Street Sweeping Broom: Gutter Broom

Gutter brooms, or also known as side brooms, are the brooms on the side of street sweepers, usually pick-up sweepers or vacuum sweeper. There are also a few sweeper attachments that have an option for a gutter broom.
Gutter brooms are round in shape and rotate to pull debris from the curb line into the center of the sweeper. There are different ways gutter brooms are configured and different ways they’re packaged.

Bristle Type

The most common bristle type used in a gutter broom is wire. The wire gives an aggressive sweep and cuts through the curbside debris. The type of wire used is important as the wire needs to flick the debris but not break. There are annealing processes that the proper wire goes through to ensure that the gutter broom wire will not prematurely break while sweeping, leaving behind a trail of broken wire.
A standard gutter broom uses 26” bristle. The bristle gets bent in half and stuffed into the holes in the gutter broom block. This makes the sweeping length of the bristle approximately 13” long. Some sweepers are lower to the ground and use a shorter 22” bristle making the sweeping length 11”.
The second bristle option for sweeping is polypropylene (poly). Gutter brooms with poly bristle are typically used for sweeping airport runways and other applications that require a less aggressive sweep.

The Gutter Broom Block

The round shape of the gutter broom is made up of multiple sections or segments. Each segment consists of a plastic block with bristle. The most common configurations are a 5-segment, 4-segment or a 2-segment brooms – each segment fits together to create the round shape needed to sweep. There are other configurations like the 12 segment and the 1-segment or one-piece gutter brooms.
Each block is designed to mount to specific OEM sweepers. There are pre-drilled bolt holes with nuts already in the blocks for easy mounting. These holes line up with the holes on the mounting plate of the sweeper.
Each block also has the holes for the bristle to be inserted. The number of holes vary with the different types of block.

Wire Count

The standard gutter broom typically has 17 wires in each hole of the block. This will sweep most normal road conditions. However, there are heavy duty gutter brooms available for applications where a more aggressive sweep is needed – heavy growth or dirt packed on the road for example.
A heavy-duty gutter broom can have 20 wires per hole. There are some sweepers that can handle a super heavy-duty gutter broom with up to 24 wires per hole.
The heavy-duty gutter brooms do tend to last longer because they have more wire which takes longer to wear.


Gutter brooms can be packaged and shipped two different ways. A typical 5-segment gutter broom is packed in an individual box with all five segments in that box. The same goes for the 4-segment and so on. This option allows for 16-20 boxes to fit on a skid or pallet.

Gaylord with 120 Segment Boxes
– 5-segment Gutter Broom = 24 broom changes
– 4-segment Gutter Broom = 30 broom changes

The second way for gutter brooms to be packaged is in bulk gaylords or totes. These gaylords are full pallets size boxes that hold 120 individual segments. The segments are laid loosely in the gaylord so that they can be taken out as needed. This option saves money on shipping costs and reduces the amount of corrugated waste associated with multiple boxes.

As you can see, there are different options for different needs when it comes to gutter brooms.
Contact us at Keystone anytime to learn more about gaylords and if a heavy-duty gutter broom is right for you.

Mike Santos, Sales and Marketing Manager at Keystone Plastics, Inc.
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Resources page on website –

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