it all starts with the application

By Matt Starnes

What do you sweep or plan to sweep 80% of the time? That’s usually the first question our application specialists ask to determine if we (Bucher Municipal) are a good fit for a contractor or municipality. After we understand the application, if we have a solution that meets the prospect’s needs we proceed, if not we refer them to someone we think has a solution for their challenge. Pretty direct and simple approach.

There are three sweeper technologies: pure vacuum, mechanical, and regenerative air as well as three sizes/platforms; truck mounted, mid-vac, and compact. (Next time we’ll talk about electric powered sweepers and their place in your sweeping program.) Yes, even in the contracting world!
When it comes to the folks we’ve spoken to from APE Magazine, no surprise, the majority are contractors. Those contractors are mainly, again no surprise, focused on cleaning up after paving jobs and also now, projects dealing with infrastructure improvements.

Mechanical sweepers are the traditional sweeping solution for the large cleanup tasks, asphalt, chipseal, millings, etc. with the sweeper picking up the debris “live” behind the paving equipment. They use rotating brushes to move large debris to a large broom, which send the debris to the hopper. The mechanical sweeper then has a high dump hopper capable of emptying into a high dump truck bed. Mechanical sweepers are a blunt force type of solution to a hot, hard, and tough work paving byproduct mess. The mechanical sweeping technology is the right sweeping solution for the application.
We’ve seen more and more requests and need to pick up the fine or smaller debris. Thinking of this more finessed and precise cleanup challenge, both pure vacuum truck mounted and mid-vac sweepers are purposely designed for this kind of challenge.

The truck mounted pure vacuum sweeper technology capabilities allow them to pick up the fine particulate matter all the way down to PM 10 and PM 2.5. PM 10 are a common air pollutant found in roads, construction sites, and mines. They have a diameter of 10 micrometres or smaller particles are found in dust and smoke. PM 2.5 is even more hazardous as they can get into the deep parts of your lungs and in some cases, even into your bloodstream. Another plus to a pure vacuum sweeper is they genrally have a hopper almost twice the size of mechanical sweepers allowing for less frequent need to dump the debris. One disadvantage is pure vacuum sweepers typically don’t have as high of a dumping capability as a mechanical sweeper. You would typically deposit a pure vacuum hopper’s debris into lower dumpsters or dump sites.

Mid-vac sweepers are size-wise between a truck mounted sweeper and a compact sweeper, so in many regards the best of both worlds. You gain the agility of a compact and a hopper closer to the size of a truck mounted sweeper. Also, some mid-vac sweepers are now capable of dumping a little higher than their pure vacuum truck mounted counterparts. Disadvantage is again, generally they can not dump as high as a truck mounted mechanical sweeper.

Please make sure to ask anyone you’re consulting with what the capability of the sweeper is in regards to being the correct fit for your application. We’ve seen and been called in to clean up situations where competitors didn’t take the time to understand the application and the customer was stuck with the wrong sweeper.

We believe so much in the importance of having the right sweeping solution for the correct application that we created and offer the purely educational 5 Things You MUST Know BEFORE You Buy a Street Sweeper industry report.

Here’s the link for your free copy of the report:

Bucher Municipal North America, Inc. is a manufacturer of Street Sweepers and Sewer Cleaning Trucks (Tankers). Bucher Municipal is the worldwide leading manufacturer of municipal equipment.

Matt Starnes is the Marketing and Sales Development Department Manager for Bucher Municipal North America, Inc. and the creator of the industry first Sweepers & Tankers Podcast.