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Welcome to our October 2009 newsletter!

Said while tapping two backpack blowers together: "The economy is getting better, the economy is getting better." (So, are we there yet?)

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross

Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

My sources from across the country confirm that the summer's sweeping season has been a wild ride. Input has, not too surprisingly, ranged from business being seriously down to "never been better." More of the former than the latter, though.

Really, though, the sweeping industry is fortunate in that both contract and municipal sweeping are types of services that simply need to be done. Quit sweeping for a week or two, and whatever level of business that is still occurring on a retail property will drop off. People are becoming fussier about where they shop, and outward cosmetics of a storefront is definitely part of the average person's decisionmaking process.

Although I've heard some reports of municipalities reducing their sweeping here and there, overall the level has stayed about the same. That's certainly true for those organizations that are well educated and being managed under NPDES rules. The more they know, the more they realize that not sweeping leads to higher pollution abatement costs at the end of the pike. That means a higher overall strain on already thin budgets.

There's no question that this summer's construction sweeping was hard hit in most areas of the country, though. Reports cite construction cleanup down across the map. Hopefully, as stimulus money comes in, that sector of the economy will pick up. Time will tell.

One segment that seems to be doing well is the marketplace for used sweepers. Although most industry magazines are clearly slimmer and have fewer ads, SweeperMarket Magazine has bucked that trend. Advertisers know the publication has a solid readership in these troubled economic times. One thing that means, though, is there's more competition than ever for the used sweepers appearing in each issue. That's where is going to lend our readers a hand.

Starting with the November issue, we will be offering an exclusive online preview of the latest SweeperMarket Magazine prior to publication. That's right: Starting the first week in November, will have a new page that will offer the latest issue of SweeperMarket as an online magazine. As a reader, you'll have a week to see the ads before they arrive in everyone else's mailbox. You'll see the link go up in just a few days from when you got this issue of the newsletter.

We have some outstanding articles in this newsletter issue. These re-position as by far the leader in providing information about the U.S. power sweeping industry. We're very proud of that fact.

For those of you involved with municipal-type sweeping, especially: Our six interviews with APWA presenters this year is the strongest coverage ever for that event. If you didn't take a look at the stories when they were first offered just after APWA, be sure to take the time to do so from the link in this newsletter. They are chock full of outstanding content.

You'll find plenty of other new information in this newsletter issue. Brand new stories include our exclusive interview with Rob Cadle, Manager of Product Planning for Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. In it, Rob offers an in-depth analysis of the changes in his company's 2010 chassis, as well as an overview of the upcoming regulations and how this all is likely to affect chassis cost and vehicle longevity.

Also being unveiled in this issue are the results of the survey we started in September, when we asked contractors to estimate sweeping frequency on commercial properties. Although not earth-shattering, the information is definitely of interest if you're a sweeping contractor. And, those are just a few highlights in the 17 different stories represented in this quarter's newsletter.

In fact, we've decided that so much info at one time approaches being too much to digest. So, starting with January we intend to start sending our newsletter to your email box on a monthly basis, instead of quarterly. If you are for or against this idea, please let us know. As always, if there's something you'd like us to report about, please let us know that, as well. Our goal is to write about what you want to read.

And, if you have a sweeping-related need please contact us about it. We'll try to assist in any way we can. I routinely reference articles and studies, provide information from my "Fundamentals of the Power Sweeping Business" manual and put contractors and city officials in touch with others who may have answers to their informational needs. By the same token, if you have a story you can provide, additional information on any of the topics we've covered – or need more details – please let me know. I'll be glad to help if at all possible.

Good Sweeping!
Ranger's Signature
Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

By the way, if you don't have a listing yet in our Contractor Locator section, you are missing out on what is arguably the best advertising value in sweeping. At the same time, you'll be helping to keep online and active. If you're a contractor who uses this website, please help support the site and, at the same time, increase the exposure for your company, by getting a Contractor Locator listing.

If you like what you read in this newsletter or on the website, be sure to thank the advertisers who sponsored it. The only way for them to know you appreciate their support of is to tell them!

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