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The Next Generation!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

When I first came into the industry, some 37 years ago, the most popular sweeper was the Tennant Model 240. They were available in gasoline, LPG or electric.

The engines designed in these sweepers were only a 2-cylinder and quite under powered. They were the Onan, Kohler and Wisconsin engine manufacturers. For this reason, I always preferred the electric. The electric was equipped with a 36-volt unit with two 18-volt batteries and had plenty of power. So much that the electric unit out sold the engine unit.

This all changed in the next generation. It was introduced in 1975. The model 265 was finally equipped with a 4-cylinder Ford engine. (Just a footnote: the Tennant Model 240EH that was electric was so successful that the Tennant Company made the
decision to continue offering it until the mid 1980’s)

In 1986 it was the Model 355 sweeper that was first introduced by Tennant. One advantage the model 355 had over the 265 was that Tennant touted this as a push button side and main brush and overall ease of operation. This sweeper was also the first with a plastic hopper. Although the hopper would crack as a result of fatigue over time, this sweeper was updated. An example is the Ford engine that was distributor-less and more efficient.

One of the biggest changes was the hopper filter. The model 265 had a large cloth filter bag. Periodically, the service tech would remove the bag and clean then re-install. The bag, if properly cared for would last for years. The 355 sweeper discontinued the use of a filter bag and designed the panel filter. The panel filter, also known as the hopper dust filter, is a box type filter. This should be cleaned every 100 hours but in many environments needs replaced.

The next model were the 6500, 6550, 6600 and 6650. Finally, we come to the newest Model. The Tennant Model S30 is the latest generation mid-sized sweeper. From what I have seen, it looks well built with all composite doors and lids. It is designed so access is made easily to all maintenance components, that can save a lot of time.

In closing, over the years the sweepers have gone from steel to levels of composite and push buttons. Has the sweeping become better? Not really. Have the sweepers become better? That’s a matter of opinion.

As always, thanks for reading.

Michael Creamer

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