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  • Writer's pictureBeckside Machinery

How does a road sweeper work?

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Road sweepers have been around for many years. 

The job of a road sweeper has not changed, but how this piece of equipment looks and operates has developed and evolved alongside technology.

How does a road sweeper work?

Helping to keep premises, roads, streets, estates, and more, cleaner and clearer from debris and rubbish, road sweepers are not only a welcome sight, but they’re also vital in protecting our environment too!

Today, with the help of technology and some digital advancements in engineering, compact road sweepers are much quieter, cleaner, environmentally friendly, and highly efficient.

Compact tractor road sweepers

If it’s a paved area and of a substantial size, the chances are that it will need to be swept!

It’s not just streets where we see compact sweepers now appearing.  Tractor road sweepers are now found on large construction sites, airport runways, parking lots, and more.

These portable compact sweepers can be towed to any location and can even be used inside large warehouses, for example, where floors must be cleaned.

Offering efficiency and effectiveness at every sweep, these pieces of equipment shouldn’t be underestimated.

How road sweepers work

Think of a compact road sweeper like a mechanical broom.  Swooping from left to right, sweeping and scooping debris and dust as it goes.

These compact sweepers are pieces of equipment that you are in control of.  You decide the direction of travel and the area in which you clean.

There is also a variety of compact road sweepers to choose from, all offering different elements depending on your specifications.

For example, some road sweepers clean with brushes, whereas others clean with air.

Yes, the basic premise of each remains the same: they are used to clean roads, walkways, etc., disposing of the accumulated dust and debris appropriately.

Types of road sweepers

More conventional sweepers have jets shooting water while the brushes get to work, helping to keep flying debris to a minimum and scrub the dirt clear.

They operate with two spinning brushes at the front to remove the debris, and a cylindrical brush at the back, moving the debris into the storage container.

Ultimately, the rotating brushes on these sweepers sweep the dirt up into the machine's conveyor belt system that then leads to a storage container (some alternative sweepers also offer a vacuum-like system that sucks the dirt into the container.  Note, there are different types of suction available, and depending on what needs removing, will depend on what suction is best for you).

This type of sweeper is also known as a street sweeper and can also pick up a little more than dust – making it more efficient in cleaning the streets and countryside.

However, to get the best clean, compact sweepers should be driven with due care and attention, as well as slowly, allowing time for things to be picked up!

Air sweepers, however, operate through hydraulic systems using air to churn the dirt up and sweeping this towards the middle section of the sweeper’s mechanism, which is then sucked up into its vacuum.

In these sweeper systems, the air is cleaned and reused throughout, loosening up dirt and debris.  Again, water is sprayed to help to keep dust to a minimum. 

Air sweepers are best for roads and streets that are cracked or have small holes appearing on the surface.

This is because air sweepers can reach smaller areas without brushes becoming damaged. 

Air sweepers are also the most cost-effective of the compact road sweepers.

Some smaller sweepers use neither air nor water and instead stick with the spinning brushes and vacuuming the debris up into the storage container.  These smaller sweepers are easy to manoeuvre, they can fit into small spaces, making them easy to store, and they are great in tight spaces or limited space.

Multi-purpose sweepers can be the most cost-effective as they can do everything!  With mulching fan models that are great at picking up lighter materials such as cans and bottles, etc., to clean fan suction models, which are ideal if you don’t want to disturb materials such as seed pods.

Multi-purpose sweepers are economical and manoeuvrable, and they come with a variety of attachments, helping you to sweep up paths even after your verges have been cut!

Ultimately, with water, jets, vacuums, hydraulics, brushes, and more, a lot is going on with compact road sweepers.

There has to be - as the demand on road sweepers is now much greater than ever before. 

Designed to pick up rubbish, dirt, chemicals, motor oil, and more – they are now a big feature in protecting the environment, stopping these items of rubbish and harmful chemicals, running into drains, and affecting water systems.

Working their way up and down roads, compact sweepers clear the way, helping to keep areas looking clean and tidy and making environments safer and more efficient to operate in.

If you’re interested in compact tractor road sweepers and want to know more about these pieces of equipment for your premises, call the team at Beckside Machinery today, we’d be happy to help.

Call 01673 828 965

Reference Video: Beckside Machinery

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