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Floor Sweepers – How to Choose

Floor sweepers are an important tool for collecting and removing debris and dust, and these machines are available in a wide variety of formats. The range comprises from manually operated sweepers for small areas, through to ride-on machines for larger surface areas. Selecting the right floor sweeper means considering the type of floor, the size of the area to be cleaned and access.

The operation of an industrial sweeper is basically quite simple and consists of one or two disc brushes which rotate and sweep the dirt back into the machine. The dirt is swept by a cylindrical brush, back into a collection tank for subsequent disposal. On the face of it quite straightforward, but there are many factors to consider when operating or purchasing a machine.


Industrial sweepers – things to consider

  • Brush Type – depends on the type of dirt being collected. For instance, to sweep up heavy deposits a stiffer, rougher brush should be used whereas for lighter dirt or dust then a thinner more flexible brush should be used.
  • Type – Does the machine need to be a ride-on or walk behind (pedestrian) sweeper. This is dependent on the size of area being cleaned and the access to it.
  • Power – If it is engine powered and used for indoor floor sweeping, consideration must be given to the ventilation of exhaust fumes. If it is battery powered, then the charge life should be considered.
  • Ease of Use – It should be easy to use by a variety of operators and ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue.
  • Adjustable – Things like the brushes should be adjustable to ensure good contact with the floor. Some machines have a self-levelling system to maintain good contact on a variety of floor surfaces.
  • Design – It should be robust as it is being used in an industrial environment. Consideration should be given to access for maintenance and cleaning.

Floor Sweeper Glossary

Floor Sweeper Glossary

Below are some of the technical terms used in our product descriptions.

The physical dimensions of the sweeper

The dimensions of the body of the sweeper. It does not necessarily include the side brush or brushes.

The dimensions are particularly important if access to the cleaning area is limited by doorways etc

Cleaning /Working Width

The effective width of floor cleaned.

The cleaning width is determined by the size and placement of the brush, and is different from the machine width. This is relevant for estimating how long it would take to clean a floor (along with the machine speed for ride-on machines).

Climbing Rate

This is the incline that the machine can surmount. It is normally expressed as a percentage.

If the machine has to cope with any sort of slope or uneven floor, particularly if it is to be used outside, then the climbing rate is an important measurement.

Working Speed

The speed at which the ride on sweeper operates effectively.

This will determine the speed of cleaning and the time taken

Hopper Capacity

The vessel that contains the swept up debris.

The greater the capacity of the hopper, the more debris it can collect, reducing the time take to empty. The design of the hopper should make sure that deposits don’t fall back out when it is full


The tools that do the cleaning.

The configuration of brushes on the sweeper. They can be located on the side of the machine or in the middle or both. The side brushes are useful for sweeping against walls or cracks.

Filter Area

Sweepers create dust during the cleaning process, the filter prevents the resulting dust recirculating in the surrounding air.

The filter will collect dust and will eventually need cleaning, the larger the area the less often this will need to be done. Some machines have a “filter shaker” deposits the collected dust from the filter into the waste hopper.

Max Area Performance

The area that can be cleaned, normally expressed as square metres per hour.

Enables a sweeper to be selected that can clean an area in the shortest time. Bear in mind this is a theoretical figure and factors like the floor surface and the amount and type of dirt to be cleaned have an impact

Machine Weight

The total weight of the machine normally in Kg.

The weight is a consideration for the operator. It is also important to consider the design of the machine making sure that the machine is designed to make the weight manageable. If a machine is too light it may tip over or turn too easily.

Power Source

Manual, Battery or Engine.

Because the range of sweeping machines is so large, a small sweeper may be pushed manually by the operator whereas a large ride on sweeper is often powered by a diesel, petrol or even lpg driven engine. If the machine is to be used inside, this may determine whether a battery or engine powered machine is preferable.

Sound Level

The noise the dryer makes in operation.

This is particularly important if the machine is to be used when other operatives or the public are present, normally the acceptable level is 63dBA.

Choosing a Floor Sweeper

Choosing a floor sweeper is a big decision as efficient floor cleaning is an important part of any cleaning regime in industrial or commercial premises. The type and size of floor, the motive power, as well as the type of dirt being removed influences the choice of machine.

We recommend seeking advice from industry experts, like those at B&G Cleaning systems, who have the floor cleaning equipment experience to help you to decide on the best type of machine for your needs. Give us a call, we’re happy to help.

Hiring a Floor Sweeper

There is always the option to hire a floor sweeper for a trial period to see if it fits the bill, and we gave a range to choose from, with competitive pricing and flexible hire periods.

See industrial floor sweepers image

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