NEWS & REVIEWS
Ashifield District Council have been a customer of Scarab Sweepers for many years and commented on how reliable the Scarab products have been and how helpful the Scarab Parts team are when they need to order spares also the Service department and technical support was superior to our competitors, comments which we are very grateful for.
With a legal payload of over 6500kgs the Magnum is seen as the best possible addition to the fleet of truck mounted sweepers. Newtownabbey's emphasis on environmental benefits across their fleet of sweepers, is enhanced by all the Scarab Sweepers purchased being "single engined", thereby achieving significant exhaust emission reductions and large fuel savings at a time when whole life costs included further savings made on subsequent spares and maintenance that have been achieved with the current Scarab fleet and are playing a significant part in reducing council cleansing costs.
In addition to the large Scarab Magnum, Newtownabbey BC took delivery of a new Scarab Minor for precinct and urban road cleansing. The Scarab Minor has a unique brush combination, two large polypropylene front brushes, heavy duty steel tined channel brush, full width wide sweep brush with a side suction nozzle - a brush configuration as found on a large truck mounted sweeper - ensuring the Scarab Minor can handle the most arduous conditions around the Newtownabbey district.
The Scarab fleet are supported locally by McCreath Taylor (NI) Ltd, who represent Scarab Sweepers for Northern Ireland.
It’s funny how things turn out sometimes. For example, in most industries there’s usually a clear market leader andseveral “second division”players keen to snaffle as much market share away from the big boys as possible. Then, from time to time, a new competitor will come on the scene, often with a new design feature that none of the other brands have. Then a strange thing happens.
Previously, all the existing manufacturers were at each other’s throats and more than willing to engage in jiggerypokery to discredit a competitor in the eyes of you, the potential customer. Yet as soon as any new kid arrives on the block, they all gang up together in a concerted effort to see-off the new contender and get back to the “stability” of the old days.It happened with domestic vacuum cleaners and Mr Dyson. It happened with RCVs when a John Allen arrived on the scene with the Collectomatic. And it happened when a certain (and still missed) Rodger Hoadley suggested that two engine truck-mounted vacuum sweepers were quite literally a waste of space and had at least one more engine than was really necessary.
The response? Every other sweeper manufacturer got together to denounce him! Hydrostatics were not for the likes of sweeper operators, they bleated. They are too high-tech and expensive and unreliable and… Well, it meant their design departments would actually have to do some serious (and expensive) new product development, and that was harder than slagging-off someone else. Of course, they’ll all deny it now, but what they really hoped would happen, was that the “new kid on the block” would fail so they could get back to a quiet, easy life.
So, what actually happened?
Well, the “new kid”, Scarab Sweepers, has done rather well for itself over the years, to the point where it is now a major supplier in the UK, still in British ownership and a valued exporter.
Leaving aside the fact that the sweeper market is one of the most conservative in the business – customers don’t change their allegiances easily – Scarab really put the cat among the pigeons when it introduced its own two-engined Mistral range a couple of years ago. “Hah,” bleated the competition, “Scarab has admitted defeat and introduced a two-engined ‘me too’ product.” Umm, nice try, but the truth was a little different. In fact it was the sweeper operators(and not only in the UK) that really wanted to buy-in to Scarab product quality and reliability but, for whatever reason, couldn’t go the hydrostatic route, that determined the launch.The reasons? Firstly, not every make of chassis can have a hydrostatic pump/drive unit inserted in the driveline. Secondly, even if it can, the practical issues can be formidable: the work has to be done at the Scarab factory, for example, so any export chassis first has to be imported into the UK, then shipped back, complete, to the end-customer. The fact that Scarab has customers as far away as Australia and New Zealand that are prepared to pay for such an exercise speaks volumes. But this logistical issue was preventing Scarab becoming a true global player, especially when mass-produced two-engined units from US producer Elgin were a dollar to a pound on world markets. The Mistral has been a big success over the last few years, with several hundred being sold and, in some cases, going on to perform better than the often more expensive competitor-built machines they replaced. But there was another problem holdingScarab back, and that was a lack of factory-approved after sales service outlets, overseas. In some countries, such as France, the organisation behind the sales and service of Scarab machines was excellent. Elsewhere price, competition, the UK origin of the product and lack of market size all conspired to make the setting-up of a dedicated sales and service operation uneconomic. The solution? Well, the most obvious would have been to team up with an existing global player with a non-directly competitive range of sweepers. German manufacturer Hako was the blindingly obvious partner, as Scarab didn’t have small machines in its range, while Hako could have really benefited from offering a range of truck-mounted machines. There never was the suggestion of any corporate merger, just a marketing partnership. Unfortunately, as is often the case in industry, common sense takes second place to company politics and the moment was lost.But then the French Fayat Group purchased German construction plant and machinery manufacturer Bomag.It already owned the sweeper manufacturer, Mathieu S A, and subsequently took an interest in 3D, the company founded by Dominique Declercq, the Scarab importer in France. There things could have stayed, were it not for the fact that Euromec, the UK importer for Mathieu machines, suddenly pulled out of the agreement and ceased trading following rumoured disagreements with the factory. That led to the Fayat Group looking for some new representation in the UK, and Scarab was put on the shortlist. That is a story in itself, with Scarab looking after the service of existing Euromec sweepers andselling the 1m3 Mathieu Concept precinct sweeper, as well as the unique (and rather good) Aquazura scrubber/drier into the UK. At the same time, thanks to new investment, Bomag was looking to increase its productspread in order to become a “one-stop shop” supplier of road-making kit on the global stage. And what’s one of the key items of kit in any infrastructure project? A truck-mounted sweeper. What would be better still on turnkey projects, it was surmised, was a Bomag-branded sweeper. A tough, reliable machine that could be added to any contract shopping list anywhere in the world. Did the Fayat Group know of a suitable manufacturer of such machines?
