At the request of Darren Martin, Fleet manager at Powys Council, Stocks Sweepers has developed an all new leaf blower system to deal with the Council's serious leaf removal problem, called Tempest.

Darren visited the Stocks Sweepers stand at the 2010 PAWRS show in Torbay, Devon and asked if the company could come up with a solution to the problem of leaf cover on a large number of the many roads in the county.

Jeff Stock of Stocks Sweepers sat down with Darren and discussed what exactly was required. He came up with the Tempest attachment, which is basically a 150mm outlet from the suction fan casing on their road sweeping equipment, which is directed via a ducting system to the front of the sweeper to literally blow the leaves off the roads and into hedge rows, fields or wooded areas.

The air nozzle can be moved from within the cab via an electrical cylinder to rotate through 110o if the driver requires. If necessary the sweeper can continue sweeping whilst the blower is in operation to pick up any stray leaves that may escape the powerful are stream. As a result of the whole leaf blowing operation, the road sweeper will massively decrease the number of trips it has to make to the landfill site, saving a huge amount of money.

Other sweepers operators will have to spend on tipping charges, fuel, running back and forth landfill to empty the hopper. The Tempest leaf blower attachment will decrease wear and tear on the sweeper and on the roads as well. “Our productivity is going up. Our costs are going down, while we have safer roads. This is really is a no brainer,” said Darren Martin.

Powys council ordered three new Stocks S6400 sweepers all mounted onto Daf LF55 chassis supplied by Watts Truck & Van Centre (Cardiff). All three vehicles have been ordered with the Tempest attachment leaf blower system. Stocks Sweepers are also in discussions with Darren Martin to refurbish the three machines in five years time and remount the equipment onto a new chassis, providing Powys Council with a minimum 10-year sweeper cycle.

This not only keeps the Council up-to-date with the latest chassis emission requirements, it also keeps the sweeper operators in newer and more reliable vehicles and as the equipment will be fully refurbished and remounted it also greatly reduces their carbon footprint.

“This very exciting development is something the rest of the UK local authorities should consider,” commented Darren. “I feel this new innovation and working arrangement could save many authorities tens of thousands of pounds on fuel, driver's wages, wear-and-tear on the vehicles and roads.

Local authorities are having to make such huge cut-backs and savings in these very difficult times, so an extension such as the Tempest can really help, and it will reduce our carbon footprint in the process.”

Since the Powys order and after demonstrations at various exhibitions throughout the country, Stocks Sweepers Ltd has generated an amazing amount of interest from many local authorities and private contractors. The company has been approached to retro-fit the attachment to other manufacturer's machines to do anything from blowing grass from the central reservation and verge cutting, to blowing sand from seafront footpaths.