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Choosing Sweeping Equipment

Tips on Purchasing Sweeper Parts

by Gabriel Charky with Ranger Kidwell-Ross
posted November 2014

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In October of 2014, WorldSweeper linked an article from the Toronto Star that documented the apparent decline of TYMCO sweepers being used in Toronto. In the article, this decline was cited as being from the use of non-OEM parts provided by a subsidiary of NAPA, as well as the use of general mechanics without specialized knowledge of sweepers. In addition, the timeframe between periodic maintenance intervals also was allegedly compromised in Toronto.

Charky took exception to a portion of a WorldSweeper editorial written at the same time, in specific, to the following sentence: "This story shows in stark reality what to expect when untrained personnel, using non-OEM parts, are in charge of repairs. If you follow that recipe, you are very likely to end up with a similar disaster no matter what make and model of sweepers you are utilizing." Because of Charky's extensive background in the sweeping industry, including as a principal in an OEM sweeper manufacturer for over 20 years, we invited Charky to provide his opinion on the topic.

Because I was an OEM manufacturer in the sweeping field for most of my working life, I recognize the importance of supplying perfect parts in order to maintain a self-destructing piece of equipment such as a sweeper. In order to have a successful life out of a sweeper you definitely need both of the following important ingredients:

1. A proper preventive maintenance program that ensures that the sweeper will operate adequately according to specifications between each scheduled service interval.
2. A good supply of quality parts from a reliable vendor, whether from an OEM or non-OEM source

Non-OEM suppliers are very important as they help bring the materials portion of overall maintenance costs to a lower level than more costly (and not necessarily better quality) OEM parts. These "aftermarket" vendors offer a competitive source to the typical OEM supplier, thereby keeping the former honest. Non-OEM suppliers also offer an alternative source of parts supply from more agile, cost competitive and quality conscious aftermarket suppliers in order to get this expensive piece of equipment up and running as soon as possible.

This competitive environment is well known across all industries, not just the street sweeping industry. Imagine for instance if GM or Ford had no competition in the automotive sector. I suspect we all take it for granted that prices would be much higher.

However, it is extremely important to make sure the non-OEM/aftermarket suppliers you deal with know what they are doing. In my professional opinion, the first signs in approving a reliable parts supplier is to research whether they deal with all makes and models of street sweeper Parts or if they concentrate on specific makes.

This is because I believe the record shows that it is preferable to deal with a supplier that focuses on a limited variety of sweeper brands. As you know, it is very difficult to be a "Jack of all trades." Also, a good non-OEM/aftermarket supplier is very meticulous and ensures that his company's parts fit, that they have a good level of reliability, and that his customers are well taken care of.

Finally, a good parts supplier, OEM or non-OEM, – along with an intelligent preventive maintenance program – will save you a significant amount of money very quickly and keep your street sweepers working properly, as they should.

About the author: Gabriel Charky founded Sweeper Parts Sales in 2009. The company is a dedicated sweeper parts provider located in Burlington, Vermont. From 1986 to 2008, Charky was a principal in the Johnston/Allianz/Madvac sweeper organization. Today, Sweeper Parts Sales provides quality-built sweeper parts for a select group of sweeper types, including Johnston, Allianz, Global, Bucher and Madvac.

If you'd like to contact Charky, send an email to Click on the link to access the Sweeper Parts Sales website, or call 877.695.3060.

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