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Sweeping Industry News Bulletin

August 20, 2010

Analyzing the Alliance Between Stewart-Amos and Victory Sweepers

What is it, and what's the likely impact on other sweeping manufacturers and the sweeping industry at large?

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross

Stewart-Amos Sweeper Logo

This past June, Frank Chulick and Mark Schwarze, presidents of Stewart-Amos Sweeper Co. and Victory Sweepers, Inc., respectively, announced a strategic partnership agreement. Under the joint agreement, Victory Sweepers will be designing and building regenerative air street sweepers that will be marketed by the Stewart-Amos Sweeper Co.

Neither Victory nor Stewart-Amos are among the industry leaders in terms of current size and market share. That said, each company brings an intriguing mix to the 'sweeper table.'

Although Stewart-Amos (S-A) has only been building broom sweepers since 2003, the machines its chief engineer, Mark Stratton, has produced are well-built and well-regarded. This is especially so in the contractor community, a notoriously difficult market segment to please. And, this is no ordinary startup, since S-A's parent company has been around since 1938 and is an economic and market share powerhouse in the mineral processing and aggregate production equipment that has long been its mainstay.

When it comes to its sweeping division the Stewart-Amos dealer network, though decent, is still not truly nationwide. However, one of the things hampering S-A's advancement in signing up quality dealers has been the fact the company didn't field a full sweeper line; i.e., broom and air sweepers. With the Victory Sweepers partnership in hand, any difficulty that Stewart-Amos' may have had in getting more dealers, and better quality dealers, is likely a thing of the past.

Victory Logo

Victory Sweepers, Inc. was founded in 2006 by Mark Schwarze. On paper, that makes Victory even more of an upstart than Stewart-Amos. However, Victory quickly became a dominant player in the parking lot sweeping market in those four short years. The company's designs are new and fresh, and the machines get generally good reviews for sweeping performance.

Not too surprising, since company founder, Mark Schwarze, is the son of the founder of Schwarze Industries, Inc., as well as a former sweeper washer, welder, fabricator, salesman, vice-president and president of that company. Mark Schwarze quite literally grew up along with the parking lot sweeping business many consider his father gave an identity to.

Galaxy R4

As a result, there are few others in the industry with the market smarts and engineering savvy Mark Schwarze brings to air sweeper design. His recent air sweeper innovations, which include the two-piece sweeping head, joystick controls, quick-change gutter broom and more, has generated more than a little scrambling on the part of other American parking lot sweeper manufacturers.

Victory's problem, especially given this economy, has been how to expand its production to gain more economies of scale. In four short years the company covered the single- and twin-engine parking lot market segments, and even added in its T500 tow-behind machine to add some market share toward the bottom end of the market that wasn't previously being covered. However, that wasn't like building the higher dollar street- and construction-class sweepers.

Since Mark Schwarze had already had the headaches from building Schwarze Industries' dealer network from scratch, he could have had few illusions about the time and expense that effort would take. His only alternative to spending the hundreds of thousands it would take to build a new dealer network was, seemingly, to buck conventional wisdom and try to sell street-class air sweepers direct.

Mark Schwarze, veteran campaigner, found another growth avenue entirely via hooking up with Frank Chulick's Stewart-Amos, a company that needed an air-based street sweeper line to sell as badly as Victory needed to be building one.

The merger of machines, marketing and talent appears, at least now at the outset, to be a stroke of genius on the part of both company heads. Each provides what the other needs; each gains economies of scale; each minimizes capital outlay to get a realistic shot at gaining significant market share and instant credibility in the municipal segment of the industry.

Overnight, Stewart-Amos becomes the number three, full lines sweeper manufacturer in America. Mark Schwarze and Victory gets to concentrate on innovation and design, instead of on sales and marketing to municipalities and large contractors.

That said, the top two full line manufacturers – #1 Elgin (backed by public company, Federal Signal) and #2 Schwarze Industries (Mark Schwarze's previous company purchased and now backed by public company, Alamo Group) are doubtlessly not in the process of folding their respective tents. Ditto for what is probably America's third largest sweeper manufacturer, privately held TYMCO, since that company boasts a widespread and competent dealer network as well as a nationwide host of loyal users.

The same may be said for Allianz, which is a full lines manufacturer although not, strictly speaking, based in the USA. Speculation and the industry rumor mill also suggest that Allianz is somewhat in turmoil and may have financial issues in spite of recently winning yet another three-year contract with the City of New York for what amounts to an average of 10 sweepers per month. The company has long had another large, ongoing contract with CalTrans. However, elsewhere the company's sales appear weak nationwide.

My understanding is that Allianz' CEO recently took over the reins as President of the company in addition to his CEO title, after dismissing the person previously holding that post. Also, in the last few weeks a number of personnel were dismissed from Allianz' California office, among them high visibility members of its regional sales staff. In combination, all of that will probably make the Allianz dealers a natural target for the new, full-lines Stewart-Amos' organization.

