We’ve all seen Street Sweepers in action, but do you know how they work? There’s a lot more going on than with a standard household vacuum!

Here at Southern Vac, we’ve spent years becoming a market leader in Street Sweeping equipment for purchase or rental. We’ve put together this explanation of how a Street Sweeper works to help you appreciate the intelligent design and need for regular maintenance.


The Major Components

Mathieu MC110 Street Sweeper Brushes

Most Street Sweepers are composed of six major components:

  • Brushes: These stiff mechanical brushes rotate as the truck advances down the street, scouring and brushing the ground and loosening dirt, debris and garbage so it can be sucked up.
  • Flaps: The flaps in front of the brushes help keep dust from flying and help create a “wall” around the brushes to aid the vacuum suction of the sweeper to suck up a maximum of dirt.
  • Blower: The blower serves two functions: it creates an air void in the hopper so it pulls up dirt and forces air at the brushes to push dirt into the hopper. It also helps release dirt trapped on the brushes.
  • Hopper: The hopper is where the dirt and debris is collected. A vortex of air causes the dirt to swirl around and most of the dirt eventually settles in the bottom of the hopper for removal.
  • Sprayer: The sprayer injects water into the incoming dirt stream to help reduce dust in the air and encourage the dirt to settle to the bottom of the hopper.
  • Screener: The screener, situated between the hopper and the blower, traps any remaining dust so it doesn’t get blown back to the environment at the brushes.

Connecting these different components is a series of pipes, ducts and hoses that direct the dirt and debris where it needs to go. While the shape, size and position of these components can vary from brand to brand and model to model, every Street Sweeper works using these same principles.


Maintenance for Your Street Sweeper

The mechanical action of the brushes is critical for removing maximum dirt — especially when it’s hard and compacted. Maintenance of your Street Sweeper should start with the brushes and flaps. Ensure that they are intact and solidly attached and free from significant wear and damage. You also need to ensure that your blower is pulling an adequate vacuum in the hopper.

Our technicians here at Southern Vac can inspect and test your blower and perform any service if necessary. We’ll also inspect your hopper and hoses to ensure there are no leaks letting swept dirt escape back onto the street.

We look forward to helping you choose the right Street Sweeper for your community or commercial property, so contact us today if you have any questions about how a Street Sweeper works or want help choosing the best model for your application.


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