Having your outside areas looking clean and tidy is important to create the right impression of your business. As you’ll know, regular sweeping of entrances, forecourts, car parks etc is essential for safety reasons too, as dirty surfaces can also increase the likelihood or slips and trips. Especially in autumn and winter, when wet or frozen leaves and particles can be a real hazard. Any areas where your staff, or the public, may need to walk to gain access to your premises need your attention, as you have a duty of care to ensure that they are safe to use, so it makes sense to sweep up regularly.
Wouldn’t a broom do the job?
It probably depends on how large your outdoor areas are, and in some cases, manual sweeping with a broom might work, but it can be a slow process, both to sweep and to collect the debris. It won’t always get the best results either, especially on a windy day!
You might already use a floor sweeper inside your premises, but not all are suitable for outdoor use. Outdoor sweeping machines have advanced significantly in recent years, and the machines available today are typically multifunctional, quiet, ergonomically designed and economical to run.
There is a wide range of commercial outdoor sweeping equipment available, to suit different surface areas. Here’s a summary of the main types to consider:
Push sweepers / manual sweepers
Push sweepers, also know as manual sweepers, are quite low cost and are manually pushed around. These are much less tiring to use than a broom, and usually have a hopper to collect the debris, so you can so you can get the job done much more quickly and tidily.
For example, the Nilfisk SW200 / SW250 is a small lightweight machine, which is easy to store when not in use and has no motor or battery, so requires little or no maintenance. The 38 litre hopper can hold quite a lot and is easily emptied.
Battery powered walk-behind sweepers
This is the next level up really, a powered sweeper which simply needs to be guided by the user. Some of these machines can be used indoors and outdoors and they tend to have larger hoppers.
For example, the Nilfisk SW750 is powered by a 12v battery, providing 2 hours running time on hard floors, which is sufficient to cover around 6,000 m2 in one go. With a 60 litre hopper, you can collect quite a lot of rubbish before needing to empty it.
For car parks and other large areas, a ride-on outdoor sweeper enables you to sweep and clear vast spaces quickly. These machines can be petrol/diesel/LPG powered although advances in battery technology now enable very powerful cleaning machines to be battery powered, and we find these to be a popular choice, particularly because they are so quiet.
The Nilfisk SW5500 for example, can be used indoors and outdoors, even in wet weather and can operate effectively on inclines of up to 20%, so it can be used on sloping sites or car park ramps.
For large outdoor areas and street cleaning, municipal sweepers enable operators to keep warm and dry in their cab, whilst picking up all types of waste quickly and storing it in a large waste container. These are typically diesel powered and need to be licensed for road use. Attachments
The Karcher City Sweeper MC 130 for example, can be used on roads and pavements and can handle inclines up to 25%. It also has a range of optional attachments, enabling the machine to be used for snow clearance or park maintenance.
Forklift broom attachments
If you already operate forklifts or tractors, you could also consider a sweeper attachment. These can offer a wide sweeping area and sweep all types of debris quickly. It still needs picking up0 though!
See the Broomex push broom as an example.
For advice about keeping your outdoor areas clean at any time of year, give us a call, we’re happy to help.
Article by Kerrie Leigh 14/10/20.