The official voice of  The Cleaning Show


Published 30th June, 2022 by Jack Homewood


Helping local authorities achieve green ambitions

As local authorities work towards a greener future, Paul Beddows, head of sales at Dawsongroup sweepers, explains why the municipal sector must embrace alternative fuels when it comes to road sweeping.

Municipal fleets play a vital role in keeping our towns and cities safe and clean. Road sweepers, in particular, are a key vehicle in any local authority’s municipal fleet, removing dangerous materials from pavements and roads, keeping gutters clear and reducing the risk of flooding.

With an estimated 1110 to 2100 tonnes of debris per street acre removed each year, road sweepers cover a lot of ground, on a very regular basis, and without them our environment would deteriorate very quickly. They are essential pieces of equipment that are used daily. But as we step towards greener operations, we must consider the impact of every vehicle in our fleet.

Fuelling change

It is a well-known fact that petrol and diesel contribute significantly to global warming, with transport remaining the largest emitting sector, responsible for 27% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK [1]. However, with red diesel no longer legal to use in certain sectors, and with our Net Zero deadline on the horizon, we need to start making changes now to the way we fuel our fleets.

Major businesses are also pledging to go green with their commercial fleets. Just last summer, seven of Britain’s major companies - BP, BT, Direct Line Group, Royal Mail, ScottishPower, Severn Trent, and Tesco - came together to help accelerate the mass adoption of electric vehicles across the UK.

Forming the Electric Vehicle Fleet Accelerator (EVFA), these seven companies committed to converting their fleets to electric vehicles by 2030, if both industry and government future proof the electricity network and invest in grid capabilities and EV charging infrastructure.

This pressure to reduce emissions and choose greener fuel sources also extends to local authorities, many of which are increasingly investing in electric when it comes to their fleets. But what about municipal vehicles?

Going green

The benefits of going electric are undeniable. An investment in electric road sweepers will not only cut emissions but it will save councils significant amounts of money on fuel each year, when compared with a diesel or petrol alternative. Electric sweepers also cut noise pollution levels considerably.

We have already started to see some councils making their own green commitments in an attempt to reduce their carbon emissions. For example, Harrow Council has recently welcomed its first fully electric street sweeper to its municipal fleet in a step towards the authority’s carbon neutral pledge. And Watford Borough Council will also be welcoming an electric road sweeper to their fleet soon.

While this is encouraging to see, and these councils should be applauded for making green investments, we need to see this type of uptake happening across the country. Electric vehicles should become commonplace in local authority fleets. The initial investment might be substantial, but the impacts on the environment, pollution levels and the bottom line make it more than worth it.

Electric sweepers

Top marks for cleaning on education campus

Located in Gloucestershire, Hartpury University and Hartpury College are leading specialist education providers in agriculture, animal, equine, sport, and veterinary nursing. The 370-hectare campus is home to university and college-level students studying degrees, A-levels and diplomas, as well as undertaking industry research.

We spoke to campus operations manager, Stephen Parker, to ask why Hartpury has recently swapped to using the Multiwash floorcare system from Truvox International.

“Hartpury is quite diverse, as we have everything from the world’s largest equine educational facility to cutting-edge sports facilities, so maintaining exceptional cleaning is quite a challenge,” said Stephen Parker. “We have 1100 students living on site and another 300 off-site. We have 370 hectares of land with about 440 buildings, so Hartpury is like a village and my role is to keep the campus running safely and efficiently. We have around 25 cleaning staff who look after all of the public areas, including classrooms, gyms and all of the academic areas, plus the accommodation side across 45 blocks. In addition, there are industrial requirements, such as road sweeping and window and gutter cleaning.

“The pandemic had a noticeable impact on cleaning regimes. When we returned from lockdown, the focus was on hygiene and cleanliness and cleaning was all of a sudden thrust into the spotlight. It went from being a behind the scenes out-of-hours activity to a front of house publicly visible process. When I started here about eight years ago, most cleaning was carried out between 4 pm and midnight, and that brought its own issues around staff motivation. Now our cleaning teams start early in the morning and are around during the day. Not only is that easier to manage, but it also gives people a focus that we have cleaning operatives, not fairies! It makes cleaning visible and that absolutely reassures people because they actually see that it's happening. I'm a great believer in perception, so I see no reason not to continue operating this way.”

Reliability is key to success

Achieving the correct levels of cleaning requires a good and well-trained team working with the right machinery.

“We had been using another rotary floor cleaner and it lacked reliability,” continued Parker. “The machines were constantly breaking down and needing repairs, and the maintenance contract was expensive, with some machines needing servicing three times a year. Our supplier is Lydney, Gloucestershire-based DJB Supplies, and managing director Dave Bruce suggested we try the Multiwash system from Truvox International. We ran one for a year and we were impressed. It was easy to use and consistently reliable. We replaced all the existing machines with Multiwash, and we haven’t looked back. We’re now looking to adopt the new Multiwash Pro.

“The Multiwash machines are so easy to use and maintain and DJB Supplies gave our staff training when they first arrived to ensure the units are always working at their best, showing them how to strip the units down and check them over when required. Multiwash provides an exceptional quality of cleaning across a wide variety of flooring types, but for me the best benefit is that I don’t have to worry about them breaking down all the time like our previous machines. I talked about the perception that front of house cleaning provides and another benefit of Truvox’s Multiwash is that it looks extremely professional, matching in with its performance.”