They certainly did… Scarab.
A Real ResultThe end result of this thinking was the new Bomag FS-6000. While based on the existing Scarab range it is, in effect,a brand new product with simplified control systems and a design that allows for easy chassis mounting and subsequent servicing by Bomag agents, anywhere on the planet. The basis of the design is that everything is mounted, wherever possible, on the actual body “skid”. The 6m3 capacity body/hopper is very similar to anyother Scarab product, while the 1250-litre water capacity for the spraybars is contained in a nicely moulded GRP tank fitting under the tipping hopper floor. Power for the fan and sweep systems is standardised on the Cummins QSB 3.3l Tier 3A turbo-diesel engine and, unlike most two-engined sweepers that are either festooned with belts or heavy gearboxes, the drive for the 170m3 per minute (2.8m3 per second) 900mm diameter suction fan uses the same hydraulic coupling used on other Scarab machines. It’s a simplified design aimed at reducing expensive chassis modifications and long build lead times. Onthat basis alone it should be a success.
The trouble is, there’s one teeny weeny fly in the ointment to this story. The FS-6000 was never designed to be sold in the UK. Bomag dealers don’t have it in their model range quite simply because, with the recent arrival of Faun and Kobit (alongside Johnston, of course), the UK market is well catered for already. Besides, having a Bomag-branded Scarab competing against existing Scarab machines just didn’t make commercial sense.
Well ProvenYou ’ll never guess what happened next. As part of an extensive proving programme, a prototype machine has been put on long-term test with Kent Sweepers – generally reckoned to try to get more work out of its sweepers than any other operator in the UK. Obviously, putting it out on the general spot hire fleet would introduce too many variables – the skill levels of some self-drive hirers is sometimes below par – so the machine was entrusted to Mick Walsh, one of Kent Sweeper’s most experienced “with operator hire” drivers. There’s not much Mick doesn’t know about sweepers. He’s beenwith the company for 20 years and even ran its driver training programme for a while before deciding he preferred to be back out there on the road. Mick has a list of regular contract clients that includes sand and ballast quarries and batching plants, smart industrial parks and some exclusive new housing and commercial developments throughout Kent and south east England, so it’s clear he isn’t going to do anything to jeopardise the good relations he has with his customers by doing a poor quality job thanks to having a cheap budget machine that can’t do the business. So what did he think of the FS-6000? There was only one way to find out, and that was to get up very early, drive down to Strood, in Kent, and meet up with Mick at his favourite cafe breakfast stop. “It’s got a terrific amount of vacuum and it sweeps really well,” he explained. To find out more, I was invited to spend a shift in the cab of the new Iveco 150E-22 Eurocargo-based trial machine. Kent Sweepers had already had the unit in service for a few days and whilst there were one or two minor issues (and remember, Mick Walsh is a guy who likes things “just so” and his regular mount is one of the cleanest, highest-spec Scarabs machines in the Kent Sweepers fleet, so he was never going to be easy to please) hewas impressed. “While it doesn’t have a swivelling wide sweep brush for dual simultaneous sweep, or some of the other refinements of my normal Scarab, it has to be said, on a lot of contracts, those refinements don’t get used that often anyway. But it does have the Scarab high-pressure spraybar, which is often essential to blast away mud on quarry haul roads,” he explained. Standard sweep width is 1 135mm with kerb brush (to the left or right). The maximum sweep path is 2075mm with fixed wide sweep brush.
