The Best of the Best in Airport Sweeping from TYMCO and Elgin

TYMCO Equipment Gets Into Every Nook and Cranny
Tom Rokas of TYMCO said, “A Regenerative Air Sweeping System is the best means of sweeping on a runway. It gives a very clean sweep.” Any situation where expansion joints are present on a surface, a sweeper must have the ability to get into all the cracks and crevices. Rokas says a brush is limited in its ability to do so. A Regenerative Air Sweeping (RAS) system can not only handle the more intricate cleaning job, but it can also get the job done much faster.

Magnets are also an added benefit to equipment and assist specifically with Foreign Object Debris, or FOD. Rokas said customers like to go the route of a magnet sweeper combo when dealing with airport sweeping. The company is also featuring a new, more powerful magnet that mounts on the front part of a sweeper truck where the front bumper would typically go. TYMCO now offers a high power magnet assembly that is 500 gauss mag units at two inches.

Sweeper trucks operating around airplanes leave much room for scary situations, although, Rokas said with a laugh, “I haven’t heard of any incidents lately.” That could be due, in large part, to the fact that anyone operating a sweeper truck at an airport needs to be highly trained. He said, “You’ve got to be aware of what’s going on.”

Pilots will turn on a blinking warning light on the outside of the plane as a signal for sweepers driving along the gate area. Rokas said if that warning light goes on, “We were told something’s gonna happen and you better move out of the way.” In addition, all sweepers are in radio contact with ground control, and TYMCO even offers extra connections in their equipment for ease of installation specifically for airport sweepers.

Rokas recalled one interesting story that occurred while he was visiting Norman Maley International Airport in Jamaica. He was there working with sweeping equipment and said that every time he and his co-worker would go to and from the airport, they would have to get out of the truck, which would be searched and they would be subjected to a pat down. It didn’t matter if they’d only been in the airport area a short period of time, once they exited, they had to get out of their truck and go through the entire process all over again. Rokas said, “They were a good group of people, but they were very strict.”

Pick a Crosswind, Any Crosswind
Sweeper Product Manager Brian Giles said, “Elgin’s Crosswind FSX with optional air blast is used exclusively to sweep airport runways. This model is specifically designed for high-speed runway sweeping and blowing off potential foreign object debris (FOD)—including cargo items, rocks, pavement fragments, sand, trash and vehicle parts—off of active runways and taxiways.” The Crosswind FSX features a turbo-charged auxiliary engine and a unique pickup head and impeller capable of incredible suction power at higher speeds on runways.

In terms of sweeping runways, ramps, ancillary roads, access roads and parking lots, the Crosswind sweeper with optional air blast is ideal. The Crosswind can be used on runways at slightly lower sweep speeds than the Crosswind FSX, while still being able to handle all the sweeping needs of the complete operation. The Crosswind’s optional air blast removes FOD just like the Crosswind FSX sweeper, but with the optional air blast function.

The extra wide sweeping path on the Crosswind sweeper is suited for municipalities, contractors, airport applications and general maintenance sweeping. The Crosswind’s ergonomic design allows the operator to sweep in a safe, comfortable manner. Mounted on the short-wheelbase chassis of either conventional or cab-over chassis, the Crosswind is operated by simple rocker switches and comes with a complete set of gauges.

Elgin Sweeper also offers the Glycol Recovery Vehicle (GRV) specialty sweeper, which is engineered for quick and efficient removal of glycol and other de-icing fluid run-off on airport runways, as well as at gate locations and de-icing sites, even in the most severe winter conditions. “The high air flow, wide sweep path, superior vacuum performance and efficient separation of glycol and ice result in fast, clean glycol pick-up,” Giles said.

The GRV was specifically developed to remove glycol and other de-icing fluid run-off on airport runways and gate locations before the potentially hazardous chemical could infiltrate the surrounding waterways. Equipped to operate at temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, the GRV is at home even

in the most severe winter conditions.

Giles said, “The most important new innovation in airport sweeping is the introduction of the Crosswind Glycol Recovery Sweeper (GRS) option from Elgin Sweeper.” The Crosswind GRS combines the ability of high performance sweeping and the removal of de-icing fluid in a single package. It is designed to operate in all weather conditions and temperatures, as well as in wet or dry environments. The GRS model is ideal for efficient sweeping and removal of debris and environmentally damaging glycol and other fluid run-off on airways and gate locations before it migrates into the ecosystem. The Crosswind GRS handles both tasks with no changes or modifications to the sweeper required.

The sweeper’s rear dump body design is equipped with a high-flow pump system that makes it easy to safely pump off a load of glycol into an evacuation tanker or at a dump site. For below-grade catch tanks, the fast rear door dumping capability of the debris tank gets the Crosswind GRS back to work quickly, whether sweeping runways or removing glycol.

Many airports have switched much of their ground support equipment to machines powered by clean-burning, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Equipment powered by CNG have low emissions, are highly economical and extremely quiet. Many Elgin Crosswind sweeper models are also available in CNG.

Whether it be a sweeper model powered by CNG, a high powered magnet assembly, a TYMCO RAS system or one of Elgin’s Crosswind Model designs, these two companies have got you covered, whatever your company’s airport sweeping needs. 

Story by Megan McClure