The Stewart-Amos/Victory Sweepers' alliance (no pun intended) will provide even greater strain on all manufacturers' profit for any municipal deals, something Allianz, especially, appears ill able to afford. (I tried to reach Allianz for comment on this article and topic of the recent company changes, leaving messages for its President, Marketing Director and Sales Manager, with no callbacks or email contacts being received by press time many days later.)

It seems inescapably clear, as this all plays out, that there will be benefit to end-users in at least two significant areas: Foremost is in the area of bid price. With another player in the air sweeper marketplace, all the manufacturers pencils will have to become sharper. In a time of shrinking municipal budgets, perhaps that will encourage a few more municipalities to purchase new sweepers in spite of our somewhat mixed-up economic times.

Galaxy R6

The other benefit should be in the area of innovation. With the engineering improvements Mark Schwarze has introduced in his Victory line of parking area sweepers, I believe most objective observers would agree Victory is the current innovation leader in that segment of the market. If he can continue that trend in the machines his Victory Sweepers produces for Stewart-Amos, it may spur new features in sweepers across the board.

Plus, prior to rolling the 'electronic tape' in my interview with him, Mark Schwarze commented that his R-4 and R-6 sweepers performed better than any sweeper he'd ever designed (what Stewart-Amos terms its 'Galaxy Class'). That's strong talk from the man behind the initial designs of the vast majority of Schwarze Industries' current air sweeper line.

The rest of this article is composed of a statement I asked Frank Chulick, President of Stewart-Amos, to provide about his company and its new directions. You will find that Frank minces few words in his belief that Stewart-Amos will soon be competing with all comers.

At the conclusion, you will find links to audio interviews I held with Mark Schwarze and Frank Chulick, respectively. For the moment, there is much speculation and rhetoric. Years will pass before the true realities of this merger of talents is fully recognized. There's one thing for sure, however; in the meantime, things should be interesting!

Stewart-Amos Sweeper Logo

"With the recent alliance with Victory Sweepers, Inc., I can say without equivocation that Stewart-Amos Sweeper Co. offers best-in-class regenerative air and mechanical broom street sweepers.

"I could not be more pleased with the developments to date. The joint venture between Stewart-Amos and Victory Sweepers brings all the synergistic benefits that the best of marriages of this type can provide. Starting with a philosophical alignment on what is important, not only in regard to street sweepers but in their basic approach to business, the two companies are committed to growing the relationship.

"The Galaxy series designed and produced by Mark Schwarze and Victory Sweepers is exactly what we wanted in our regenerative air roster. The Galaxy R-4 and R-6 utilize proven performance sweeping mechanisms, combined with improvements in both reliability and serviceability.

"The main point to hammer home about the Galaxy regenerative air sweepers is that it is all about getting back to basics, which in regenerative air sweepers is the airflow. From the blast orifice sweeping hood – to the bolt-in, abrasion-resistant A/R steel suction tube –to the huge 100% stainless steel hopper with large area stainless steel screens – to the computer-designed impeller fan – it is all about the airflow.

Of the units already sold, we are receiving rave reviews and testimonials. Everyone who has seen the sweeping performance has been exceedingly impressed. The basic reason why; it's the airflow.

"Adding the Galaxy series to our powerful Starfire series of mechanical broom sweepers gives our customers a variety of solutions to meet their sweeping applications and needs. It also provides our dealers with the leading technology and choices they want to take to the organizations in their marketplace. The design criteria and componentry of both our regenerative air and broom sweepers provide high quality machinery for those who want simplicity, dependability, ease of maintenance and the ultimate in performance from their sweepers.

"Speaking of serviceability: Stewart-Amos is supported by a strong and growing dealer network. This dealer support, the full product range of sweepers and high-level of factory backing that our users know we provide makes the Stewart-Amos sweeper an attractive product offering for users all across America.

"For anyone looking for a new street sweeper, I urge them to contact their local Stewart-Amos dealer for a demonstration, or call our Stewart-Amos factory in Pennsylvania, 800-482-2302. I believe you'll find that we have the right street sweeper for your job!

"We do have a few areas of the country where we are actively seeking dealer representation at this time. For more information, give me a personal call on the number shown below. And, I have included the specifications information for both of our new Galaxy Series sweepers as PDF files. Click on the sweeper models to download them: Galaxy R4 Specifications; Galaxy R6 Specifications. I am confident you will like what you see."

Frank Chulick Signature
Frank Chulick, President
Stewart-Amos Sweeper Co.

Note: To play the interview conducted with Frank Chulick by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor of, click this link or on the small triangle inside the circle you see to the left. If you have any trouble accessing this audio, please let us know.

Note: To play the interview conducted with Mark Schwarze by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor of, click this link or on the small triangle inside the circle you see to the left. If you have any trouble accessing this audio, please let us know.

Both of these sweeper companies have previously been profiled on Click on the company names, below, to view the profile about each of them. For additional information on this agreement, the companies involved, or to schedule a demonstration, you may also reach the companies or view their websites using the contact information shown below.

Stewart-Amos Sweeper Co.
Victory Sweepers, Inc.
866-50sweep (507-9337)

If you have a question or comment, please let us know. If appropriate, we'll add it to the bottom of this page.

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