A Quick Disclaimer
I am not a marketing affiliate for the Northwestern Corporation. What I have to say about Northwestern products stems strictly from my experience as a route owner using the Northwestern Super 60 machine.
I am a fan of Northwestern vending machines, especially the Northwestern Super 60 model shown in this blog post. When I started vending, I was, like many novice vendors, not sure how committed I was to the business.
First a Wrong “Turn”
Before going all out to purchase the highest quality equipment, I wanted proof of concept regarding bulk candy vending in general and my ability to make a profit. So, I looked for modestly priced, used bulk candy vending machines on eBay. My first four machines were U-Turn 4 Head models.
Though my U-Turn machines proved adequate to my purposes initially, I realized after a few months that I did not want to build my route around machines that required me to maintain four different product types. The four U-Turn heads translated into too much candy spoilage as I could could not count on getting enough high foot-traffic locations justify keeping fresh candy in four vending heads.
Why the Northwestern Super 60?
That’s when I started using new, Northwestern Super 60 machines, almost exclusively. So, what is so good about Northwestern Super 60s?
They look great. In grocery stores where you find racks containing multiple rows of bulk candy vending heads, you are likely to find Northwestern machines. Unlike many plastic bulk candy vending machines – the Vendstar 3000 is an example – Northwestern Super 60s are made of steel and cast alloy. These are durable machines that look like the industrial grade products that they are.
Collecting coins from the Super 60 is generally fast and easy. Facing the front of the machine, you simply lift the body case and rotate the case about 30 degrees. This exposes the machine base, which doubles as a coin reservoir. The only potential trouble with Super 60 coin removal is that the coin reservoir is actually fairly shallow, meaning that if you are servicing the machine after half or more of the product has vended out, quarters are likely to spill when you lift the body case.
Unlike certain triple head machines – the LYPC Triple Shop comes to mind – the Northwestern Super 60 has detachable canisters, which means that you can quickly remove candy from the machine without touching the product. Also, if you have a spare canister and want to change the product that you are selling at a particular location, you can simply pre-load the new product into the spare head and swap heads at the location in less than a minute.
Finally, the coin mechanisms on a Northwestern Super 60 are forgiving. I mean by this that if a patron uses a penny (or some other non-quarter object) in the machine, the coin will normally vend through and not jamb the coin mechanism. This is an extremely valuable feature. Business owners, I have found, will only rarely call you when there is a malfunction involving your machine. Instead, they will put an “Out of Order” sign on the machine and just wait for you to arrive on your next service visit. This causes you to lose revenue, alienates the business owner, and annoys patrons. Seldom will this bad scenario unfold when you use a Northwestern Super 60 machine.
J. Scott Jackson