Are self-propelled beach cleaners better or worse than tractor-towed beach cleaners? This fundamental question in the beach cleaning community can be answered by assessing the functions, abilities, and production of each type of cleaner. This post examines the top 4 considerations that determine the winner.
Here are a few of the top considerations:
1. With self-propelled machines, you get less beach cleaner for more money.
Across the boards, self-propelled machines cost much more than tractor and beach cleaner machine combinations. Additionally, their actual beach cleaning specifications, like cleaning width and hopper capacity, are consistently smaller than their equivalent tractor-towed machine. If you’re looking for an effective, high-capacity beach cleaner, you should not need to pay more for less.
2. A Company will Excel at their Specialty:
Who probably does a better job making dependable drive mechanisms and comfortable driver cabs that are capable of maneuvering tough conditions--Tractor companies that have decades and decades of experience doing just that or a beach cleaner manufacturer that decides to fabricate one self-propelled machine in addition to their normal line?
A company will excel their specialty. Over the past 45 years of business, we've seen dozens of companies fail when they try to be jacks of all trades, because they try to extend their machines past their expertise levels. While tractor companies focus on creating machines that are comfortable and capable of propelling machinery in tough conditions and on unstable surfaces, that is not a beach cleaner manufacturer's primary focus (nor should it be). Rather, a beach cleaner manufacturer should focus on being the best at removing unwanted materials from the sand. This diffused focus only serves to weaken the quality of the product, because the manufacturer must direct energy at creating a beach cleaning machine and a drive system capable of moving it.
Tractor manufacturers are experienced in making tractors, while beach cleaner manufacturers are experienced in making beach cleaners. Get the best from each company’s area of expertise, instead of getting a machine that was created outside of the manufacturer’s comfort area. In beach cleaning, jacks of all trades become masters of none.
3. In this case, two machines are better than one!
No, this isn’t describing a shady ‘two for one’ deal. When you own a tractor-towed beach cleaner, you get the tractor and the beach cleaner for a lower price than one self-propelled machine. You can then use the tractor for multiple other purposes when not cleaning the beach. Depending on the season and your location, you could use the tractor for landscaping, snow-plowing, cutting grass, turf applications, or any other application you can think of. A self-propelled beach cleaner is limited to cleaning beaches full-time and often becomes irrelevant when the seasons change.
4. “One machine must be easier to maintain than two, right?”
Not quite. Because self-propelled machines contain so many parts that depend on each other, many more systems must work perfectly for the machine to function. Tractor-towed machines are generally simpler—especially tine raking machines, which avoid the complex hydraulic and electric systems found in all self-propelled sifters. By having far fewer moving, wearing components, much less regular maintenance is required.
Additionally, tractors have many dealers that are often geographically close-by to make repairs in a hurry. Finding a qualified beach cleaner mechanic that is familiar with a self-propelled model is much more difficult and could cause long delays before repairing a machine during peak cleaning season.
This discussion could certainly continue for many more pages. Feel free to drop us a line if you'd like to discuss it further: (203) 729-9000 or just leave us a comment here on the blog!
This blog is managed by H. Barber & Sons. Founded in 1966, Barber is the world leader in beach cleaner production and authority on beach cleaning practices. This site and blog have been compiled to provide information about beach cleaners--their methods of cleaning, importance, and many applications.
Please direct any questions our way using the 'Contact Us' form. Thanks!