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Victory Sweepers, Inc. Has Open House and Product Launch

After three years out of the industry, Mark Schwarze debuted his new sweeper company, Victory Sweepers, Inc., at an open house/product launch on October 6th and 7th.

Open House Cake

October 6 and 7, 2006
Madison, Alabama

Many in the industry have speculated on what the former president of Schwarze Industries, Inc. would come up with as his first parking area sweeper design. That speculation came to an end with the introduction of the Victory Mark II sweeper that was debuted at his new company's open house.

Victory Location The 32,000 square foot Victory factory is located near the airport in Madison, AL, a suburb of Huntsville. In line with the company's name, the floor and signage featured checkered flags and other related motifs like 'Victory Lane.' Although not as large as the previous facility he ran for so many years, Victory's new digs were definitely impressive for a startup. By all the comments I heard, so is the company's first sweeper.

Back of Sweeper

Dubbed the Mark II, for twin-engine, the 3.5 cubic yard capacity machine is strikingly unlike any parking lot sweeper built by any other company. The first thing that catches the eye is the gigando-normous polyethylene toolbox that takes up full width across the back of the unit under the hopper. Then, the eye takes in the differences in the low-slung stainless steel hopper that makes the toolbox location possible.

Sweeper by Day and by Night

Heeding the often-heard contractor complaint of not having enough storage, the Victory Mark II's toolbox design offers enough room for a spare tire, backpack blowers, implements, fuel storage -- and there will probably still be room left over. Joked Mr. Schwarze: "The toolbox is so large that it can hold five normal-sized guys -- or me!"

Another noteworthy feature about the unique toolbox is its touted value as a safety item. At one point all the factory's doors were shut and the lights turned off. As you can see by the animation, the machine became quite striking even without use of the cab-mounted beacon. In the photo, note that the access door to the sweeper engine is up; that wouldn't normally be the case during operation.

In total, the Mark II offers eight patent-pending items not seen before on a parking area machine. These include a unique, split sweeping hood that's outfitted with drag shoes that don't need adjusting and a slick way to adjust the flaps. By using new flap material that's only 4" wide, the replacement cost is kept down and there is also less waste as the flaps wear.

My guess is that contractors are going to like the full-width separator screen and the easy access door that should make cleanout easier than on most machines of this class. The layout of the hydraulic panel and wiring was also done first-class. My one minor critique was on the lightly brushed finish of the stainless steel, which was somewhat prone to picking up fingerprints.

However, the material can be painted or vinyl-lettered with whatever a customer wants and is certainly the best for a sweeper hopper. The gull-wing shrouding (and flat back door on the toolbox) makes the sweeper great for signage, and the engine shroud should also help keep the machine quiet.

And, although I watched the initial skepticism of several contractors when they first tried out the Mark II's ground-breaking 'video game-type' controls, within five minute's of use the consensus by all who tried them was very positive. The innovative approach appears to be a way to allow 'face forward' operation of the sweeper controls by even a beginner operator. Another advantage cited was there are only four wires -- all low voltage -- going in to the sweeper controls.

Contractors will also like Victory's 'Solid 60' program, which is a 5-year/100,000 mile warranty on the chassis, as well as a 5-year/5,000 hour warranty on the sweeper itself, which includes the auxiliary engine, fan, hydraulics, electrical -- basically bumper-to-bumper except for such things as damage, wear parts or abuse. To my knowledge, this is the first warranty of that length to hit the industry. It'll be interesting to see which sweeper company will be the first to match it.

Mark Schwarze

Mark Schwarze said they will have their first outside debut of the Victory product line at NPE West, which is in Las Vegas this coming December. At that point, he said, the company will offer both the Mark II twin-engine sweeper and a Mark I model, which will be a single-engine machine.

The company anticipates being in full production by that time, as well. We also have online a brief audio interview with Mark Schwarze that was held after the conclusion of the open house.

So as to provide the contact information on the new company, here's a scan of the president's card. Click on it to send him an email.

Oh, and if you'd like to see the new item we saw at the open house that Mr. Schwarze was clearly the most excited about, click here.

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