Pickup Head Maintenance Key to Regen Sweeper Performance

Pickup Head Maintenance Key to Regen Sweeper Performance

Author: Elgin Sweeper/Friday, April 4, 2014/Categories: Air street sweeper

Containing dust, dirt and debris – also known as “the three Ds” – is vital to the function of a regenerative air sweeper. Following a few basic tips to maintain and adjust the pickup head will help ensure the sweeper’s ability to capture and contain the three Ds.

  1. Before the airstream is generated, drop the pickup head into its operating position and pull forward several feet to allow any curtains to fold back and let the pickup head drag into its normal operating position. Measure from the lowest point of the pressure slot opening to the bottom of the dirt shoe. It should be 1- to 1½-inches. Watch out for manhole covers more than 1½-inches high. This adjustment will ensure the pressure slot opening has sufficient clearance from the sweeping surface so it will not be damaged.
  2. The pickup head’s dirt shoes should be floating ¼- to ½-inch off the sweeping surface. This suspension is accomplished by four, six or eight springs distributed around the pickup head at each corner, which support the weight of the pickup head, allowing it to “float” on the road surface. The pickup head’s configuration will determine the number of springs. It can be impossible to balance a pickup head if the pressure side of the head is filled with caked-on dirt, which adds weight to the head. This is a good reason to periodically remove, inspect and clean the pickup head. When the vacuum system (airstream) is active, this slight float will limit dirt shoe wear as the pickup head makes contact with the sweeping surface. Normally, the pickup head only has contact when the vacuum system is at sweeping RPMs or speeds.
  3. When inspecting the pickup head, take note of the condition of the curtains. Any rips, tears, holes, missing sections or deformations will require replacement. Curtains are vital to the sweeper’s ability to seal the pickup head to the sweeping surface, ensuring the debris under the head will remain there to be conveyed to the hopper. Any discrepancies in the curtaining will allow the blast air from a pressure slot to blow material out from under the head, creating a dust cloud as the sweeper operates.
  4. The pickup head is built in two pieces. One side receives the pressurized air flow from an air pump of some kind, commonly an impeller. This pressurized air flow must be metered and directed to create the optimum discharge into the vacuum side of the pickup head to dislodge stubborn debris that has adhered to the sweeping surface. The discharge is commonly controlled and metered through a pressure slot with specific dimensions to best utilize this airflow, stream or blast, or what we like to call a full-width air knife. If the pickup head is lacking in the desired performance, the pressure slot openings can be manipulated through trial and error to maximize the blast air’s performance. If this step does not enhance the performance of the head, return all adjustments to the factory recommendations (normally a 3/8-inch pressure slot opening).

We’ll be back again with additional tips on other aspects of regen sweeper maintenance.

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