At the National Pavement Exposition, held in January of 2014, WorldSweeper's editor presented the 2014 Award of Excellence in Power Sweeping to Seattle-based company, NiteHawk Sweepers.
Here is an overview of how the company got started, progressed through the years, and the impact it has had on the power sweeping industry.
The 2014 Award documents a story of American ingenuity and innovation. Thirty-nine years ago a man named Jack Rogers had an idea that would change the face of the fledgling parking lot sweeping industry. "Why," Rogers wondered, "was a second engine required to run a sweeper? Couldn't debris somehow be accomplished via tapping the power of the chassis engine?" Not one to simply speculate, Rogers built and then worked on refining a prototype sweeper design that was powered by the main chassis engine of a pickup truck.
This wasn't an overnight process, and it wasn't until ten years later, in 1985, that patents on the idea were filed and, soon after, Jack Rogers, Inc. began offering this new idea in sweeper power to the marketplace. However, it took another nine years of struggling before a new firm was formed that laid the groundwork for what is today one of America's best known sweeping companies.
Given the same name as what Jack had called his original sweeper model, NiteHawk, a company named NiteHawk Sweepers was formed in 1994. Also, as is so often the case, it ultimately turned out that the inventor of a technology wasn't the best person to bring it to the marketplace.
Two gentlemen by the names of Brad Morris and Tracy Day became involved in the effort and, to quote a caption from a 1995 photo of the two from the company's website, they plotted 'the rise of the NiteHawk empire' from a manufacturing base originally located in Fresno, California, which was then moved to Seattle, Washington in 1997.
The company was purchased by the Alamo Group in 2006; however, Tracy Day continued as company president. The leading-edge sweepers the company builds are exemplified by the parking lot sweeping industry's first alternative fuel, LPG and CNG sweepers, which can be seen on the show floor of this year's NPE.
The company's single-engine, hydraulic-powered, technology has become well known in the marketplace. Members of this audience and the buying public may also know the company has been involved in a number of notable charitable efforts, as well.
These have included donating a sweeper to the Red Cross in support of a 2006 hurricane relief effort and – as evidenced by the camouflage and environmental green wrap sweepers on the show floor at the 2014 National Pavement Exposition (NPE).
At NPE, the company announced to attendees that the company would donate $1500 per sweeper for purchases of its wrapped NiteHawk Sweepers that occurred by the end of February 2014.
This money was slated to be donated to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization. Click here for a PDF flier that covers the program.
In addition, another promotion the company conducted for the DAV at the trade show was that it had special t-shirts designed and printed to be given away to individuals who made a minimum $50 donation to the disabled veterans organization. Shown in the photo is Jay Presutti, of East Coast Industrial Maintenance, showing off his new t-shirt in front of the World Sweeping Association booth at NPE.
Here is another of the community service projects that NiteHawk performs: For 20 years NiteHawk brooms have been made by what have become generations of boys and girls who needed to make money in order to go to camp or be involved in similar positive endeavors.
Even lesser known are the personal philanthropic efforts of many members of the NiteHawk team. Employees are heavily involved and invested in the Boy Scouts of America, the Susan G. Koman effort to eradicate breast cancer, the Red Cross, the NW Kidney Foundation and more.
To his credit, when Tracy Day talks about his company he invariably downplays his own role in the firm's success. Instead, Day instead speaks about the joint efforts of his entire NiteHawk Team.
That's why this year's Award of Excellence in Power Sweeping, the power sweeping industry's highest honor, doesn't have the name Tracy Day on it anywhere. Instead, as was the way the World Sweeping Association/WorldSweeper.com Team felt sure was the way Tracy would want it, the plaque reads as shown below.
For more information about NiteHawk Sweepers, we invite you to visit the company's website, which is located at www.nitehawksweepers.com. The company's toll free number is 1-800-448-9364.
To see the wording of the introduction and presentation of the Award, take a look at this PDF version of it.