Many people take street sweepers for granted, but without this equipment city streets would be filled with all kinds of debris. Not only would this be dangerous for drivers and pedestrians on the street, but pollutants on the street can enter stormwater as it runs into drains. Know these common types of street sweepers and you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the hard work of street sweeping services.
The oldest type of street sweepers, mechanical brooms were invented in 1843. The earliest versions were horse-drawn, but motorized versions starting appearing by 1868. The modern iterations allow for the collection and removal of leaves, paper, and other visible debris that collects in curb gutters.
The main characteristic of mechanical sweepers is their rotating cylindrical broom that flicks debris and dirt onto a conveyor. This conveyor belt then moves the debris into a hopper for collection. The mechanical broom is abrasive by nature, causing them to break down large particles into smaller ones, which are more often washed off during storms. In general, these sweepers are not adept at picking up finer debris.
As the name implies, these sweeper trucks operate like an oversized vacuum cleaner. First making an appearance in the 1920s, the vacuum sweeper uses an engine-powered fan to create suction. This sweeper also has a mechanized broom that moves dirt into the path of the vacuum nozzle, where it sucks the debris into a hopper. Heavier material falls into the hopper as a screen catches leaves and other light materials.
This systems makes vacuum sweepers better at picking up finer material than mechanical sweepers. However, it still uses a broom to collect the material. This feature makes a sweeper less effective at penetrating cracks and potholes.
Regenerative Air Street Sweepers
This type of street sweeping service is much better at picking up smaller particles in hard-to-reach spots than mechanical sweepers or vacuum sweepers. Regenerative air sweepers use an engine to power a blower. The blower then pushes air through a blast orifice across the width of the machine’s pick-up head. This sweeper has the same collection design as a vacuum sweeper, complete with a hopper and screen. However, rather than exhausting dirty air back into the atmosphere the machine cleans the air with a dust separator and returns it to the blast orifice.
Whether you’re looking for parking lot sweeping services or road sweeping services, you should know what kind of sweeper you will need. This will ensure the best street sweeping service possible.