The Versatile Workhorse: An Inside Look at Rotary Brooms for Road Maintenance

This comprehensive guide explores the versatility and benefits of rotary brooms for efficient asphalt maintenance. Discover optimal sweeping performance!

Judson Burdon
Posted by Judson Burdon on March 8

Cleaning driveways using a hand-held broom is so last century. It takes time, energy, and by the time you’ve finished, the day is already over. This is where rotary brooms come in.

Rotary brooms are the unsung heroes of road maintenance. With their spinning brushes and powerful sweeping action, these machines can tackle debris, leaves, sand and other material on paved surfaces quickly and efficiently. 

Want to learn more about these trusty machines? Keep reading for a comprehensive deep dive into the world of rotary brooms! We'll cover everything from types and sizes to optimal operation techniques and maintenance. Gain an appreciation for the versatility and benefits of this important equipment.

Types and Sizes - Finding the Right Fit

Not all rotary brooms are created equal. These machines come in a range of designs to suit different maintenance needs:

  • Front Mount Brooms: Front mount brooms like the Bensink Rotary Broom have brooms that attach directly to the front of a truck, allowing the operator to drive and sweep at the same time. This provides great mobility for clearing shoulders or covering large areas efficiently.
  • Rear Mount Brooms: As the name suggests, rear mount brooms are fixed on the back of a truck. This enables the operator to drive forward while sweeping backwards.
  • Tow Behind Brooms: Tow behind rotary brooms are pulled behind vehicles like trucks or tractors. They come in different widths to maximize sweeping coverage.
  • Walk Behind Brooms: Walk behind rotary brooms are the most compact and maneuverable option. They work well for smaller jobs and tight spaces. Check oput this Bensink Rotary Broom & Sweeper for a clearer picture.
  • Ride-On Brooms: Ride-on rotary brooms allow the operator to ride directly on the machine. This provides excellent stability and traction control.

Size is also an important factor when selecting a rotary broom. Larger broom widths cover more surface area with each pass, while more compact models can access tight spaces and smaller jobs. Choose an appropriate broom width based on the types of areas and tasks you need to maintain. Available broom lengths range from 4 feet for walk-behind units up to 14 feet for heavy-duty road sweeping.

Key Features and Components to Look For

Some key features to look for when selecting a rotary broom include:

  • Brush Material: Poly/steel bristles are very durable for aggressive debris removal. Nylon bristles work well for finer particles and dust. Choose the material suited to your sweeping needs.
  • Adjustable Settings: Look for brooms with adjustable settings for broom angle and ground pressure. This allows customization for different surfaces and conditions.
  • Maneuverability: Features like tight turning radii and articulating frames improve overall maneuverability in tight spaces.
  • Attachments: Water spray systems help suppress dust and airborne particles during sweeping.
  • Hydraulic Drive: Hydraulic motors provide precise speed control for the broom compared to other designs.

The right mix of power, durability and smart design gives you an extremely efficient, high-performance sweeping machine.

rbmgx-mechanicaldriverotarybroom1Bensink Rotary Broom

Operating a Rotary Broom Like a Pro

Proper operation technique is key to achieving optimal sweeping results. Here are some best practice tips:

  • Speed: For light debris, operate at the manufacturer's maximum recommended sweeping speed. Slow down when encountering heavier debris accumulation.
  • Direction: Always sweep perpendicular to the long direction of debris lines for the best pickup.
  • Angle: Adjust the broom angle to closely match the contours of the road. An angle of 5-30 degrees allows for efficient debris throwing.
  • Ground Pressure: Use higher pressure for aggressive sweeping of tough debris. Reduce pressure when working on delicate or sensitive surfaces.
  • Overlaps: Overlap successive passes especially when using wider brooms for complete debris removal across the full width.
  • Safety: Allow for skidding, wear a seat belt, and watch for objects ejected from the broom.

Take the time to become highly proficient at operating the broom settings and controls. A quality sweep starts with a skilled operator.

Maintaining Your Rotary Broom for Peak Performance

Proper maintenance keeps your rotary broom in top working condition:

  • Inspect brushes frequently and replace broom heads immediately if excessively worn or ragged.
  • Lubricate all grease fittings regularly as specified by the manufacturer.
  • Check hydraulic fluid levels and top up as necessary.
  • Inspect hydraulic hoses and lines for any damage. Replace if cracked or leaking.
  • Clean the entire machine thoroughly after every use to remove corrosive debris.

Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for detailed maintenance schedules and procedures. Investing a little preventative maintenance effort extends the broom's lifespan significantly.



