‘Reckless’ operation and ‘poor maintenance’ may be behind sweeper breakdowns, manufacturer | Paterson Times

‘Reckless’ operation and ‘poor maintenance’ may be behind sweeper breakdowns, manufacturer

Ravo 5 sweeper cleaning a 6th Ward street. 
Credit: Paterson Public Works Department.

As the city looks to purchase five new American sweepers to replace the European ones it bought in early 2014 municipal officials have been inquiring as to what went wrong.

“Poor maintenance” and “reckless” operation may be the culprit said a representative of the Ravo 5 street sweeper maker Netherlands-based RAVO, Cees Van Der Put, explaining the machine breakdowns experienced by the city’s public works department.

City officials have said the machines have been more often in the shop than on the streets. Debris in the cleaning mechanism of the machines jam the compact sweepers rendering the machines inoperable, said city officials.

Public works has been struggling to keep the machines on the streets and residents have been complaining about their streets not being cleaned in a timely fashion. Although the city has been having issues with the seven sweepers it purchased for $1.26 from Belleville-based distributor Northeast Sweepers it has not contacted the company with the issues, said Van Der Put.

Van Der Put said the manufacturer also has not been contacted about the problems Paterson has been experiencing with its less than two-year old sweepers. Instead mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ administration is looking to spend $1.15 million to purchase five Tymco Model 600 from its Texas-based manufacturer through a lease-purchase agreement.

An incensed council president William McKoy called for a hearing to figure out why the machines have to replace when they were purchased a mere 18 months ago.

Van Der Put said this is the first time has heard about the issues the city has been experiencing with the sweepers.

“This situation is not acceptable, not for the citizens of Paterson but also not for us as factory,” said Van Der Put. “It is quite a serious accusation towards our machines and can seriously hurt our business.”

McKoy has criticized the hastiness with which former mayor Jeffery Jones’ administration purchased the European sweepers calling it a “poor” decision.

Ravo machines have been sweeping the streets of major European capitals like Rome, Berlin, London, Lisbon, Paris, Helsinki, and Moscow – cities that are much larger than the Silk City.

The company’s sweepers also clean the streets of Washington D.C. and Montreal in North America, according to its website. RAVO is committed to making sure the city’s residents have working sweepers and clean streets, said Van Der Put.

“All other customers we have in the USA but also in Canada or any other country like the RAVO sweepers because of their incredible up time and build quality compared to other sweeping machines,” said Van Der Put.

When told about Van Der Put’s comment that other cities that use the sweepers have not had major issues like the ones being experienced in Paterson, public works director Manuel Ojeda said, “Any business is going to say that.”

Van Der Put, export sales manager for the sweeper manufacturer, said he will sit the distributor and the city to address the problems the city has been having with its Ravo 5 machines. “We are still committed to make these machines perform as they do everywhere else so the citizens of Paterson will be happy again,” he said.

Ojeda said he will have maintenance records and other information at the end of the month for the council’s discussion. “I’m just putting everything together right now for the council, so I don’t want to release anything until I present it to them first,” he said.

It’s not apparent whether lack of maintenance or reckless operation have resulted in the constant breakdown, though some residents have noticed the machines, though new, appear unclean and worn out.

“Something has gone wrong here and we as RAVO are committed to correct this so the city can spend its money on other urgent issues,” said Van Der Put.

Related posts

  • Chris Rogers

    I am a Local 825 operator, and have been driving this truck 10 hours a day (6 days a week) for the past two years. I have had zero issues/break downs. In fact it's my preferred machine to operate! It's reliable and gets the job done every time. If you are having trouble with the Ravo it's not the machine, it's your drivers…

    • John O’Connor

      Torres is probably getting paid off by the other company to buy their machines. Typical NJ scumbag politician.

      • Blackpaws

        Are you kidding me! First, get better editors for your newspaper. The grammar sucks! Second, something smells rotten with this article and it not emanating from the Ravo 5 series street sweeper. I've been a sweeper operator for over ten years. Tymco 600s, Elgin Pelicans etc. This past spring, the municipality that I'm employed by purchased a new Ravo 5 series from Northeast Sweepers in Beleville, N.J.. Can't say enough good about their competence and service representing the Ravo product. I find it's too simple of a machine to have so many problems. The mechanics, operators and residence of this community are very satified with the Ravo sweeper.

  • John O’Connor

    There's no way a 2 year old machine breaks down. Especially if it's used for only a few months of the year. Given all the other corruption in Paterson I'd say it's the Management and not the product. hire some people who care about their jobs. Torres is a scammer

  • Unc

    The city is a joke, real mechanics make $70k a year not the $25k you pay. You'll pay one way or another, But I do believe the more vehicles you buy, the more kickbacks you know who gets! And yet the thief who ran the police garage making $77k and apointed by Joey was stealing gas!!

  • dane

    oh yeah it's the management and drivers for sure , you should see the way they operate those things done these streets , they give zero fucks

    • dane


  • Jeff

    The Ravo is designed and built for narrow European streets and much smaller sized debris and volume of debris. The machine has a sweeping footprint 60% smaller than North American sweepers. It uses a 50% smaller suction tube. The vacuum fan is hydraulically driven and produces 50% less suction than North American Sweepers. It's simple physics why it won't keep up to North American streets/debris.

    It is a GREAT machine in the right application. Please remember Ravo is a owned by Scarab Sweepers and marketed in Europe as a compact sweeper for compact situations. Scarab builds much bigger sweepers that are comparable to North American Sweepers but very expensive to ship overseas. Instead, they can take advantage of the dollar exchange rate and ship two Ravo's in a shipping container at once.

    The simple solution is have a sweep off. Log debris swept, curb miles, fuel used, etc. Producivty!

    • Carmen LoRe

      OMG…. That just made NO sense, but thank you Jeff.

    • Cees Van Der Put

      Jeff, thanks for acknowledging that the RAVO is a great machine… and that's exactly the reason why RAVO sells so many. And just to correct:
      - RAVO is not owned by Scarab Sweepers
      - RAVO's sweeping footprint is 130 inch (compared to 142 inch)
      - Debris is the same all over the world (look at the pictures below)

      And yes… a sweep off would be a great idea…

      • Carmen LoRe

        I would have to agree…. Open invitation to any sweeper manufacturing company that would like to have a sweep off.

  • Gary Suber Sr

    Why wasn't the company told about the problems with the machines. It seems they are willing to help solve the problem. In the meantime the city goes out to look to purchase a different machine. We the tax payers are tired of this type of management. Figure out the problem and solve it. It is definitely not the machine as far a I can see.