Big Savings?And the final element of this story? Well, you’ll laugh. Kent Sweepers discovered that, in these economically wobbly times, this machine (referred to internally by Scarab as the M6) will have a “budget price”, that is at least 15 percent lessthan any comparable quality truck-mounted vacuum sweeper in the land, at the time of writing. As such, it is sure to be a big hit in the commercial hire and contract markets – two sectors in which Scarab is keen to increase market share. But here’s the good bit – the company can hardly keep all the design features and reduced cost of ownership figures secret from the public sector can it? And with some in-house council operations under pressure to clean up their act and replace ageing, “dirty” truck chassis with quieter Euro-5 models, the arrival of the budget-priced M6 could be much-welcomed news.
This machine is not, it should be added, a cut-price product using cheaper materials. The saving has come about as a result of a simpler, no frills specification, the very latest CANbus-savvy control systems (which are smaller and easier to install) and the production efficiencies that come from building a single basic spec machine in the numbers to meet Bomag’s needs. Which brings us to the end result. Although there is no doubting Rodger Hoadley’s original vision that a singleengined, truck-mounted hydrostatic sweeper is the most environmentally sound tool for the job; or that the singleengined, PTO drive Scarab “Unidrive” system runs it a very close second, you could equally argue that the Cumminspowered, two-engined Scarab M6 is the right machine for these difficult times. After all, a 15 percent saving on a brand new 6m3 capacity truck-mounted sweeper might be small change to a retired banker on a pension but, to the rest of us, it’s a very significant amount of money. MVO
The three new Euro-5 engined FL-280 Volvos replace three FL6s but, according to transport manager Chris Davison, the attributes of durability and good dealer support were just as relevant when choosing which brands to adopt this time around.
"We are doing all we can to minimise environmental impact and, in fact, we already have a number of Dennis Eagle RCVs with Euro-5 Volvo engines in service, so we're well on our qway to building a state-of-the-art low-emissions fleet,"explained Davison.
The previous Volvo-based Scarab Magnum Hydrostatic sweepers had done exceptionally well but, at eight years old it was only right that Suffolk Coastal should take a look at what was now on the market. The verdict? "Our drivers know both the Volvo and Scarab product and the overall feedback has been positive - they're very user friendly,' he adds.
After sales service on a product such as a sweeper that works in sometimes arduous conditions also needs to be first class. "The aftersales service from both Scarab and Volvo has been great," commented Davison.
Article Printed MVO Magazine
Keith Lowney, Transport and Plant Manager of the Department of Transport ,Isle of Man, knows from experience that Scarab Sweepers are the solution for the multitude of sweeping duties and cleansing demands that have to be met each day.
Already on their third generation of Scarab Sweepers the Department of Transport's sweeper fleet now comprises two Scarab Minor Compact Urban/Precinct sweepers a Mid Range truck mounted heavy duty Scarab Merlin sweeper (6.2 cubic metre body/14 tonne GVW chassis) and a further three twin engine Scarab Mistral sweepers (7.2 cubic metre body/18 tonne GVW chassis). The Scarab Mistral and Merlins are all mounted on Iveco chassis supplied and supported by Chatfield's in Bootle, Liverpool.
From road to river they all need to be cleaned !
Keith Lowney has had first hand experience of the technological advances made by Scarab that include being the first sweeper manufacturer to introduce CANBUS and other criteria that have radically simplified the operating and maintenance of what is sophisticated municipal equipment and yet retain the practical aspect of unrivalled "sweeping performance"
Working closely with RMC Surfacing which operates a large fleet of Scarab`s single-engined sweepers, Scarab has designed its latest machine for the highways contractor. The brief was for a high-production machine capable not only of non-stop work behind the planer but also washing the surface when required, often within a 12 hour road closure.
Scarab of course pioneered the single-engine sweeper which uses the vehicle engine to power its suction fan and brushes via a hydraulic drive. The abscence of the auxiliary engine, its fuel tank and cooling system used on most sweepers means more than one tonne more payload and a bigger hopper, a great advantage when working in isolated locations because the water tank can be made bigger.
The advantages of having only one engine to fuel and service are obvious, but until Scarab came along some 20 years ago the problem had been how to keep the lorry engine running at sufficient rpm to power the suction fan and brushes, while keeping road speed down when moving - yet still retaining normal travel speeds.
