Types of Street Sweepers: Everything You Need to Know

September 16 2020

Walk-behind street sweeper outside on a sidewalk

There are three main types of street sweepers. Each one is critical to maintaining pedestrian safety, environmental safety, and pavement condition. Use the proper equipment to avoid expensive repairs.

A street sweeper is necessary for regular upkeep. Routine maintenance prevents erosion and eliminates dangerous pollutants. Each surface has its own unique needs. Different types of street sweepers are ideal for different applications.

Just because a street looks clean doesn’t mean it is. There may still be a significant amount of small-micron debris on it. A street sweeper removes these particles, preventing them from reaching groundwater or people’s lungs. Street sweepers also keep small-micron particles from eroding your surfaces.

Find the right equipment for your purposes today. Learn more about the different types of street sweepers to get started.

Mechanical Broom

A mechanical broom works like a classic broom and dustpan. The “main broom” runs along the bottom of the machine. This rotating, cylindrical brush moves debris onto a conveyor belt and into a hopper. Mechanical brooms are the oldest and simplest type of street sweeper.

Some mechanical sweepers have “gutter brooms” on one or both sides. These are small brushes used to move debris from the gutter line into the path of the main broom.

A mechanical broom isn’t the best choice from an environmental aspect. Its cleaning process often causes large debris to break into small-micron particles. Plus, mechanical brooms are made up of many moving parts. This makes them more expensive to repair.

There are still some advantages to the classic mechanical sweeper, though. These machines are ideal for heavy or packed-down material like road millings. They are also the best option for the spring cleanup of Snowbelt states. These sweepers also use less fuel than other types of street sweepers. Consider a mechanical sweeper for more heavy-duty applications.

Regenerative Air Sweeper

Regenerative air sweepers run on a closed-loop. A regenerative air sweeper shoots air onto the pavement from one side of the head. That air travels across the width of the head and into the pickup hose on the other side, grabbing debris as it goes. Like other street sweepers, these machines can have gutter brooms on one or both sides.

Unlike vacuum street sweepers, regenerative models re-circulate their air supply internally. Air moves in a circular motion, constantly moving across the bottom of the machine.

Regenerative air sweepers are thorough and efficient. Most importantly, they emit very little pollutant-laden air back into the atmosphere. These machines also have few moving parts, and none of them touch the pavement. This makes them less expensive to maintain.

Use a regenerative air sweeper to pick up heavy debris and clean a larger path. Of all the types of street sweepers, this is the best multi-purpose option. The innovative closed-loop system is also the best choice for the environment. But, this equipment is not great for heavy-duty applications. If you need a tool to handle spring cleaning or road millings, a regenerative air sweeper is not the best option.

Vacuum Street Sweeper

A vacuum street sweeper works like a household vacuum. This street sweeper uses an engine to power a fan that creates suction. The vacuum sweeper truck uses this suction to remove dirt and debris from the surface.

There is a suction inlet located on one side of the head. This sweeper head uses a broom system to brush debris towards the suction opening. The vacuum street sweeper exhausts used air during operation.

Vacuum street sweepers are designed to clean at the curb line. Most heavy debris exists within 36 inches of the curb, so cleaning this area is critical. Because of this, a vacuum sweeper truck is ideal for stormwater runoff abatement.

These machines produce less dust than mechanical sweepers and are more thorough. A vacuum sweeper truck also does a better job of cleaning near the curb line and on uneven pavement. However, these street sweepers have a smaller cleaning path than other options. They also have smaller intake tubes, so they can’t remove very large debris. The windrow broom of a vacuum sweeper truck tends to fill pavement cracks with small debris.

Vacuum sweeper truck cleaning dirt off the pavement

Finding the Best Deal on a Street Sweeper

Now that you know more about the different types of street sweepers, you might have a better idea of what you need. If so, use ScrubberShop to find it.

Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll match you with equipment. Receive free pricing and information on any relevant inventory. Compare your options and browse trustworthy machinery from industry-leading manufacturers.

ScrubberShop carries all three types of street sweepers. Get started today and browse equipment with our free price comparison tool. Access the largest inventory of scrubbers and sweepers nationwide.

Find the Best Deal on a Street Sweeper Near You.

Commercial Scrubbers

Huge inventory of scrubbers and sweepers ready to ship in most states. We offer the lowest prices and largest selection in the US, Canada and the UK. Contact us with a quote request and get every matching option in the price range you are seeking.

Offering Deals On

Contact us

*50% savings claims based on used scrubber and sweeper inventory compared to the cost of comparable new comparable machines. Savings is not guaranteed.