In the sweeping industry there are three common types of street sweeping technologies in use. To most of us, various types of street sweeper trucks may look much the same, but it is important to realize there are different technologies behind each type that are intended for different industries and purposes.

There are three common types of sweeper technology. These three are classified as either Mechanical Broom Sweepers, Regenerative Air Sweepers, and Vacuum Sweepers. While each street sweeper type has in common removing debris from pavement, they each have specific unique features and benefits for removing different types of debris and cleaning the surfaces where they are operated.

Mechanical Broom Sweepers

Mechanical Broom Street Sweeper






Mechanical Broom Sweepers can normally be identified by the large rotating broom at the rear of the sweeper. This type of technology works by flicking the debris coming up from the paved surface onto a conveyor that pulls the debris into a hopper. Mechanical Broom Sweepers are most effective for heavier debris such as trash, sand and gravel and are not as effective for use with light and fine materials or for clearing material from cracks. Mechanical Broom Sweepers are commonly used in the construction industry for picking up heavy gravel and asphalt milling.

Vacuum Sweeper

Regenerative Air Sweeper






The easiest way to understand a vacuum sweeper is to think of it as a huge version of your household vacuum. Vacuum Sweepers commonly work by removing surface debris with a side broom that moves debris back into the pickup pattern of a high suction nozzle that frees up particulates from the surface and suctions them into an on board container. These are commonly used for municipal street sweeping to keep roadways safe and storm drains cleared. Vacuum sweepers can typically pick up nearly all particles underneath the suction nozzle-which makes them a highly effective tool for uneven roads with cracks and potholes. This type of sweeper is commonly used for edge cleaning street gutters that tend to get filled with gravel, small debris, trash and leaves.

Regenerative Air Sweeper

Regen Air






Regenerative Air Sweepers were first introduced in the middle of the 1960’s decade. This technology uses an engine powered blower that blasts air across the entire width of the sweeper. With a suction action similar to a vacuum sweeper, dirt and debris are sucked up into a hopper where the debris and dust remains while the air is cleaned by a dust separator and sent once again to the blast nozzle. This creates a closed loop cycle where the air is continuously recycled. This type sweeper is used for parking lot sweeping, street sweeping, and dust mitigation. 

Thanks to continued new innovations and improvements, street sweeping technology is constantly evolving to provide more thorough and environmentally friendly solutions. Clean Sweep is a regional industry leader providing residential, commercial and industrial sweeping services to business operations and municipalities across our region. Contact us today for your sweeping needs!  

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Clean Sweep Inc.
4100 Dayton Boulevard, Chattanooga, TN 37415
423.877.9192 - -