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March 2023

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2022 Editor's Overview Logo

In Memoriam

The Transition Toward Electrified Sweepers:
Expect an Increasingly Rapid Transition

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

EV logo Congratulations to Elgin Sweeper for being the first manufacturer in America to introduce a street sweeper mounted onto an all-electric, standard production, chassis. This machine is now added to the purpose-built units that have been available from Global Environmental for several years. The bragging rights for both companies will last for all time.

The race away from diesel and other fossil fuels is destined to accelerate with time. In the sweeping industry, especially, there have been many issues with the latest tier of diesel engine upgrades. Due to the relatively slow speed of operation during the sweeping process, regeneration of the DPF system has been plagued ever since inception.

More recently, as you will read below, the theft of catalytic converters has become a high-dollar problem as well. Catalytic converters have a high resale value and can be removed in as little as five minutes. That has spawned thieving rings across the U.S. specializing in converter theft.

Although there are some solutions to averting catalytic converter theft, several of those are unsuitable for sweepers since there isn't enough room to install them. Even the ones that may be installed are pricey when retrofitting a fleet. Plus, the tendency – especially with contractors who are using their own money – is to just figure it won't happen to them.

WhiteHouse Combined with a sharp rise in the cost of diesel as well as diesel chassis prices, another factor making it ever easier to choose EV vehicles is President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The new legislation invests $7.5 billion in EV charging; $10 billion in clean transportation; and, over $7 billion in EV battery components, critical minerals and other materials.

These flagship programs complement the Inflation Reduction Act's landmark support for advanced batteries, new and expanded tax credits for purchases of EVs, and to support installations of charging infrastructure. There are also dozens of other federal initiatives in the pipeline designed to drive domestic manufacturing and build a national network of EV charging stations. In just the last two years, EV sales have tripled and the number of publicly available charging ports has grown by at least 40%.

Uncle Sam Hat Now is the time for our readers to investigate what credits their state offers for EV sweeper and other vehicle purchases. There's been a ten year extension in federal tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act, and the combination of all of those factors means an unprecedented acceleration of the EV technology will continue for quite some time. Get knowledgable about your options now, so when the opportunity arises you will have a handle on all of the considerations you need to be aware of.

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.

Good Sweeping,
Ranger Signature
Editor, WorldSweeper.com
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.

March Newsletter Contents
(Scroll down to read stories or click on links below.)

  1. Elgin Sweeper Announces Electric-Chassis Broom Bear Model
  2. Catalytic Converter Thefts an Increasing Problem
  3. More Clean Wins PAVEMENT's Contractor of the Year
  4. SCA Sued for Allegedly Not Paying Prevailing Wages in California
  5. Kansas City Deployed a 'Team Effort' to Clean Up After the 2023 Super Bowl Parade
  6. Learn About What's in Store for NPE 2024

Elgin Sweeper Announces Electric-Chassis Broom Bear Model


At this year's CONEXPO Elgin Sweeper unveiled America's first of its kind truck-mounted sweeper utilizing an all-electric chassis. "Customers were wowed by the Electric Broom Bear at CONEXPO," said Tim Letts, Product Manager, Elgin Sweeper. "We were excited to debut it at that iconic show. The Electric Broom Bear accomplishes the same workload and delivers the performance the Broom Bear is popular for."

In addition to all the benefits of an electric vehicle, including noise reduction and lower maintenance costs, the Electric Broom Bear has plenty of energy onboard so that customers can sweep and run their regular routes without worrying about getting home. It has enough energy for a full workload and some left over for operators' peace of mind.

The article also includes a 22-minute Zoomcast conversation on the topic between WorldSweeper's Editor and Tim Letts.

Read and listen to info about the new Broom Bear on an electric chassis.

Catalytic Converter Thefts An Increasing Problem

Thefts By Month

The theft of catalytic converters from a wide-ranging number of vehicle makes and models – including Isuzu and other sweeper chassis – has reached crisis proportions. Thanks to higher prices for platinum, rhodium, palladium and other metals found in the components, catalytic converter thefts rose from about 100/month in 2018 to more than 1,200/month in 2020, the latest year for which statistics are available.

