American Liquid Waste Magazine - June 2012 North American Sweeper Magazine - June 2012 Issue - Page 16

16 NORTH AMERICAN SWEEPER JUNE 2012 Visit Us Follow Us BUSINESS CORNER PRODUCT WATCH IN THE NEWSTECH NEWSASSOCIATION NEWSASSOCIATION INSIDER SPOTLIGHTINDEX FROM R&B TO SWEEPING T he band had been playing down in San Diego at Flannigans. Their agent sent them to Redding, CA for a two-week gig. “I didn’t want to go, but it was what we had unless we wanted to wait a couple of weeks for him to line something else up.” The trip turned out to be life-changing. “The rst or second night, I saw someone sweeping,” says Wells. “I walked over and Jack Rogers’ wife was driving and one of their boys was blowing. We talked awhile and she invited me to come over to their house to take a look at a sweeper that they were building in their garage.” Despite the propensity of musicians to sleep in the next morning, Wells dragged himself out of bed and drove over to Rogers’ house. “I was so interested, that I got up early and bought my rst sweeper in 1979,” says Wells. “I had never seen this type of sweeper before. I had noticed the Tymcos and Schwarze, but this one didn’t have an auxiliary engine—it just ran off the truck. Jack was the rst guy to build a single engine sweeper. He took me under his wing and I attribute a lot of my knowledge to him. He was such a great, down-to-earth guy and such an innovator.”Wells dissolved his band and formed Wells Sweeping in Sacramento. “Jack and I became very close. He mentored me in my early days of sweeping. Within two to three years, almost every sweeper had converted to Jack’s sweeper in the Sacramento area. I just kept adding sweepers to my business. Even in the early 80s with the national recession, California was doing very well and my sweeping business grew fairly steady over 20 years—15 to 20 percent per year—without doing a lot of marketing.” 16 NORTH AMERICAN SWEEPER JUNE 2012 Visit Us Follow Us As a musician in the 1970s, Jay Wells was getting tired of playing gigs and perpetual traveling. “We played all over California and the west coast—ski resorts, Las Vegas, Los Angeles—we did it for eight years,” recalls Wells. “A lot of the clubs were in shopping centers. We’d pack up our gear at 2 or 3 in the morning and I started noticing the parking lot sweepers. I found out they were cleaning the parking lots and thought, ‘hey, I could do that after we wrap up as an extra thing.’”