Waco-based TYMCO Inc., a longtime producer of street sweepers, has secured the rights to provide equipment to the Department of Defense over five years in a deal that could fetch the company up to $53 million.

The contract awarded this week does not guarantee the Pentagon will buy and require delivery of sweepers and scrubbers over the next few years. But if it does have a need for such equipment, TYMCO may provide it, said Ken Young, who runs the company with his brother, Gary Young.

TYMCO has been awarded a maximum $53 million five-year contract for commercial construction equipment, according to a contract report on defense.gov. The “competitive acquisition” attracted nine responses.

Potential customers are the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies, according to the report.

“Every five years, TYMCO submits information on all of its sweeper products to the Department of Defense, which reviews it and decides whether we are eligible and authorized to bid on upcoming needs,” Ken Young said. “It does not necessarily come with any business attached to it.”

Still, having the DOD’s seal of approval does carry weight, Young said.

TYMCO employs about 160 people at its 125,000-square-foot facility on Industrial Boulevard in Waco, near Lacy Lakeview. It sells up to 500 sweepers annually, most of them priced at $100,000 to $150,000, but some carrying a price tag of $300,000.

“We probably sell 20 or so on various government contracts annually, but private contractors represent 80 to 90 percent of our business,” Young said. “The bulk of our business is one unit at a time.”

Long-term customers include the cities of Atlanta, Austin, Las Vegas, Memphis, Portland, San Antonio, Toronto, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Tyler, according to the company website. TYMCO also provides equipment to international airports in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Orlando, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

“Business goes up and down. Right now it’s OK,” Young said. “Our high point came in 2008-09. We’ve rolled back but are still holding our own.”

B.W. Young, then of the Young Brothers Construction Co. in Waco, invented the Regenerative Air System, which is the technology behind every sweeper TYMCO produces, according to its website. Conventional broom sweepers swept dirt and debris into cracks. But Young proposed a large portable compressor to blast the roadway surface clean, according to information provided by the company.

“Mr. Young developed the idea of a Regenerative Air System that captured dirt and debris in a hopper and reused only centrifugally cleaned air to restart the closed loop Regenerative Air sweeping cycle,” the website states.

In the late 1960s, three Young brothers formed separate companies, with F.M. Young retaining the family construction business; R.T. Young taking Slurry Seal International; and B.W. Young incorporating and federally registering TYMCO, The Young Manufacturing Company.

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