The new street sweeping team comprises two Nilfisk City Ranger 3500 machines, one of which is also equipped with a weed brush and winter attachments, as well as a road sweeper truck, each with a regular operator and qualified relief personnel.
“There are several tasks which we can solve more efficiently and effectively when we have two City Ranger 3500 machines at our disposal, and where they can supplement the large road sweeper. For example, turning areas in residential districts, paths, in particular bicycle paths, and traffic islands, where it is more practical to use a city sweeping machine with a small turning radius,” says Aksel B. Nielsen, one of the foremen at the Municipality of Sønderborg’s parks and streets department.
“We have also decided to take steps to remove weeds from along the edges of paths. Until now, they have been scraped away with a shovel mounted on a digger when maintaining the verges. However, we are now switching to using the weed brush for the edges, and in fact generally using weed brushes for weed control rather than burners.”
“We have also been given an extra task – cleaning the pavements that run alongside private properties which do not have a driveway running out into the road in question. Up until now, it has been the property-owner’s responsibility to clear snow and clean the pavement, but after a judgement it is now down to the municipality, which for us means an extra 75 km of pavement,” he says.
More hours than expected
The Municipality of Sønderborg’s parks and streets department has decided to make cleaner streets an internal priority.
“In other words, no extra funding is being granted, but we are expected to ensure that the city looks neat and tidy. When big investments are being made in new hotels, for example, and there are large numbers of tourists visiting the city, the streets, pavements and paths need to be cleaned to a high standard,” says Aksel B. Nielsen.
The Municipality of Sønderborg purchased its first City Ranger 3500 in 2012. The reason why it has notched up approx. 3,400 operating hours in the space of only three years is because it has been used for more assignments than expected.
“We have had a couple of mild ‘green’ winters, and even though it was always the intention to use it for winter work, the mild winters have actually meant more operating hours because we use the weed brush much more than when it’s cold,” says Erik Erbs, another foreman who is in charge of servicing and workshops at the municipality’s parks and streets department.
“Sweeping the bicycle paths and pavements in the Municipality of Sønderborg is not something which is put out to tender. It is something we handle, and we expect one of the machines to clock up approx. 1,200 hours annually, while the other machine will probably run for approx. 700 hours each year.”
“We are very satisfied with the first machine, and some of the extra assignments include using it as a pure suction machine on grass areas, removing litter and waste after large events before the area reverts to being used again for ball games. We have found that it has outstanding suction power performance, also for these sorts of jobs.”
“Some years, it has also seen many hours of operation during the winter, and here too it has certainly lived up to expectations. We had the wander hose modified so that it is permanently mounted on top of the machine and automatically retracts after use. Our experience here has been extremely positive, and one of the requirements for the new machines was that they were modified in the same way. However, we have decided against having the high-pressure cleaner, simply because they have not been used very much,” says Erik Erbs.
Very satisfactory service
Ronnie Ivers, foreman at the parks and streets department’s workshop, says that the service provided by Nilfisk dealer Hans Holm Maskinforretning A/S and by Nilfisk Outdoor has undoubtedly been a contributing factor to the Municipality of Sønderborg’s decision to again choose suction/sweeper machines from Nilfisk.
“We have received excellent service from both the dealer and the factory. The dealer even sent a technician here at 16:00 one Christmas Eve because there was a problem that needed fixing.”
Soon, the Municipality of Sønderborg is going to start experimenting to find out whether the street suction sweeper can be used for one other task – emptying sand traps and sucking manholes clean.
“We have a lot of manholes in places which are impossible to access with large suction sweeper trucks. The suction effect on the Nilfisk City Ranger 3500 is more than adequate for the purpose, but there is a problem with the suction hose. It needs to be stronger, and we don’t yet know whether it is technically possible to make it so,” says Erik Erbs.
In addition to sweeping and suction tasks for the parks and streets department at the Municipality of Sønderborg, Aksel B. Nielsen and Erik Erbs are counting on internal sales of machine hours with the street suction sweeper, for example to schools and institutions which maintain their own outdoor areas.
“It is a highly effective machine for the sort of areas which are found at institutions, so we can offer a very attractive square-metre price,” says Aksel B. Nielsen.
One of the operators, Jan Jeppesen, has worked with the old City Ranger, and he is delighted to be changing to the new models.
"It’s a fantastic machine to use. I have a really good workplace with a comfortable seat and excellent all-round vision. The control panel has been changed so that you now have a touchscreen instead of a panel with buttons, but basically the machine is the same,” says Jan Jeppesen, and demonstrates how easily he can negotiate benches and flower containers in the small square opposite Sønderborg Castle.