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Tornado Alley?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just outside the city there is a scrap yard. Their main business is buying old vehicles and then scrapping the metal. You can imagine the dust and debris all around their business.

So, to combat this on going problem they purchased an old American Lincoln sweeper. I believe it to be a Model 3366. While traveling past the scrap yard, I couldn’t help but to see this enormous dust cloud. It was a windy day and it made it appear to be a “dust bowl” which occurred in the 1930’s. As I went past, to my surprise, this sweeper or “non-sweeper” was to be the cause. Thinking to myself I said, “Why bother?” This machine was creating more of a dusty environment than just leaving it lay. In my mind, it was just spreading out the dust to make it look cleaner. That evening, on my way home, I stopped to talk to the manager. If I could help clean this machine up, then, I knew it would clean up his yard.

I explained that I was knowledgeable in sweeper and scrubbers and suggested that he should go through my checklist and repair this sweeper. This American Lincoln sweeper 3366 is a very capable machine and would surprise you with what it can really do.

The hopper is the debris compartment and stores all the dust and debris until cleaned and/or emptied. Open the hopper lid to access the hopper filter. The filter is generally housed in a filter frame. Remove this frame and then the filter.

Wash the inside of the hopper, preferably with a pressure washer. This will make for a better inspection of the hopper itself and the skirts and flaps.

Generally, the skirts/flaps should be inspected every time the operator sweeps. However, at this point, knowing the excessive dust, I would suggest that he replace all of the skirts/flaps in the hopper.

As far as skirts/flaps, I would suggest the replacement of all the skirts/flaps around the main broom chamber. This chamber is also under vacuum and much of the dusting could be coming from this area.

Change the hopper “panel” filter. Without looking, I know that this will need replacement. Once replaced, keep this filter clean and unclogged. To do this, find the shaker switch and have the operator engage this switch in the middle and at the end of every sweep.

If these things are done, your workers will love you, the operator will love you and your neighbors will love you.

I stopped in several weeks later and noticed change had taken place. The manager said that even the customers commented on how much cleaner the scrap yard was. No more tornadoes!

Please e-mail any questions to me at

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