In the current market, catalytic converters can be resold to recyclers for as little as $50. Alternatively, some components can be sold to precious metal dealers for as much as thousands of dollars per ounce, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Because advanced models of catalytic converters include even more precious metals than older models, thieves have an increasingly attractive opportunity to make quick cash.

In addition to interviewing a contractor who's been hit three different times – and who has developed a unique solution – our Editor reviews three different anti-theft deterrent devices as well as provides a variety of catalytic converter anti-theft advice.

Read the article.

More Clean Wins PAVEMENT's Contractor of the Year

More Clean

Since 2004, owner Steve Watts had been serving the Abilene, TX area as an exterior commercial maintenance provider. During the day, Steve would mow lawns in the area and then at night use his TYMCO sweeper to take care of their sweeping needs. In 2011, Steve's son Cole joined the business and began to grow a service area around their commercial contracts. They added more landscaping services and two more sweepers.

Sadly, Steve passed away in November of 2021 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Though a challenging and emotional transition for the entire team, Cole has stepped up to continue the legacy Steve began almost 20 years ago. Today, the company owns 22 sweepers, both air and broom, and services areas around Abilene, San Angelo, Wichita Falls, Dallas/Fort Worth, Waco, and San Antonio.

Read the info about award-winning More Clean.

SCA Sued for Allegedly Not Paying Prevailing Wages in California

SCA logo

Current street sweeper operator employees have sued Northern California's largest municipal street sweeping contractor, Contract Sweeping Services, LLC ("CSS"), as well as the nation's largest municipal street sweeping contractor that acquired CSS in 2021, Sweeping Corporation of America ("SCA"), for unpaid prevailing wages on dozens of public works projects throughout California.

The class action has been filed on behalf of street sweepers who have worked for CSS and SCA during the last four years in California and allege they were paid below the legally required prevailing wage for work performed on public streets and roadways on behalf of cities and municipalities.

Check out the allegations and press release.

Why Grit Removal is Critical for Treatment Plants

Grit Removal

The recognition of the impact street sweeping has on pollutant removal from the stormwater runoff stream is advancing rapidly. That's because recent studies show street sweeping to be up to 5X more cost-effective in removing Nitrogen and Phosphorus from the runoff stream. However, one of the same studies, from data collected by 14 Florida MS4s, also showed that removal of particulate matter (PM) – think 'grit' – via sweeping was over 7X more cost-effective than dealing with general PM via the next most cost-effective manner, via catch basin cleaning.

When determining street sweeper frequency, it's important for municipal sweeping managers to consider not only the impact of grit on increasing sediment runoff into waterways; equally important is to calculate the cost impact grit transport has on city treatment plants. The article from Wastewater Digest, linked below, explains how the presence of grit in wastewater treatment can contribute to equipment wear as well as cause abrasion and clogs in wastewater treatment plants.

Check out the information.

Kansas City Deployed a 'Team Effort' to Clean Up After the 2023 Super Bowl Parade

KC Public Works Logo

At the City of Kansas City, Missouri, crews planned to deal with winter weather storms on the Wednesday night after the Chiefs victory. However, with the Super Bowl Champions Parade suddenly scheduled for that day, they first had to strategize a massive cleanup process of multiple city blocks. We provide info on that process at the link below.

However, we also have in the works for our April issue a conversation with the organizations responsible for the complete planning, setup and takedown of an even larger Kansas City event: the City's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Unlike the Super Bowl Parade, the St. Patty's Day event is handled – from planning to layout to portable toilets to cleanup – wholly by a team of Kansas City area contractors.

Check out the Super Bowl Parade info.

Learn About What's in Store for NPE 2024

NPE 2024

Hear a brief wrap-up of this year's National Pavement Expo and then move on to learning about the plans for next year's NPE event, which will be held in Tampa, FL, January 23-25, 2024.

WorldSweeper's Editor interviews the NPE's Group Show Director, Morgan Wilson, in an 8-minute Zoomcast where you'll learn all the details.

Take a look on YouTube.

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Thanks for reading WorldSweeper.com's March 2023 Newsletter!

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