Clean Up Crew: Get Sweeping with the Right Broom for Your Skid Steer or CTL

John Deere skid steer and broom attachment

Construction gets messy. Luckily, there are broom attachments for skid steers and compact track loaders to help clean up. These brooms are perfect for removing dirt or debris that accumulates on site or even snow in the winter. When it comes to selecting one, there are two main styles — angle and pickup.

“Angle brooms are great attachments in applications that simply require dirt or debris to be pushed away or off of a surface such as a road or parking lot,” says Luke Gribble, solutions marketing manager at John Deere. “Angle brooms can also be used in light snow removal or sidewalk clearing. The broom can be angled from inside of the cab to help control the direction that the dirt or debris is pushed. Pickup brooms are also great tools for doing similar tasks but also can pickup the dirt or debris instead of just pushing it away. This helps create less dust on a site and is great when thinking about utilizing something like this indoors.”

Push brooms are another option for operators who need a simple, economical broom that’s easy to use. These brooms are ideal for pushing dirt, leaves, snow or other outdoor materials along as you drive, reducing the chance of flying stones or debris that might damage nearby buildings, vehicles or coworkers.

So, how do you decide which broom is best for you? Let’s take a closer look at angle and pickup broom options.

Werk-Brau Introduces Angle Brooms for Wheel Loaders

Werk Brau broom attachment

Werk-Brau’s new hydraulically driven Wheel Loader Angle Brooms are ideal for cleaning and clearing of snow, dirt, debris grass and more. They are available in 8-, 10- and 12-ft widths, each with 30 degrees of swing left or right of center. Polypropylene brush with wire filaments provides long service life even in adverse conditions. Hydraulically driven brooms are powered by a standard dual hydraulic motor capable of 28 to 40 gpm flow (standard), with dual hydraulic motors for low flow (16 to 24 gpm), or high-flow (40 to 60 gpm) motor available as options. A loader mounting kit is provided along with a storage stand for simple mounting, dismounting, and storage. Sight indicator flags are provided for safety. Broom speeds of up to 250 rpm are attainable, depending on the prime mover, making this angle broom an ideal attachment for wheel loaders of all makes, models and sizes. For more info, visit werk-brau.com.

Angle

As Gribble said, angle brooms are ideal for jobs that need dirt or debris swept away, rather than gathered. These brooms are commonly used on parking lots, driveways, streets, sidewalks and factory floors. Virnig product manager Tyler Monson points out that since this style of broom doesn’t offer any capture ability, it may not be advantageous in applications where dust control is a priority. These applications include working indoors or for use in residential neighborhoods where it could result in debris being pushed into yards or driveways.

If an angle broom suits your needs, there are some options available to make it fit your applications even more. For example, Monson explains that a hydraulic angle allows the operator to change the broom angle from the comfort of the cab. It should be noted that an electrical connection is required for angle brooms with this option.

Another option is a deflector. This option gives the operator more coverage from flying material and prevents over-spray of gravel and snow. Monson says it increases an operator’s visibility by reducing the amount of airborne dust and debris. A deflector is a great choice for jobs that require dust control and increased operator visibility.

Virnig broom attachment

Pickup

The goal of pickup brooms is the collection and removal of debris. They’re also the perfect solution if dust suppression is necessary. Monson says pickup brooms are commonly used on docks and in warehouses, construction sites, roadways, factories and sidewalks. They also lend a hand in clearing parking lots of debris after snow melts.

“A pickup broom not only sweeps but collects and dumps debris using a bucket attached underneath,” says Monson. “They often feature a bi-directional motor that can operate in forward or reverse. This allows the operator to drive forward while collecting debris and to drive up to a building or loading dock and reverse the brush to collect debris while backing up.”

If dust suppression is particularly important to an operator or job, manufacturers offer water kits (both for angle and pickup styles) to use in conjunction with the brooms. Water kits release a mist which helps knock down dust. Operators will have better visibility and won’t have to worry about dust settling which would have to be reswept with a waterless system.

“These systems are effective but add extra time and upfront cost to the equation: They require water storage somewhere on the attachment or machine (sometimes on the roof or on the back of the loader),” adds Monson.

Virnig also offers an industry-exclusive pickup broom with an internal water tank.

Broom Best Practices: John Deere’s Luke Gribble Offers Operation Advice

When running on a broom on the front of a piece of compact equipment, it is best to try and utilize full hydraulic power to the attachment so that it effectively pushes and pickups up as much dirt and debris as possible with every pass. At the same time, controlling ground speed is also important. Often, the machine will need to travel at less than full capable ground speed to ensure the broom has time to fully push or capture dirt and debris.

Selection

Once you’ve decided which broom style fits your needs, next is selecting the right one. First, you should decide if owning or renting is the better option for your fleet and finances. Both are popular choices for this type of attachment.

“For contractors that utilize these attachments on nearly every jobsite, owning makes the most sense,” says Gribble. “However, rental companies often have these available as well for those that don’t need the tools on every site. In instances where the tool will be kept at one location for use over most of its life, owning would be preferred over renting.”

Purchasing a new angle or pickup broom attachment can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000. However, Monson says that features, such as a water tank or hydraulic angling, can add an additional $1,000 to $3,000 to that price tag.

Aside from style and price, some main considerations include the broom’s compatibility with the host machine, as well as its width and weight. Virnig’s Monson discusses these in depth:

  1. Compatibility: The attachment must be compatible with your loader. Match the specifications of the attachment to the host machine — like the recommended operating capacity and auxiliary hydraulic flow range (gpm and psi).
  2. Width: A good rule of thumb is to select a broom with a sweeping width wider than the tires or tracks of your loader. But keep in mind, a broom wider than the tires or tracks may limit access to certain areas. Anything smaller than the tire/track width results in less surface area coverage — especially if it’s an angle broom which, when angled 30 degrees, covers less area than when straight. For example, the sweeping width of a 72-in. Virnig Angle Broom is 72 in. when straight and 64 in. when fully angled. A wider attachment will cover more ground, but it may be harder to maneuver in tight spaces.
  3. Weight: Look through the specs to find the overall weight. A heavier broom usually means heavier duty since the weight is likely attributed to thicker steel and additional bracing. Specifically, look at the hood and find the thickness and steel grade. A heavier broom will have thicker steel throughout the broom and a heavier hopper bucket, creating a durable attachment.
    Another important factor is the brand. As always, buyers should look at a broom’s quality, durability and the level of support from the dealer.

Pam Kleineke is managing editor of Compact Equipment.