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The Dust Man Cometh

Sunday, May 1, 2011

When you see dust coming out of every part of the sweeper, you know something is not right. Many people’s first thought is “I need a new brush.” At least that was the thought of my customer.

Being a very busy person, he depended on his vendors for when problems would arise. So when he initially notified me he indicated that his maintenance guy was on vacation and things were quite a mess. He said he needed to get it cleaned up fast. He requested that I talk him through the problem. “Maybe I can fix it” was his reply. I responded, “sure, but I need to know what machine it is first.” After all, he did run several different sweepers at his different warehouses. I needed to know the model and serial number as soon as possible and I’ll get to work on the remedies.

After just minutes I was advised that it was a Clarke-American ATS46 and also gave me the serial number. In many cases, the serial number is not necessary, however, when they are looking at that tag, writing down the serial number is no extra work. So it is
always a good idea to ask for that as well.

First, a little background on this particular machine. Clarke-American manufactures the machine (Model ATS46). It was made approximately between 1996 to 2001. It is actually a sweeper/scrubber and we still see them today. They were made with #1 battery and #2 with an IC (Internal Combustion) engine. Most of the IC engines were four cylinder Ford. Most of them were LPG/Propane.

Back to the problem…there are items to check off when this problem arises, so let’s get to it!

#1 Cause: Hopper is full.
Remedy: Simply empty the hopper

#2 Cause: The hopper filter is clogged.
Remedy: Remove the hopper filter or filters, if more than one, replace them if they appear not re-usable. In most cases you can tell if they need replaced. However, in many cases one can simply air hose the filters and reinstall them.

#3 Cause: Around the main brush the rubber skirts are worn or torn by sight inspection.
Remedy: The skirts must be replaced

#4 Cause: Debris is caught around the main brush or the brush drive.
Remedy: Remove the debris

#5 Cause: The main brush bristles are worn
Remedy: Replace the main brush.

Approximately one week later he called with an order for two hopper filters. He said he needed them for stock because he will have to replace them soon. And, by the way, he took my advice and removed the hopper filter. He had another guy take an air hose to clean them. He explained, “like a fool I stood across from him when he took that air hose, I got all that dust on me.” All I could say was, “Oh, the dust man cometh.” He said, “you got that right!”

Thanks for reading! If you need to reach me you can e-mail me at or call at 800/346-2319.

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