by Spencer Kemp
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
In early April, the Town of Redvers had a wrench thrown into its street sweeping plans after the conveyor belt that transports dust and debris broke on the 30-year-old unit that was being used.
Because the cost to fix the broken conveyor belt would outvalue the sweeper, the Town of Redvers began to look into the purchase of a new sweeper.
Chief Administrative Officer with the Town of Redvers Bonnie Rutten says the town was looking to purchase a new or used one but decided to contract the Avenger unit from R.S.S Enterprises instead for a total of $5,494.50 for 20 hours of work over two days.
“We didn’t buy this street sweeper, this is a contract from a company called R.S.S Enterprises out of Regina. I did a bunch of research about trying to buy a new street sweeper or trying to buy a used one because our current one was very worn out and we couldn’t afford to repair it any longer. The last thing that went on it was the conveyer and it’d cost more than what the thing is worth to replace it,” Rutten explained.
“I did a bunch of research, we’ve received complaints that the streets are a bit of a mess, so this is what we came up with. We decided to contract this company to use their new street sweeper and get the work done.”
Rutten explains that the town was uniquely offered a chance to contract the street sweeper from R.S.S Enterprises, who normally sell street sweeper parts and units.
“The administrator in Carlyle used this company to buy parts for their sweeper over a number of years. She told me to give him a call and said that he could help us either find the parts we needed to repair the street sweeper we had or get a new or used one. She said that the company had always been good to them. So I reached out to them and they said they’d never really considered contracting out before but offered to do so for us.”
She says that because of the old sweepers decaying quality, residents in Redvers were excited when they heard about the new unit making its way to the streets.
“People seem excited about it. We got a lot of likes on our Facebook post when we announced that we’d be contracting a street sweeper and a lot of shares too so it really seems like people are excited,” Rutten said.
Scott Yasinski, co-owner of R.S.S Enterprises says the unit that is being contracted to Redvers is the company’s very first production unit.
The Avenger unit sports a 10’ sweeping path as well as a dust suppression system with an 11 gallon per minute capacity.
He says this was an opportunity to show off what the R.S.S Enterprises could do.
“Generally we are not in the contracting business, our company designs and manufactures street sweepers here in Regina. Robert, my partner, and I both come from the street sweeper industry working with other manufacturers. My partner, for example, worked in the industry for 30 years and so we have put together a company about three years ago and designed a street sweeper from scratch with gathered technology over all these decades,” Yasinski explained.
“This street sweeper that we’ve brought to Redvers is production unit number one. The reason we accepted the opportunity to contract out of Redvers is that we are very interested in showing off our sweeper to municipalities in the province of Saskatchewan. This is where we are building them and this is where we’d like to build the company up and continue to grow it from.”
Yasinski says the machine that was contracted to the Town of Redvers is one of a kind and the work being done in the town will give it a track record that can be used as a reference when it is to be sold.
“When a machine is built it never hurts to do a bit of pre-delivery inspection and one of the ways to do that is to take it out and put it in real-world environments. We had every confidence that our machine will perform perfectly, but we like the idea of some real-world exposure. It’s a new product, nothing like it has ever been on the market and it has some real forward technologies on it and I think we’ll end up seeing some of our ideas implemented into other sweepers down the road.”
One of the main features of the machine that Yasinski noted was the four cubic yard hopper. He explained that traditional four cubic yard hoppers can only carry half of that capacity due to the conveyor system dropping debris and creating a pile that only fills up half of the hopper before blocking the conveyor, but the system in the Avenger unit throws debris into the back of the hopper, preventing piling and allowing for the full four cubic yards to be used.
“Our involvement and what we’ve observed in the sweeper industry is that unfortunately there’s been a lot of pulling back on the focus of the quality of components in sweepers with the interest of retaining profits in companies. One of the philosophies both Robert and I had when developing this company was to make sure we focus on getting the best components in our sweepers and build something that is truly robust.
“We’ve built a very robust machine overall. In particular what we have is that the challenge with modern-day mechanical street sweepers is the ability to use the volumetric capacity of the sweeper hopper, in other words, how much debris a machine can pick up before it has to leave its task to go and dump somewhere. We’ve been able to develop a technology with our conveyor system that is allowing us to put in twice as much debris into a four cubic yard hopper, the same size that other manufacturers are. This is the main technology of ours that is a huge leap forward, and what it means is that a machine is going to have to pause its task and dump half as often if it’s putting in twice as much material. This means we stay on the road and doing our job longer.”
Rutten says that the street sweeper was well received in Redvers, even drawing curious residents out of their homes to watch the new machine work.
The Avenger unit spent two days in Redvers last week sweeping the streets and will return later in the year during the fall for another two days.
Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator