The importance of washing down your road sweeper after use
posted in helpful advice with road sweepers on 16 April 2018
Road sweepers when on site are often working in the worst conditions, so if you include an end of day wash down procedure it will be most beneficial, saving you money on maintenance and valuable downtime.
At the end of the shift, empty the sweeper of waste and wash down the sweeper including inside the waste hopper. The waste should be tipped when it is fresh as it is loose so will easily discharge from the sweeper body. Leave it overnight or, even worse, over the weekend and it may well set meaning that someone has to dig out the waste before its next use, wasting maybe an hour or two of valuable sweeping time.
Remember the sweeper is working in dirty conditions, so it is very easy for dirt to gather around electronic parts such as alternators and valves which operate the hydraulics. Over time, if not being cleaned, this can cause wires to break or rot, whilst the ingress of dirt around rams or even the fuel tanks will stop things from working freely or contaminate fuel systems, again causing you costly downtime. Use the jet wash to blast away as much dirt as possible but, at the same time, avoid heavy washing of sensitive parts, for example around the ECU's on the sweeper. This will get the parts dirt free and allow them to dry off.
Cleaning the inside of the waste hopper is equally important, as this is where the mesh screens, which are basically the filters for the sweeper, are located. These screens can be found on the roof of the hoppers in all sweepers and over time, if not cleaned, can result in a build up of mud, leaves, litter and nasty things such as human hair, which reduces the airflow out of the sweeper body. Also, for the sweeper to be able to continue to suck air into the machine, it must be able to let air escape. Usually, if an operator is complaining about poor suction on a sweeper, there is a good chance that they have overlooked cleaning inside the waste hopper. In addition, make sure the suction tubes/trunking are clean. These can also gather a dirt build up or have debris causing blockages. We have seen small branches, plastics and waste timber cause many engineer visits to site, resulting in unwanted bills.
This simple, 10 minute job at the end of day really will make a difference to sweeper performance.