15 October 1999

Powered sweepers take the effort out of cleaning chore

A powered sweeper does the job of keeping farmyards neat

and tidy quicker and easier than a hand brush. Peter Hill

reviews models that collect as they sweep as they clean

With increasing emphasis on farm assurance and not only practising good hygiene but being seen to do so, there is value in keeping areas outside, as well as inside, buildings as clean and tidy as practicalities allow.

A plain power brush goes some way to answering this call; one that collects debris at the same time for easy disposal goes one step better.

Users certainly have no shortage of choice, whatever type of materials handling machinery they may want to use it on, with models for tractor linkage, tractor loader, telehandler, skid-steer and forklift pallet fork mounting.

Bomford Turner, Dowdeswell and Suire produce dustpan collectors as optional equipment for their tractor linkage mounted rotary brushes. Of modest capacity compared with true sweeper-collectors, they add disposal convenience to these devices which can be operated straight-ahead or angled to accumulate debris to one side or the centre of the yard.

The bucket brush is another neat idea, converting a standard grain or earth bucket into a sweeper-collector. No shortage of capacity with these, nor any problem getting rid of the accumulated debris – just raise the loader arms or telehandler boom, tip the bucket and the suspended sweeper swings out of the way.

Main drawback is that, for the most part, they best operate only with the vehicle travelling in reverse. Add a front cowl to the Bunce BBS, however, and it will work going forwards. Debris is swept up and over the brush, so the bucket can be carried a little way clear of the floor.

If a quick change-over between implements is desirable, a purpose-made sweeper-collector is the best option. With channels for pallet forks or couplings to go on to telehandler, tractor/wheeled loader or skid-steer loader implement frames, these devices can be quickly coupled and dropped off.

And because they are designed to work forwards from the outset, they also have the attraction of easier and more convenient operation. Typically, they have decent debris capacity at up to 600 litre (21cu ft).

Like Craigs FLC models and the Sturdiluxe Dirtmaster, the Suton Telesweep from Gurney Reeve has a coupling that allows some independent movement of vehicle and sweeper to ensure the latter follows surface contours. It is also operated with a carriage tipped forward over the machine so that implement crowd can be used to empty the hopper without additional hydraulics. &#42

FLC model sweeper-collector from Craig Tractor Services.