Asphalt Surface Preparation

Why Rotary Brooms Are a Smart Investment for Road Maintenance

When evaluating equipment purchases, rotary brooms should be at the top of any road maintenance department’s list. Here’s why they represent a smart investment:

Proven Durability: Well built rotary brooms withstand frequent tough use clearing debris and sediment from road surfaces. With proper care and maintenance, it’s common for these machines to deliver over a decade of reliable service.

Superior Efficiency: The mechanical brush sweeping action covers more area in less time compared to manual methods. Operators also exert less labor. This boosts productivity and reduces costs.


Learn more about the Bensink Rotary Broom

Enhanced Safety: Keeping roads clear of hazardous debris improves safety for motorists. The spinning brushes throw material into a hopper instead of causing dust and reduced visibility.

Flexible Performance: One mid-sized rotary broom tackles a wide range of maintenance needs from clearing shoulders to resurfacing prep. This eliminates the need for multiple machines.

Technological Improvements: Recent models feature better brush control, increased sweeping precision, improved dust suppression and smarter maneuverability in tight spaces.


Moss, dirt and debris can make it tough to prep asphalt

Despite the initial investment, rotary broom’s proving durability, sweeping efficiency and versatility makes them one of the wisest equipment purchases a road department can make. They deliver substantial value over their lengthy lifespan.

Choosing the Right Rotary Broom for Your Needs

Maintenance Need

Ideal Broom Type & Size

Clearing highway shoulders & medians

  • Front mount broom, 8-10 ft width

  • Rear mount broom, 10-14 ft width

Covering large paved areas

  • Tow behind broom, 10-16 ft width

  • Ride-on broom, 12-16 ft width

Accessing confined spaces

Walk behind broom, 4-5 ft width

Removing debris & leaves from parking lots

  • Walk behind broom, 4-6 ft width

  • Compact tow behind broom, 5-7 ft width

Preparing surfaces for sealcoating/resurfacing

  • Rear mount broom, 12-16 ft width

  • Tow behind broom, 12-16 ft width

Cleaning airport tarmacs

  • Heavy-duty tow behind broom, 16+ ft width

  • Industrial ride-on broom, 16+ ft width

Sweeping city streets

  • Tow behind broom, 7-10 ft width

  • Compact ride-on broom, 7-10 ft width

Shop Rotary Brooms Now


FAQ - Answers to Common Rotary Broom Questions

Get answers to some frequently asked questions about rotary brooms:

What kind of maintenance is required for the brushes and components of a rotary broom?
Frequent inspection and immediate replacement of worn brushes is crucial. All grease fittings need regular lubrication. Check hydraulic fluids/hoses. Thorough post-use cleaning removes damaging debris.

Are there specific techniques for operating a rotary broom to ensure optimal cleaning results?
Yes. Always use the recommended sweeping speed and direction for conditions. Adjust broom angle to match the surface. Overlap passes for complete pickup. Slow down for heavy debris.
How does the size and power of a rotary broom affect its performance and efficiency?
Larger brooms cover more surface area efficiently. Compact ones better access tight spaces. More powerful hydraulic motors improve sweeping on rough terrain. Match size and power to needs.

Can a rotary broom help in preparing surfaces for sealcoating or resurfacing?
Absolutely. The aggressive spinning brushes thoroughly clean pavement in preparation for sealcoating or resurfacing. Rotary brooms excel at clearing surfaces.

What advantages does a rotary broom offer compared to traditional sweeping methods?
Rotary brooms actively dislodge and throw debris using mechanical brush action vs passive methods like hand brooms. They sweep more efficiently, create less dust/airborne particles and cover more area.

Is there a recommended speed and direction for using a rotary broom for different tasks?
Yes. Use maximum speed for light debris. Slow down for heavy buildup. Always sweep perpendicular to the long direction of debris lines for optimal pickup.

Are there any attachments or accessories that can enhance the functionality of a rotary broom?
Water spray systems suppress dust. Different width front mount adapters allow one broom to fit various trucks. Lights aid night sweeping visibility. Many attachments can optimize performance.

With their spinning brushes and adjustable settings, rotary brooms can tackle a wide variety of road maintenance tasks. Follow proper operation and maintenance procedures to maximize the versatility and performance of this essential equipment. Keep paved surfaces clear of debris and sediment for smooth, safe travels using these rotary broom insights.

Still have questions? Contact us or call our experts at 1-866-399-5562 for personalized advice!


Topics: Asphalt Maintenance, Crack Repair, Cleaning and Preparation, Asphalt Maintenance Business, Property Management

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