Zoomcast with WorldSweeper's Editor.
Mark Schwarze On "Getting Your (Contractor) Ducks in a Row"
Mark Schwarze began in the sweeping business more than half a century ago at the age of seven. His father, Bob Schwarze (the founder of Schwarze Industries, Inc., now owned by Alamo Group) put him to work with a push broom to get all the sidewal debris into the curbline so his 'albatross' mechanical broom sweeper could pick it up. Mark went on to become President of Schwarze Industries and is now Product Development Manager and Marketing Director for Victory Sweepers.
In this essay, Schwarze talks about the pitfalls he's seen contractors fall into during his many years in the sweeping industry. He also provides a number of ideas for how to run a contracting business more successfully.
Check out what Mark Schwarze has to say.
Defensive Driving Best Practices Can Combat a Leading Cause of Fatalities
Every month, members of the World Sweeping Association receive a 'Safety First!' bulletin from one of the top experts in that field, John Meola. Recently, Meola was a guest on the Digging Deeper Podcast produced by ForConstruction Pros.
Since 40% of the roughly 5,300 fatal incidents reported for 2020 in the industrial category, which includes the sweeping industry, were transportation related, we thought linking to Meola's insights and tips for defensive driving best practices would be a way to help protect your sweeper operators against motor vehicle-related incidents.
Check out the informative podcast.
Now is the Time to Plan for Your Section 179 IRS Deductions!
If you haven't already, now is the time to make plans for taking advantage of the IRS Section 179 tax-saving program. Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your 2021 gross income.
It's an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves. However, to take advantage of the program you need to plan to take delivery by years' end. And, while we're on the topic, here's a link to 92 small business deductions you may now use, plus 11 deductions to avoid...
Read the details on the 179 program or read about the deductions experts say to use and/or to avoid.
Info on Studebaker's Acme Sweeper Circa Early 1900s
In the early 1900s the Studebaker company made a variety of machines for street upkeep, including sprinklers and sweepers. The company was clearly proud that its Acme Street Sweeping Machine offered an "equalizing lever at the right of driver, within convenient reach, and without necessity of driver leaving his seat.
"The weights attached to this bar can be adjusted so that any desired pressure of the broom on the pavement may be secured. Once adjusted, the broom will follow the contour of the pavement automatically."
In the category of simplicity of operation, which many sweeper manufacturers cite as advantages on their own sweepers even today, Studebaker claimed "The Studebaker Acme Sweeping Machine will wear longer with less repairs, because it is simple in construction and has the smallest possible number of working parts."
Check out the many features of the Studebaker Acme Sweeper in WorldSweeper's expansive History section.
New T-Shirt Designs Added to WorldSweeper's 'Gear' Section
These shirts can be a great present for your operators. The shirts are available in a variety of types, colors and for both men and women. The available sizes range from Small to 5XL, depending upon which shirts you choose. Currently, the cost of most of these is about $20. Now is the time to order to make sure you get the ones you want in time for Christmas!
Check out these shirts in our 'Gear' section.