Effective on all floor types

The Hartpury campus features many different flooring types, from carpets to hard floors. The gyms have a rubberised floor that can’t be swept, and straightforward vacuuming doesn’t work. Parker continued: “Multiwash provides the perfect solution, and we even use it on outside areas such as terraces where it does a great job on cleaning decking. From reptiles, llamas and wallabies, to horses, we have a lot of animals on site, so another benefit of Multiwash is that we don’t always need to use potentially harmful chemicals to achieve the cleaning results we need. We can use water and we often just use plain warm water to clean the carpets.

“On a busy campus, reliability is a key issue to ensure success and the reliability of the Multiwash machines from Truvox International means that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to any other educational establishment. I’d also recommend DJB Supplies for their support in a seamless transition to this new cleaning solution. Moving to Multiwash has given me one less thing to worry about and the machines deliver measurably better results than our previous units.”


Floorcare maintenance starts with machine selection

Daniel Took, head of professional product marketing at Kärcher UK, discusses the benefits of using scrubber dryers to clean large surface areas and what facilities managers should look for when choosing a scrubber dryer.

As part of the highly effective PDIR (preventative, daily, interim and restorative) cleaning method, the daily cleaning of internal spaces is a must to ensure overall cleanliness. When dirt enters internal spaces, swift removal is key to preventing long-term damage and particle build-up. Whilst carpeted areas can be easily cleaned using a vacuum cleaner, larger laminated and exposed surfaces require a time efficient and effective solution - making scrubber dryers a crucial part of any facilities manager’s cleaning arsenal.

Offering great reliability and exceptional overall cleaning performance, scrubber dryers are ideal for open spaces and corridors as they effectively tackle dirt by loosening it in a single pass, leaving surfaces dry, clean and safe to prevent trips and falls. Depending on the size of the facility there are two different types of scrubber dryers that should be considered. Walk-behind scrubber dryers are ideal for narrow spaces as they offer greater manoeuvrability, allowing users to get closer to vertical surfaces. For large open spaces ride-on scrubber dryers are most effective due to their large onboard water tanks that enable users to clean for longer and tackle a wider area.

Added technologies such as speed-dependent water dosing technology makes these machines particularly adept for cleaning workspaces. The speed-dependent water dosing technology reduces water usage by restricting the water flow as the scrubber dryer slows down or passes around bends, saving up to 50% of the water used. With 110 litre water tanks on board the B 110 R scrubber dryer from Kärcher, this saving ensures that the ground dries faster and that more space can be covered without the need to stop.

With desks, storage units and furniture usually in place throughout workspaces, it is imperative to ensure the equipment used is made from robust materials. As users get closer to vertical surfaces whilst cleaning flooring, there is the possibility of collisions with various obstacles. There are two main areas facility managers should consider when selecting a scrubber dryer for daily use. First, the brush-head must be secured in a sturdy casing, ideally with an overhanging lip to protect the brush. Robust aluminium brush heads are ideal as they offer high-quality cleaning performance and low backlash, reducing noise levels during cleaning by up to 10 dB(A).

Secondly, the squeegee at the rear of the machine should be made with a tear-resistant suction lip. Newer machines now come with supporting arms for the squeegees made from sturdy die-cast aluminium to help maintain shape and allow users to continue to clean for longer. Breakages from tears and accidental collisions could otherwise result in downtime for the machine whilst it is being repaired.

New technological developments have enabled scrubber dryers to be an effective solution for facilities managers operating with teams of multiple staff - from built-in height-adjustable seats enabling workers to find the perfect seating position to the innovative KIK key system that enables facilities managers to lock the scrubber dryer to pre-set for consistent cleaning levels.

With the pressures on facilities managers to tackle dirt daily, ensuring the right machines are used is a must for productivity and efficiency. Making use of technological advancements and the overall effectiveness of scrubber dryers is a sure-fire way to maintain a clean working environment.


New range sweeps in with high performance

The latest balimat range of high-performance sweepers from Taski offers advanced design and innovative features. The five models in the range are ideal for all types of indoor and outdoor applications and each model incorporates Taski’s patented Tandem Roller System (TRS) which is designed to give a perfect sweeping result. Twin roller brushes direct dust and debris into the centre where it is swept into the machine’s hopper. The range promotes productivity with each model offering a wider working width and larger hopper than comparable previous-generation machines. This means they can cover larger areas more quickly with longer intervals between emptying.

The balimat 45 is a lightweight and manoeuvrable manual sweeper for smaller outdoor or indoor areas. It needs no power or batteries.

The balimat 2300 is a small walk-behind battery sweeper. Its low body height means it can be used in confined and congested areas. It can sweep up to 2300m2 each hour and run for up to three hours between charges. The balimat 3300 is a walk-behind battery powered sweeper for larger areas, covering up to 3300m2 and hour and running for 3.5 hours between charges.

The ride-on balimat 6500 sweeper is the largest model in the range. It can cover up to 6500m2 an hour and operate for up to 3.5 hours between charges. An HD version incorporates a hydraulically activated hopper.

The battery powered models in the range all feature simple controls and intuitive dashboards. The batteries offer long run times between charges. Advanced battery and charger technology combine to ensure fast and energy-efficient recharging.

Like all machines in the extended Taski range, the balimat sweepers are designed to be easy to maintain and service. The brushes can be adjusted without tools, and all daily check and routine service points are easily accessible and coloured bright yellow for simple identification.


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