10 Sweeper Maintenance
A good preventative maintenance program is the best cost-benefit value to your sweeper. Every sweeping contractor and municipality should have a program in place to catch any loose parts, misalignments, vibrations, etc. early on.
Vital sweeper systems and parts must be well maintained – and replaced on time as needed. Here are 10 tips to keep your sweeper at top performance:
1. Clean the debris hopper daily. Cleaning helps avoid dirt accumulation, which will generate rust as well as restrict the airflow and the performance.
- 2. Maintain the hopper screen. Keeping the hopper screen clean and free of any obstructions is essential because it is the central area where the airflow will move freely to the fan.
- 3. Inspect the fan and fan inlet. An inspection should be done daily. Look for debris buildup that can cause vibration and result in bearing and driveline damage. The fan should be replaced at the first sign of machine vibration. When it is time to replace the fan, the driveline should also be replaced with new bearings to keep it fresh and up-to-date.
- 4. Inspect and replace air seals. All rubber seals that are associated with the fan inlet, intake tubes and doors of the hopper should be replaced when they become worn to keep a tight seal for optimum vacuum. All rubber seals should be replaced routinely.
- 5. Inspect and adjust the sweeping head. On all air sweepers, the sweeping head is considered the most important part of the machine. Any time the sweeping head is out of adjustment, the sweeper performance will decline dramatically. A bent or twisted sweeping head will be very difficult to adjust, and since it is the most important part, it should be kept in alignment and the rubber skirts replaced when it is no longer possible to be adjusted.
- 6. Inspect the rubber skirts daily. The rubber skirts reach the ground, so make sure they are sealing to the ground, creating an optimum vacuum. The rubber skirts should be replaced when it is no longer possible to achieve a good seal on the ground.
- 7. Adjust & replace curb brooms. The curb brooms are designed to move the debris from the curbs to the path of the sweeping head. As the curb brooms wear, they will require adjustment. It is necessary to replace the bristles or adjust the curb brooms’ strike pattern (as specified in your sweeper owner’s manual) to maintain the optimum settings. The curb broom bristles should be replaced when it is no longer possible to achieve the strike pattern to clean the curb efficiently.
- 8. Monitor & maintain the hydraulic system. The hydraulic system of the sweeper should be maintained regularly with the correct viscosity oil, hydraulic filter changes, and pressure settings to ensure high performance. Replace weak or inoperative hydraulic components at the first sign of hydraulic pressure loss. Replacing the hydraulic filter will prevent hydraulic oil contamination and also return pressure, which will develop restriction on the hydraulic flow.
- 9. Inspect the water system. The water system is vital to the life of the fan due to dusty conditions. A properly functioning water system will keep the debris moist as it enters the hopper, not allowing it to stick to the screen, which would restrict airflow. Also, inspect the water filter daily to make sure it’s kept clean, and the spray nozzles are clear. Repair or replace the inoperable water system components to keep adequate dust suppression for your sweeper
- 10. Maintenance Schedule Log. Be sure to keep a documented maintenance schedule to ensure a long life for all the parts on your machine.
Every sweeper that leaves the factory comes with an operations and maintenance manual which covers both the sweeper unit and chassis truck. It is important to go through that manual when you first receive the unit, even if you’ve been in business for many years, as minor points of maintenance change from model year to model year.