Street Sweepers: 10 Mistakes Fleets Make When Spec’ing – And How to Avoid Them

September 2008, Government Fleet - Feature

by Shelley Mika - Also by this author

Mistake #1

Not Knowing Your Needs

How to avoid: Street sweepers are designed to suit a wide variety of sweeping requirements. Some are made for urban settings, others for construction sites. Some travel highways, while others stick to city streets. Knowing your requirements before you shop for a sweeper helps point you in the right direction. Giles suggests reviewing the following details with the street maintenance department before making a purchase:

• Required transport speed. How great is the distance between where the sweeper works and its overnight parking location? Does the sweeper required to travel at highway speeds?

• Type of disposal. How is debris transported to the disposal site? Does the sweeper off-load into a truck transport debris to the disposal site?

• Setting. What type of sweeping is performed (urban streets, highways, road construction, etc.)?

"Specific models should be chosen based on sweeping requirements," Giles said. "You can’t go wrong if you use the right tool for the right job."

Mistake #2

Not Doing Your Homework

How to avoid: Many fleet managers are responsible for large and diverse fleets. They may not know much about each individual vehicle and how it operates. Giles says it’s important fleet managers understand how sweepers function and what operators need from a vehicle.

"My best advice would be to learn about street sweeping and how sweepers work. Doing homework pays off big," Giles said. "I am always amazed by fleet managers and environmental managers who have no working knowledge of the science of sweeping or even how sweepers work."

Make sure you talk to the user department about which sweeper is best for its needs. Mistakes can generally be avoided by thorough research. Each fleet manager should understand the sweeping operation. What does and doesn’t work should be documented, analyzed, and used to help make the purchase decision.

Mistake #3

Buying the ‘Usual’ Equipment

How to avoid: Giles says one common mistake fleet managers make is purchasing equipment similar to what they already have, even if it’s not the best technology for their application. Just because it’s what you’ve "always had" doesn’t mean it’s the best option.

Taking a little time to research your needs and matching them to models on the market can make for a more efficient fleet — and happier operators.

Mistake #4

More Technology = A Better Sweeper

How to avoid: "Sometimes, well-meaning politicians will drive a purchase decision down to the fleet management level based on new technology or a new industry trend uncovered at a trade show or presentation," Giles said. "While a new technology may be great, if it doesn’t serve the real needs of the department, it may be a waste of resources."

That’s why it’s important for fleet managers to stay abreast of technological developments — and be prepared to discuss their usefulness (or lack thereof) with community leaders and the environmental community.

"Unfortunately, there are strengths and weaknesses associated with every type of sweeper technology, regardless of the manufacturer," Giles said. "Understanding how these strengths and weaknesses affect the sweeping program will help you make the most effective choice as to which type of sweeper to purchase."


  1. 1. M S Raju [ February 16, 2015 @ 12:19AM ]

    Please send the quotation, specification and model - Detailed details.


  2. 2. steve martin [ November 09, 2015 @ 10:16AM ]

    are yon a Californiaou allowed to drive a 1987 mobile Atleyallowed to drive it on a California Highway freeway

  3. 3. steve martin [ November 09, 2015 @ 10:17AM ]

    are you allowed to drive a 1987 mobile on a California freewayAtley


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