Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Slow and Steady: The Street Sweeping Doctrine

Street sweepers aren’t exactly the fastest rides on the road. Then again, why would they need to be? You would want to stay for a longer period on one spot to make sure it’s spotless.

As always, the speed-accuracy trade-off comes to mind. Public utilities, just like companies, run on time; the longer they take in doing their job, the more impatient the public grows over certain inconveniences. However, cleaners also want to make sure they did everything according to plan. If the same problem occurs a second time, they know they did something wrong.

For street sweepers, compromise is the key. Experts say the optimal forward speed for street cleaning with these sophisticated vehicles is at 5 mph, which is as fast as running. This ensures balance between the time it takes to clean the roads and the quality of work done. To be able to adapt to various conditions, experts set the ideal speed range between 3 and 7 mph.

At such speeds, many say it may take more than two weeks to clean an entire city or town. Public utilities often weigh the cost of operating a street sweeper with the time it takes them to clean the city or town. The average cost per mile plays at around $100. This includes, but are not limited to, the pay for the street sweeper operators and maintenance of the unit.


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