Gardner’s 2006 Sterling SC8000 Elgin Eagle, a mechanical street sweeper, was busy before and after this weekend’s Festival of the Trails. It cleans about 190 lane miles annually. Photo courtesy of the the City of Gardner

Sweeping is a tough job, but it’s necessary to keep Gardner’s 192 lane miles of streets clean.
Chugging along virtually unnoticed before and after major events, as well as on routine cleaning missions, is Gardner’s 2006 Sterling SC8000 Elgin Eagle, a mechanical street sweeper.
“It has two engines that run on diesel fuel,” said Jody Demaline, public works superintendent. One engine runs the cab and chassis, another runs the brooms and debris elevator.
“It is very easy to drive, a lot like an automatic moving van,” he said.
Although there are many types of street sweepers – some are like vacuums or blowers – Gardner’s Elgin Eagle works in a way that debris is displaced with gutter and side brooms, then moved into the tract of a large mechanical broom at the tail of the vehicle.
“This broom is very large and rotates fast enough to lift all types of roadway debris onto a debris elevator,” Demaline said. “The elevator is a conveyor that revolves very quickly, lifting the debris up and throwing it into a debris’ body dumpster.
“The dumpster is emptied as often as needed.  This type of sweeper is very efficient with all types of heavy, wet, small and large debris.  The sweeper uses water sprayers to reduce the amount of dust being lifted into the air.”
The street sweeper will be toiling away both before and after Gardner’s up coming Festival of the Trails, as well as each day of the Johnson County Fair in July. It helps keep heavy trafficked areas clean.
“Believe it or not, it is fun to drive, in my opinion,” Demaline said. “It is very satisfying to accomplish roadway cleaning and debris removal with a street sweeper, the results are instantaneous.“