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Street Sweeper

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Construction Equipment
1999 Broce RJ350 Broom
The Ajax Ontario Street Sweeping offers a machine designed to clean streets of dirt and debris. There are three main types that operate with distinct processes: mechanical, regenerative air, and vacuum. However, they are all designed for the same purpose: to ensure the cleanliness of roads.

Contents

[edit] History

The cleanliness of roads has been a concern since their invention because they quickly became dumping grounds for all types of waste, resulting in numerous health concerns.

“From the Middle Ages until the early 19th Century ‘…the streets of European cities were foul with excrement and filth to the extent that aristocrats often held a clove-studded orange to their nostrils in order to tolerate the atmosphere.’”[1]

These concerns were not only prevalent in Europe, but in North America as well.

During the Industrial Revolution, coal dust proved very problematic. Dust would eventually settle on the streets and then rainfall would wash it into adjacent streams. Many of these streams were used as drinking water, making many people very sick.

Early streets were constructed of cobblestone and brick because of their ability to withstand great weight, but they had a plethora of hiding spots for sediment and refuse. This made cleaning very difficult.

[edit] Early Sweepers

Early street sweeping was accomplished by people armed with a shovel, broom, and dustpan walking up and down the streets, cleaning up what waste they could. It wasn’t until September 4, 1849 that the first street sweeper was patented by C.S. Bishop of Easton, Pennsylvania. It was a towed attachment fitted with a rotating brush wheel. The brush swept refuse onto a conveyor that lifted the material into a holding bucket.

Other sources claim inventor Charles Brooks of Newark, New Jersey was the pioneer of the street sweeper. His patent was acquired in 1896. However, the patent clearly states Brooks “invented new and useful improvements in Street Sweepers and Cleaners.”[2]

1986 Waldon Sweepmaster Broom

[edit] Improved Streets Reveal Refuse

Still, it wasn’t until the development and resulting popularity of the automobile that cleanliness of streets became a priority. American automobile clubs placed pressure on the government at local, state, and federal levels to begin constructing improved roadways. The Federal Highway Act was eventually passed in 1916 with pressure from the American Automobile Association. Soon, roads were built with smoother materials like macadam and concrete to make travel more comfortable. However, establishment of smoother roads decreased hiding places for refuse indicating a growing problem.

[edit] Murphy's Mechanized Sweeper

One pioneer in the street sweeping industry was John Murphy of Elgin, Illinois (some sources also claim he invented the street sweeper).[3] Murphy noticed “poor road conditions” in his hometown, as the streets were covered in dust, mud, and disease-producing bacteria.[4] He developed his first mechanized street sweeper in 1914 for the Elgin Sweeper Co. and sold it to the city of Boise, Idaho. It was the first self-propelled mechanical sweeper put to use.[5] It had three wheels (two in the front, one in the back) and was able to maneuver around horses, carriages and automobiles. The collecting hopper sat at the front of the machine, making it easier to dump out. The engine was located under and in front of the operator.

[edit] Other Developments

The first vacuum street sweeper was introduced in 1920.[6]

In the 1950s, Elgin introduced the first hydraulic broom on its “Street King” model.

[edit] Types/Features/How it Works

Regardless of manufacturer or model, USA governmental regulations like the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) require street sweepers to collect particles less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10). Despite advancements in street sweeping technology, “mechanical broom-type sweepers still comprise about 90 percent of the street sweepers currently in use in the United States.”[7]

Tennant 7400LP 45 in. Rider Vacuum Sweeper

[edit] Mechanical

Removes debris by sweeping material onto a conveyor system, which transports it to a collecting hopper. PM10-certified mechanical sweepers include Elgin's Pelican and Eagle and Tennant's Centurion.[8]

[edit] Regenerative Air

Blows air on to the pavement raising fine particles and sediments, which are vacuumed up. PM10-certified regenerative air sweepers include Elgin's Crosswind J, Schwarze's A-series, and Tymco's 210 and 600 models.[9]

[edit] Vacuum

Combines the sweeping power of a mechanical model with the vacuum power of the regenerative air model. PM10-certified vacuum filter sweepers include Elgin's GeoVac and Schwarze's EV-2.[10]

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] Additional Photos

1987 FMC Vanguard 3000 Mobile Sweeper
2000 New Holland TN55B Broom Tractor
2002 Schwarze M6000 Street Sweeper
Green Machine 414RS Ride-on Sweeper
Iveco 150E18 Sweeper Truck
Power Boss TSS178HD Ride-on Sweeper
1994 Wayne B28E Electric Ride-on Sweeper
2002 Elgin Geovac Series Y S/A Sweeper Vacuum Truck

[edit] References

  1. Brinkmann, Robert; Tobin Graham A. Urban Sediment Removal: The Science, Policy, and Management of Street Sweeping Pg. 16-17.
  2. Charles Brooks - Patents. 2008-09-09.
  3. Muni truck History. Munitrucks.com. 2008-09-09., Can Street Sweepers Clean the Water. Environmental Science and Technology. 2008-09-09.
  4. About Muni Trucks. Munitrucks.com 2008-09-09.
  5. Streetsweeper.com. 2008-09-09.
  6. Streetsweeper.com. 2008-09-09.
  7. Street Sweepers. Stormwater. 2008-09-09.
  8. Street Sweepers. Stormwater. 2008-09-09.
  9. Street Sweepers. Stormwater. 2008-09-09.
  10. Street Sweepers. Stormwater. 2008-09-09.