Since the conveyor belt on a mechanical sweeper will stretch over time, it, too, should be checked every few hundred hours. "Our operators' manual has a list of service checks to be made after 50, 100, 200, and 500 hours of operation, not unlike a check list for an automobile," says McArthur. "Of course, it is crucial to keep the sweeper clean and obstruction free. Then, it's a matter of checking fluids, checking the air filters, and checking the bushings on the brooms to make sure they are tight. The side broom and side broom assembly will get especially dirty during a sweeping operation. Cleaning the broom and the broom assembly is imperative after every use."
Common sense approach
TYMCO's Zajicek emphasizes that maintaining a sweeper for optimum performance is mostly common sense. "I tell operators to never park a dirty sweeper and that cleaning it daily will keep it performing up to specs. I also advise them against being overly fastidious.
"For example, it is not uncommon for operators to over-service air filters. They will routinely remove a filter and either blow out the dirt and dust or bang it against something to jar loose debris. Neither is advised. Over cleaning can damage a filter and allow dust particles to enter the engine.
"There is an old adage that a new air filter doesn't clean as efficiently as an older one. The reason? Trapped dust particles actually help the filtering process," McArthur says. "Not to say that old filters shouldn't be checked and changed when needed. They should be. My advice is to put sweepers on a scheduled maintenance program. Our sweepers also have an air restriction indicator, and an illuminated indicator means that it is time to change the filter."
Based in Neenah, WI, Rod Dickens is a freelance writer specializing in the construction industry.