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Sweep It Right

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It is, of course, one of the most important contributions to the performance of the sweeper. Be it walk-behind, rider or large street sweepe, without it the sweeper does not perform. With the correct one it could sweep with astonishment. Give up? It is the MAIN BRUSH.

There are many different materials used in the main broom. Manufacturers also use combinations that enhance performance, such as proex and wire instead of just proex or just wire. To further enhance performance, the rows of bristle are also very important. An example would be 8 DR (Double Row) of proex and wire combinations. Some manufacturers offer 16 DR (Double Row) or 5 TR (Triple Row).

Every combination has its own application, which leads to my story of a client that I haven’t heard from in many years. After acquiring a management position, one of his responsibilities was the cleanliness of the entire corporation. Empowered with a Tennant 255 II Rider Sweeper, his task was to maintain the cleanliness of the building, an area of 150,000 square feet. The Tennant Model 255 II was built in approximately 1986 or 1987. This machine had some age on it; however, it was a very good sweeper in its day. Maintained properly and equipped with the proper brushes it could still
perform very well indeed!

I had some questions for Joe to answer to insure the proper main broom was used for his application:

  1. How large of a building?
  2. Indoors only or outdoors also?
  3. Type of debris or combination of debris being picked up?
  4. Hours required to maintain the operation. In other words, how long do you sweep in a day or a week?

What I faxed Joe was a list of the different materials of bristle for the main broom for the different applications. This list is something I have perfected through the thirty plus years of experience acquired through trial and error. Here is the list from thirty years of experience.


Crinkle Wire – Double Row Design.
This has cutting action for extra heavy duty sweeping
of compacted dirt. Recommended for dry, low dust sweeping on unsealed surfaces. Preferably, this is used for sweeping higher temp debris.
BRUSH LIFE: Fair to good

Poly and Wire – Double row Design
This is for slightly encrusted, medium to heavy loose soil and light dust conditions. Good hopper loading performance. Not for sweeping higher temp debris (use Crinkle Wire).

Union and Wire – Double Row Design
This is for use on dry, slightly encrusted soil. This brush is for light dust conditions.


Nylon – Double Row Design
This is our most popular fill for sweeping most soil and surfaces. Nylon offers longer bristle life and good hopper loading performance. This brush is for medium dust conditions. Not for wet sweeping (use Poly).
BRUSH LIFE: Excellent

Poly – Double Row Design
This is for sweeping most soil and surfaces. Poly is economical and it retains its stiffness when wet. Used for medium dust conditions. Not for sweeping higher temp debris (use Nylon).
BRUSH LIFE: Good to very good

Union – Double Row Design
This brush is for sweeping most soil and surfaces. For medium dust conditions.

Nylon Patrol – Double Row Herringbone Design
This brush is for sweeping large indoor and outdoor areas at higher speeds.

The “V” shaped pattern of bristles gives superior hopper loading of sand and larger items.
BRUSH LIFE: Excellent


Union and Wire – High Density, Single Row Design
Combines wire for cutting of lightly compacted soils with union fiber for heavy dust conditions.
BRUSH LIFE: Fair to Good

Nylon – High Density, Single Row Design
This is for sweeping severe dust and loose soil. Recommended for most surfaces. Longer bristle life. Not for wet sweeping (use Double Row Poly).
BRUSH LIFE: Excellent

Poly – High Density, Single and Double Row Designs
Available for select models. Used for loose soil.

As always, I appreciate you reading and sharing my articles every month. I hope you have learned through my seven years of writing. If you have any questions or problems regarding the sweeper/scrubbing subject please do not hesitate to contact me. You can e-mail me at or call at 800/346-2319.

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