Scorpion's sweeper achieves its lightweight character by relying on a hopper system made of a high-end marine polymer material. "These units have been available for two years and we've monitored them closely," Russell says. "So far we haven't seen any cracks, dings, dents, or breaks in the hopper system."
SK Sweepers upgrades Conventional model
Introduced to the sweeping industry a year ago, SK Sweepers' Conventional single-engine, gasoline-powered Silent Knight sweeper was aimed at contractors doing parking lot sweeping. This year, according to Bob Hammond, SK Sweepers president, a change in GM chassis enables the company's Conventional sweeper to be used sweeping parking garages.
"We decided that we wanted to give our customers a gas option and give them an opportunity to use the sweeper in parking garages, and that's where the initial idea for the Conventional sweeper came from," Hammond says. "The changes coming out this year make it an even better fit for parking garages."
Positioned on a 1-ton GM chassis, SK Sweepers' Conventional machine can sweep a 94-in. width (including a 16-in. diameter gutter broom). Other features are the same as SK Sweepers' flagship model, the Cab-over sweeper (which is a diesel machine mounted on an Isuzu chassis): a 4-cu.-yd. stainless steel hopper, which dumps at the rear at a height of 69 in.; a 33-gal. hydraulic fluid reservoir; and a 28-in., six-blade blower wheel. The Conventional sweeper is 6 ft., 9 in. tall, making it "the shortest machine on the market with a 4-yard hopper," Hammond says. "And the 28-in. blower wheel gives us much more power than the sweepers that are shorter than ours."
He says that other improvements in the Conventional unit are in the cab, which is better looking from the outside, and has more room and is quieter on the inside.
"When GM changed its body style it enabled us to offer some cab enhancements but also gave us the only 4-cu.-yd. hopper on the market that can work inside of most parking garages," Hammond says.
Skavin'jer high-dump sticks to basics
Introduced to sweeping contractors in 1990, Skavin'jer Sweepers' high-dump vacuum unit utilizes a 9200 GVWR Chevrolet truck and is particularly suited to parking lot sweeping, according to Russell Brown, Skavin'jer sales rep.
"It's a very simple unit without a lot of bells and whistles that could potentially break down" Brown says. "It gets a lot of interest from contractors because it is a less-expensive machine than almost all of the other units out there."
With a 2.5-cu.-yd. hopper made of high-yield, primed steel and finished with a chip-resistant polyester coating, the sweeper has a hydraulically powered, adjustable scissor-type lifting mechanism. The hopper features a 30-in. x 50-in. main door and an 18-in. x 37-in. inspection door. The special sweeping/vacuum design with exact air flows helps prevent paper, bags, and other similar materials from blocking the filter, according to Brown. The center-mounted sweeper head, constructed of high-yield steel with adjustable tungsten carbide drag shoes, has a 10-in. suction hose with an 8-in. blast hose, and it can be operated both forward and reverse.
To help keep costs down Brown says Skavin'jer opted for a 25-hp Kohler air-cooled auxiliary engine. "It's just moving a couple of fans and powering some hydraulics so you just don't need that much power from the auxiliary engine," Brown says. "Economically we felt this is a much better setup."
New Challenger to market offers simplicity, versatility
A newcomer to the sweeping equipment market is the Challenger street sweeper, manufactured by Challenger Mfg. in Canada. Mirek Bycznski, Challenger sales manager, says the unit, introduced a year ago, is a compact sweeper installed on a 19,500-lb. GVWR chassis (the sweeper doesn't require a CDL to drive). It features a 4-cu.-yd., high-dump hopper and hydraulics intended to challenge full-size units in street sweeping.
"On the other hand a 16 ft., 7 in. turning radius and exceptional reach of the 42-in.-diameter side broom makes it a perfect parking lot sweeper," Bycznski says.
Standard features include a sealed electrical box, hydraulically controlled broom down pressure, hydraulic manual overdrive, individually adjusted speed on hydraulic motors, and conveyor removal in 20 minutes.