Independent family-owned Shorts Group has been able to win extra business after adding two truck-mounted Street King 660 sweepers from Aebi Schmidt to its hire fleet.

Bracknell-based Shorts Group provides an array of services including road sweeping, skip and plant hire, demolition and agricultural contracting and trade waste collections, for civil sector clients, primarily in the Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire counties.

An initial Street King 660 joined the Shorts Group fleet at the end of last year following extensive evaluations by driver/operators after the decision was taken to replace two existing but aging sweepers.

And so successful has it been in efficiently completing existing contracts that it has won extra business for the Group, so much so that the business has now added another Street King 660 to the fleet, both on Volvo 15-tonne LF 4x2 chassis, to cope with the additional workload.

Shorts Group Head of Transport, Damian Ayling, who was heavily involved in the decision to switch to the Street King, recommended the Schmidt sweeper after having a positive experience with it in previous employment.

‘I knew how good the sweeper was having had one previously, and the board trusted my recommendation. We began by providing the Street King 660 with a driver operator for a number of civil contracts, typically working with several clients for short spells on the same day,’ he said.

‘However, so successful was the sweeper in completing these, that clients asked us to carry out other tasks with it. For example, at Farnborough Airport where there is an ongoing major construction project, we began by sweeping up after construction traffic to keep runways and aprons clear of debris.

‘But this has now been extended beyond just sweeping duties to other work, which has been typical of a number of contracts we have worked on. We have now added another Street King 660 to cope with the extra workload on larger projects such as Farnborough.’

Mr Ayling said that the Street King had won praise from the Group’s driver operators, who liked its ‘sweeping power, the larger capacity and the greater payload which means that we have to make less trips for tipping, helping keep our costs down.’

He continued: ‘They also like the ease with which the Street King can be cleaned out at the end of the day, with easy access and a low pressure hose to ensure we can get rid of all debris. And they also find the wander hose very useful for tackling inaccessible areas where the main sweeper body can’t reach.’

Another plus for the drivers was the high level of customisation that Aebi Schmidt engineers could add to the Street King to better meet their needs, including an additional hook for the wander hose and extra clamps to keep it in place.

‘And the drivers have been very happy with the level of training and support that Aebi Schmidt has provided with the Street King which they have found very helpful and useful,’ Mr Ayling added.

The Street King 660 boasts a stunning array of special features and stand-out USPs, designed to give faster working times and lower operating costs. And Aebi Schmidt has recently introduced a series of upgrades designed to make further improvements which, in many cases, have been in response to customer requests and operator feedback.

New specification features two LED working lights which provide a crescent-shaped arc of illumination and which has proved very popular with contractors who handle clean-up and sweeping operations at night, as they light-up a much wider field of vision.

Amongst its USPs are an automatically self-lowering filter screen for ease of cleaning at the end of a shift, which can be completed with the low-pressure fireman’s hose and makes cleaning simple and straightforward.

The SK 660’s suction nozzle comes fitted with a debris flap which now can be lifted incrementally or opened fully and tilted to tackle larger debris or greater volumes, such as fallen leaves, one of its main tasks in autumn.

And, as before, the sweeper comes complete with Aebi Schmidt’s sophisticated ES control panel as part of its standard specification, which can be customised for each driver with their own settings which removes the need for recalibration when drivers change over.

Matthew Elderkin, Aebi Schmidt area sales manager, commented: ‘We are delighted that Shorts Group has been able to win extra business off the back of the efficiency of the Street King and that it has been such a success for them.’