Buyers' Guide - Blowers and sweepers

Sally Drury looks at blowers and sweepers that can be handheld, pushed, vehicle-mounted or towed.

STIHL sweepers: the firm has launched three new models on the market this year - image: STIHL
STIHL sweepers: the firm has launched three new models on the market this year - image: STIHL

Q: Is there something quiet I can use to sweep the paved area outside a chapel?

A: STIHL entered the floor sweeper market this year with three models for both indoor and outdoor sweeping. The range includes "push-to-sweep" models, plus one with battery-powered brushes, which sweep up about six times faster than a conventional broom. The models are suitable for sweeping pavements, forecourts and yards quietly outdoors, as well as large indoor areas such as leisure and shopping centres, workshops and warehouses.

Q: Can you suggest anything for sweeping the yard at the depot?

A: There are plenty of suitable powered brooms for this purpose. The BroomEX PH hydraulic push broom from Broadwood International is a new range. In 100cm and 120cm working widths, these machines are the fastest BroomEx pedestrian sweepers and feature variable brush speed, height-adjustable handlebars and a range of accessories such as a collector box.

Q: Is there broom I can use on the front of a ride-on mower?

A: Several companies, including Etesia, offer attachments for front mounting to mowers. New is the PTO drive front-mounted sweeper from Kertsen UK. This is designed to attach onto the F80 Series of Kubota up-front mowing machines and has a 1.5m sweeping width to ensure the wheel widths are well covered, even when the sweeper is angled.

Q: What is the latest news in garden vacuums?

A: The SCAG Giant-Vac YV garden vacuum is now available in the UK from Simon Tullett Machinery.

With a 5.5hp engine and 65cm rake, the vacuum comes with a 280-litre bag designed to minimise dust output and maximise airflow.

Renowned Billy Goat vacuum collectors, ideal for landowners, parks, gardens and estate management, are now distributed by Henton & Chattell.

Schiller, producer of Little Wonder vacuums, has developed a new Advanced Performance Vacuum to clear up and collect stones, bottles, cans, leaves and other debris from industrial and residential areas, commercial sites and car parks. Based on Little Wonder's High Performance Vac, the new model is self-propelled.

Q: Is there a small weedbrush available on the market?

A: Part of Kersten UK's Utility range, the push-along WB40HP "Gnat" Weedbrush has a 5.5hp Honda petrol engine, hydraulic variable speed transmission and drive to the brush.

Q: Are there any new tractor-mounted blowers?

A: Wiedenmann UK has launched its quietest and most effective blower to date. The Mega Twister has a 230 degs swivel action - 50 degs further than the existing Whisper Twister - which gives the operator more control and allows blowing in all directions. Leaves and debris can be blown continuously with no need for the operator to leave the cab, back-up or turn the unit round. The nozzle can be set vertically, so the air stream can be adjusted to the prevailing conditions.

Targeted at open spaces, parkland areas and golf courses, the Mega Twister will work on hilly areas - its large support wheels "float" with the undulations of the ground.

The "whisper" turbine in the Mega Twister gives airflow of 390m3 per minute at 50m per second, while keeping noise low. A side-routed airflow system operates with spent air discharge through a low-level air vent, allowing the ground to absorb almost all of its noise. Combined, these two developments mean the Mega Twister works more quietly than the tractor and makes the unit suitable for use in sensitive areas such as hospitals, schools and residential sites. It is suitable for tractors of 40hp upwards.

The three-point-hitch B7 blower from Netherland manufacturer Trilo has been updated as a new model - the standard hydraulic operated 180 degs reverse spout has been replaced with a straight spout. According to UK distributor The Grass Group, this adaptation allows it to be used by any compact tractor because hydraulics are not needed to move the reverse spout. In addition to a reduced purchased price, the unit is more compact and stays inside the tractor dimensions.

Q: What is different about the new Wiedenmann Super 600?

A: A step up from the 500, the Super 600 increases the load from 2,500 litres to 4,500 litres. Like its smaller brother, the Super 600 combines a flail mower, scarifier and sweeper in one unit. The working width is 1.6m. In-cab controls allow the operator to change function, lift and lower the head and empty the collector without leaving the driving seat.

Q: Is there a broom suitable for sweeping up top-dressings, peat materials and sand?

A: The new SweepEX MegaMax push broom from Broadwood International doubles as a bulk volume mover and can be attached to forklifts, telehandlers, skid-steers or tractors. The end brushes on the 1.5m-, 1.8mand 2.4m-wide units are twisted so they pull material away from walls.


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