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A Sweeper’s Friend: “The Side Brush”

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Have you ever walked past a sweeper and noticed the side brushes were mashed to the floor and you think to yourself “that doesn’t look right!”

Well, that’s because it isn’t. I recently had a conversation with a sales representative on this very topic. He was told that the side brush was mashed to the ground because the brush bristles were not strong enough and needed a stiffer bristle side brush. They were using a poly and needed nylon to stand up straight.

In our conversation I explained that even a stiffer bristle brush would do this as well, that in fact, the problem is in the adjustments of the side brush. Keep in mind, the task of the side brush is to move the debris in front of the sweeper, whereas the main broom will deposit into the hopper. Of course, the other function of the side broom is to get up close to the edge of the aisle. For the outdoor sweeper, another function of the side brush is to get right up to the gutters. Hence, another name for the brush is a “gutter broom” or “curb broom.”

A good side brush has a “wear life” depending on three points:

  1. The correct side broom angle adjustment
    The angle adjustment is controlled with a stop bolt. This stop bolt is located at the top front of the side broom arm (under the spring). To increase the angle of the side broom, loosen the jam nut and turn the stop bolt counter-clockwise. Be sure to retighten the jam nut back down once the adjustment is made. Adjust this so that half of the bristles are making contact with the surface.
  2. The side broom height “wear” adjustment
    The height of the side broom is adjusted with the use of a stop bolt located at the lower rear of the curb broom arm. As the side broom wears it will be necessary to lower the arm. To lower the side broom loosen the jam nut on the stop bolt. Turn the stop bolt in a counter-clockwise direction. Check the side broom for proper contact and retighten the jam nut.
  3. The proper side broom lift cable adjustment
    This adjustment is made at the cable clevis attached to the side broom assembly. It controls the height of the side broom in the “Raised” position. This adjustment must be made with the hopper fully lowered.
    • Pull the side broom lever into the “Raised” position.
    • Loosen the locknut on the threaded rod at the clevis.
    • Turn the threaded rod in or out to set the side broom in the maximum raised position.
    • Secure the cable adjustment by tightening the locknut.
    • Remember, when that sweeper is not in use, raise the side broom along with the main broom to maintain the integrity of these brooms.

Finally, when the day comes to replace that broom, the bristle should be approximately 3” (7.62 cm) or less. Any longer than that you still have some lift left. Also, for those of you with sweepers that have dual side brooms, ditto on the opposite side!

As always thanks for reading Creamer’s Corner. You can e-mail me a creamerscorner@hi-gear.com

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