NEWS & REVIEWS
Scarab have always been good at giving the customer something a little special over the competition and this machine is no different. Alongside the large 8.2 mtr hopper body, and the 2500 litre water tank Martin opted for extra fuel tanks for both the vehicle chassis and the auxiliary engine, we worked closely with Martin and fitted a custom designed high pressure water system and extra wide suction nozzles all this combined with a full safety light package giving Martin the sweeper he desired all this built on the fantastic Daf 75 chassis make this a outstanding sweeper package.
Once Martin received his Scarab Mistral he was delighted at the performance, Andy the driver stated that he enjoys proving the power of his machine to those doubting its ability on sites, the Mistrals main tasks are Road Planing and other general site work.
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"