The solution was twofold. First came the remarkable increase in engine power outputs, so a relatively small truck had the 50 to 60 Bhp in reserve to power the sweeping services as well as moving along the road. The second development was hydrostatic drive, achieved by fitting a hydraulic pump to the engine and a motor on the drive shaft. While sweeping the Scarab becomes an automatic, with forward-reverse shuttle lever and speed from 0-30km/h controlled by the accelerator. The vehicle will climb a 20% gradient fully laden. For travel, the hydrostatic drive is disengaged and the vehicle driven in a normal manner.
One might expect a cost advantage from using red diesel in the auxiliary engine rather than the all too expensive white required by the motive power. But because the Scarab has only one engine working in its most efficient torque band it uses less fuel than a twin-engined sweeper with one idling and its auxiliary working hard, doubling friction and thermal losses. In fact the Scarab uses as much as one-third less, according to tests carried out by the Paris municipality. Noise and exhaust emissions are also reduced, a point recognised by environmentally conscious New Zealand which has a favourable rate of Import tax for the Single-engine Scarab.
Scarab Sweepers have large diameter trunking to give a direct path from nozzle to the 900mm diameter suction fan on the roof of the hopper, giving maximum efficiency. On the Magnum Plus the fan speed is raised by 15% to 2300 rpm, while a boost switch gives upto 30% more power for difficult locations. A seperate hydraulic pump on the vehicle PTO powers the wash water pump fitted under the hopper, providing an impressive 60 litres per minute at 250 bar. Scarab has considered recycling the wash water from the hopper, but concluded that such washings would be too heavily contaminated.
Another recent improvement is CANbus, or computer area networking, a system which Scarab has developed itself. Older Scarabs had scores of wires leaving the control console, the new machines have only a few pairs between a series of mini-computers around the vehicle. Wiring is greatly simplified with one loom now fitting all the machines, updates and additions are easy, and the diagnostic system tells the fitter all he needs to know as well as monitoring every component in operation.
The demonstrator which McCreath Taylor has been taking aound the province last month is on a Mercedes Benz Atego chassis, though products of most manufacturers are also suitable. The Atego cab is roomy even with the central console for the sweeping gear. I have always liked Merc interior design, which may appear dull to some. After a long day, however, it`s still restful on the eye. The seats are equally restful on the other end, although they seem firm at first.
The deep windscreen and tapered side windows give an excellent view to the front, but the sleeper cab on the demonstrator has a nasty blind spot to the offside rear quarter, this being a left hand-drive vehicle. So it`s necessary to pull up square to a junction when turning left, and inevitably a car comes up the inside of the sweeper. Northern Ireland operators seldom need to sleep out on remote motorway jobs, so I would choose a day cab with rear windows for the extra rearward view so important to the brush driver.
Driving the Atego is easy, it`s as light as a feather and it`s tight turning circle makes it amazingly handy for street work, never mind an 18 tonner.
To sweep, simply press the clutch, select top gear, switch on the hydrostatic drive and the fan from the central console, switch on which ever brushes you need, and press the accelerator.
All modern trucks are quiet, but the Atego chassis seems well matched to the Scarab in the that noise levels are exceptionally low. The Merc engine whispers away at only 1200 rpm when working, its 230 horses being ample to provide propulsion, water pump at full pressure and all sweeping services at the same time.
Such quiet operation is a real boon. An auxiliary engine produces more noise particuarly for the driver, which I find very tiring whether it`s a sweeper or a fridge rumbling away behind my head. The relatively low fan speed is also a big help, for the public is becoming less tolerant of noisy machinery.
The front wash bar and the trailing nozzles are optional extras. British cities have yet to adopt street washing but the Magnum Plus is the machine to do it. The front jets strip the muck away, the rear nozzles leave a damp rather than a wet surface.
The huge water tank could be reduced in size and the hopper brought forwards to shorten the vehicle. However such is the capacity that RMC finds it useful for topping up roller water tanks on site, always a problem in isolated areas.
Greatly Impressed I asked Scarab`s Vic Beckwith if he thought sweepers would become even bigger. "I think the Magnum Plus is probably the limit, because a bigger machine would be too clumsy. Nobody has asked us for three axles, which would increase the cost considerably. Our single-engine design gives us a better payload than anyone else, while on the continent we can go to 19 tonnes with an 8.5 metre hopper.
"We think the greatly increased water tankage is the significant development, and makes for a very efficient machine. As a company we can tailor machines for different applications, adjusting tank and hopper size to suit and with a wide choice of water systems. Whatever the customer wants we`ll build it"