If you’re an early bird, you’ll likely have seen road sweepers out and about on British roads in the early hours, meticulously cleaning roadsides and paving of litter, dust and other mess. While they’re a common sight on public roads, we’re seeing more and more uses of the humble road sweeper, with these little specialist machines being utilised on construction sites, site roads, runways and more.

At ETM Recycling, we have a specialised road sweeper available for hire in Bristol and Bath. If you’re considering hiring a road sweeper, it’s important to understand how exactly they work, so you can make an informed choice moving forward. We’ve put together this article to run through everything you need to know about road sweepers and how they work.

What is a Road Sweeper?

For hundreds of years, road sweepers were men and women with brooms who would work to sweep up road mess. Fortunately, we don’t need to rely on this laborious process anymore!

While road sweepers might vary in looks and methodology, their main purpose remains the same: pick up debris to dispose of later and ensure that the road is clean, ready for other users. Good road sweepers come with state-of-the-art safety equipment that’s designed to keep operatives, other road users and pedestrians safe during the entire operation.

How do Road Sweepers Work?

There’s a variety of ways that road sweepers come to the same end goal. The most popular type of road sweeper is the conventional model (the one you’re most likely to see on roads in the UK). The conventional model of road sweeper uses two spinning brushes positioned at either side of the vehicle to disturb debris, which is then collected by a cylindrical brush that sits further back. Any waste is then deposited into a storage hopper, ready to be disposed of at the earliest convenience.

In addition to the brushes, most road sweepers will use under-mounted water jets to pad down any dust. This drastically reduces the amount of dust that’s disturbed by the brushes, and makes it much easier to collect into the storage hoppers.

Alternative Types of Road Sweepers

You’ll predominantly see conventional road sweepers cleaning the streets, but there are other methods that some sweepers deploy.

Some road sweepers will use vacuums with adjustable suction depending on the type of detritus that you’re anticipating. This can be useful if you’re dealing with hazardous waste that shouldn’t be disturbed.

Regenerative air sweepers use hydraulic systems to disturb dirt on the road. These sweepers create areas of negative pressure below the truck. When the debris is churned, it naturally swirls under the truck and is vacuumed into storage.

Where are Road Sweepers Used?

Road sweepers are used in a whole host of different environments and in a variety of use cases.

Perhaps most obviously, they’re widely used for keeping public roads clean, but they’re also used to clear busy site roads, runways and any thoroughfares where dust, litter and other debris is likely to collect.

Many developers are bringing road sweepers into construction sites to help keep accessways safe and clear, but also to help stop waste from finding its way into the environment. The road sweeper is the perfect vehicle to help reduce your environmental impact on any building site.

Using Road Sweepers to Prevent Flooding

Many high-quality road sweepers come with high-pressure jetting equipment. In the event of heavy rainfall, guttering can become clogged with soil and rubbish. In order to prevent any damage, road sweepers can use water jets to clear any minor blockages as they move along the road (they’re in the perfect position to do so, after all!).

Road Sweeper Hire with ETM Recycling

When hiring a road sweeper, it’s important to find one that comes equipped with up-to-date safety measures and the newest technical spec. Our new road sweeper comes fitted with gully sucking and high-pressure jetting equipment which is guaranteed to handle even the most stubborn of debris.

With state-of-the-art safety equipment, our road sweeper helps keep everyone safe while in operation. If you’d like to hire a sweeper on either an hourly, daily or weekly basis, or find out more about our other recycling offerings, get in touch with our friendly team today.