Street sweepers help keep our roads and outdoor spaces healthier and more sanitary all year round. When winter hits, weather like snow, ice and the cold can create problems for street sweepers. Investing in proper street sweeper preparation, maintenance and repairs can help extend your machine’s life span and make winter operation easier.
Safety During the Winter When Using Street Sweepers
Cold weather, snow and ice can introduce unique challenges to street sweeping operations. With the right precautions, it is possible to maintain a high level of safety. During the winter, make sure to prioritize the following:
- Equipment maintenance: Maintaining your equipment is critical year-round, but especially during winter. Before the first frost of the season, it is essential to ensure that street sweepers and their parts are in optimal condition. Performing pre-winter maintenance will help get sweepers ready for the cold. Additionally, you will need to perform ongoing winter maintenance to keep parts clean and machines working at maximum efficiency.
- Operator training: Your operators should be well-trained and informed about winter-specific safety protocols. Snow and ice can make surfaces slippery, increasing the risk of accidents. Proper training in handling these conditions, like adjusting sweeping patterns and reducing speed, is crucial for preventing accidents.
- Visibility: Snow and ice accumulation can obscure road markings, potholes or other potential hazards. Equip sweepers with effective lighting systems and ensure operators have good visibility from their cabs. Regularly clean lights and mirrors to prevent ice and snow buildup and keep everyone safe.
- De-icing: Applying the right de-icing materials and anti-icing techniques helps keep road surfaces safe. Some street sweepers are even equipped with de-icing capabilities. You should also coordinate with local authorities to follow specific winter road maintenance guidelines.
- Safe distances: As with any heavy machinery, maintaining a safe distance from pedestrians and other vehicles is critical. Winter weather can decrease stopping distances, so operators must be alert and keep a safe distance to prevent accidents.
Winter Street Sweeper Maintenance
Winter maintenance ensures street cleaning trucks are safe and effective throughout the season. Adapting your maintenance practices for the challenging winter months will help you address the unique demands of winter weather. Here are some winter maintenance tips to help keep your sweeper trucks running smoothly:
- Pre-season inspection: Before winter begins, complete a thorough inspection of all street sweepers. An assessment should cover checking all components and parts for wear and damage. Inspect brushes, belts, filters, hydraulic systems and other key elements. Replace or repair parts showing signs of wear to prevent unexpected breakdowns during winter operations. If you have vacuum street sweepers, you will need to make sure the water suppression system is prepared for the cold.
- Cold weather lubrication: Cold temperatures can affect lubricants and fluids in street sweepers. Ensure that all lubricants, including engine oil, hydraulic oil and gearbox oil, are suitable for winter use. Check and grease lubrication points to prevent parts from seizing in cold weather.
- Battery maintenance: Cold weather can be tough on batteries. Check and ensure that the batteries are fully charged and in good condition. Consider using battery heaters or insulated battery boxes to protect batteries from the cold and maintain optimal performance.
- Visibility enhancements: Winter weather often reduces visibility. Ensure sweepers have effective lighting systems to improve visibility during snowfall and early morning and evening operations. Clean off important parts like lights and mirrors to prevent buildup for safer driving. The better your operators can see, the safer they will be in the winter.
- De-icing: Some street sweeper models have de-icing features, which can be invaluable during winter operations. They can help melt snow and ice on road surfaces, making it easier for the sweeper to do its job effectively. If your sweepers do not have de-icing capabilities, make sure the ground they are working on is treated with salt, sand or other de-icing measures.
- Regular cleaning: Snow, ice, salt and grit accumulation on the sweeper’s exterior can affect its performance. Regularly clean the machine to prevent buildup, which can impede the sweeper’s functionality.
- Emergency kits: Remember to equip street sweepers with winter emergency kits that include essential items like ice melt, shovels and sand for on-the-spot de-icing and improved traction.
Tips if Your Winter Street Sweeper Becomes Damaged
If your commercial street sweeper experiences winter damage, you need to address it as quickly as possible. The earlier you catch and correct the damage, the safer your operators will be. Here are some tips to help restore your street sweepers after winter damage:
- Document the damage: As you inspect the sweepers for damage, make sure to document anything you find. Take clear pictures and make detailed notes about the extent of the damage, its location and its potential impact on the sweeper’s functionality. If the damage was caused by something other than winter weather, thorough documentation can help you with insurance claims.
- Assess rust and corrosion: Check for rust and corrosion, especially on metal surfaces that are particularly vulnerable to road salt and moisture damage. Remove rust promptly to prevent it from spreading and causing structural weaknesses.
- Repair broken parts: If you have broken or damaged street sweeper parts, determine if they need repair or replacement. Broken brushes, bristles or hydraulic parts should be promptly addressed to restore the sweeper’s efficiency.
- Analyze fluids: Analyze the condition of hydraulic fluids and lubricants. If they have deteriorated or become contaminated, it is essential to replace them. Maintaining fresh fluids is crucial for a sweeper’s functionality and longevity.
- Get professional servicing: If you cannot make the repairs or replacements on your own, call a professional. Some street sweeping companies offer repair services to help fix your machines. Getting professional servicing in the event of significant damage can help bring your machine back to life and get it back out on the road.
Maximize Your Street Sweeping Efficiency
At Stewart-Amos Sweeper Co., we pride ourselves on delivering unmatched excellence in street sweepers, parts and servicing. Our dedication to quality and innovation has made us a trusted name in the industry. When it comes to street sweepers, our products from industry-leading brands stand out for their quality, effectiveness and durability. We carry a wide range of models, from mechanical brooms to regenerative air street sweepers, designed to meet your specific requirements.
Our team is committed to providing expert service and guidance, helping you source high-quality sweepers and keep them in peak condition for minimal downtime and optimal performance. Contact us today and discover the difference our products and services can make for your operation.