At Scarab, we have been delivering our sweepers as skid units (the sweeper unit minus the chassis) to customers in some of the world's most remote locations for decades. Each skid is built to the exact specification required by the customer and is ergonomically engineered to be easily mounted to a wide range of internationally available chassis. By packaging all the sweep components – including brushes/brush arms, wide sweep, electronic control system, suction system and more – into the hopper, every skid unit is efficiently packaged to allow for affordable shipping. Scarab’s After Sales team also offer both rebuild and rebodying solutions which, in chassis dependant circumstances, can provide customers with the option to have a full sweeper skid mounted to an existing chassis in the UK.
Scarab offer two of our high performance, twin engine machines as skid units: the Maven 65 and the M6. The all-new Maven 65 is complete with a powerful, efficient Stage V engine that provides exceptional suction performance across any heavy-duty sweeping application, while the M6 is equipped with a robust stage IIIB engine and provides a flexible servicing schedule for operators tackling challenging sweeping tasks in remote locations. As with every Scarab machine, we offer as much support as possible to our customers throughout the entire sales process and for certain markets, Scarab has even sent out a member of the team to the machine’s destination to oversee the build.
Introducing Alvin Chambers, Scarab’s Senior Technical Engineer, who has been helping to support customer requirements by locally mounting these skid units around the world for over 10 years. During his time at Scarab, Alvin has completed between 80-90 builds in over 40 different countries across the globe – mounting a wide selection of machines from Scarab’s flagship kit, the Mistral, all the way through to the all-new Maven 65.
In a career that began with apprentice, technical and restoration positions working for R.S Williams Aston Martin, BMW and TKM, Alvin built an arsenal of practical and theoretical knowledge that he would later utilise in his role as Senior Technical Engineer. Alvin joined Scarab in February of 1993 where he went on to work in all the areas of the Minor and Major build lines – two machines that helped to build Scarab’s reputation as a leading sweeper provider throughout the 90s and 00s. Quickly learning the ins and outs of the build process, Alvin’s career seamlessly transitioned into a number of customer-facing roles as he began sharing his passion for the product with the industry.
Alvin first got a taste for international travel as a Mobile Engineer repairing sweepers across France, Italy and Spain before moving into a Technical Engineering position that required his expertise to travel across the world mounting machines onto local chassis. For his first skid unit assignment, Alvin headed to Moscow, Russia to support a customer with a build on a Kamaz chassis. Despite the complexities of this initial project, a blueprint was formulated to ensure efficient processes for future builds of this nature.
The preparation for building a Scarab skid unit begins around 4 weeks before departure, with information being requested on the chassis specification to iron out any potential issues with the Design and Applications department. Here, a full layout of the machine is drawn out to outline any complications that Alvin might face with the cab layout or chassis mount to make the process as seamless as possible once he has arrived at the destination. Once relevant Visas and Vaccinations are completed and his tools have been packed, Alvin begins the process of travelling to the customer - usually prepared for a stay that will last around two weeks.
Upon arrival, Alvin takes time to assess the workshop, ensure that suitable lifting equipment is available, unpack the skid unit and begins work building the sub-assembly, including constructing the side brush legs as well as fitting the widesweep, spray bars and fuel tank. After this, any components in the chassis that are required to be moved for the sub-frame to be fitted are relocated to more suitable areas of the machine. The CANbus control system provides a clear display to indicate the sweeping configuration, vehicle condition and highlight warnings and service reminders – so, for the next part of the build, Alvin strips down the cab to install the HMI hardware in an optimal, ergonomic configuration for the operator to easily utilise the screens/control panels. The final stage of build includes mounting the hopper in position, connecting the water tank and ensuring the machine has been suitably configured to deliver Scarab’s renowned sweeping performance.
Before completing the job, Alvin will also take the time to ensure all the relevant members of the team are given comprehensive operator and technical training. This operator training is an opportunity for all of the machine’s drivers to get hands-on experience with the product, learn how the sweep components work, how to perform daily maintenance checks and receive advice on how to achieve optimal performance from the machine. Whereas, technical training is delivered to service technicians, who have a working knowledge of hydraulic and electrical components, to make sure they have the skills and confidence to correctly service, adjust and repair their machine – all essential for customers who are dependant on extreme on-task endurance in remote locations.
Alvin’s role as Senior Technical Engineer has seen him support product builds in over 40 different countries (highlighted on the map below) – with some of the more interesting locations including the likes of Barbados, Uruguay and Indonesia. Travelling across 5 continents, Alvin has completed over 90 skid unit assignments in conditions that have varied from state-of-the-art workshop facilities to locations where he had little more than the tools he took with him and had to improvise to get the job done, which on occasion has required a winch and a tree branch to lift the sweeper body into position! His passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of the Scarab product are truly unrivalled, and it is fair to say that he is a proponent for maintaining Scarab’s exemplary reputation on the international stage.
To this day, Alvin splits his time between delivering technical training to customers and skid builds. Like the entirety of the After Sales department, he is always poised to offer support to customers to keep their machines in peak operational condition, wherever they are in the world.