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CONTAMINANT COLLECTORS: TYMCO Regenerative Air Sweepers help improve air quality in Chandler, Arizona

Editor: Christine McClitic
Published: Summer 2017

Throughout the night, four TYMCO Model 600 street sweepers travel the arterial streets of Chandler, Arizona, cleaning the dust and debris left from the hustle and bustle of daytime traffic.

Cleaning goes beyond picking up litter. The regenerative air sweepers remove the smallest of contaminants — fines originating from rubber tires, the wearing of brake discs and pads, and the airborne dust from Arizona’s sunbaked soils.

As the sweeper propels across the asphalt pavement, its closed-loop system blasts air to dislodge material from the surface and simultaneously applies powerful vacuum suction to lift dust away. Even cracks and crevices are left clean.

“We are trying to reduce particulates 10 microns or smaller that go into the air,” explains Street Maintenance Supervisor Donald Dong, who oversees the city’s sweeping operations. “TYMCO sweepers reduce the number of particulates because they pick up the ultrafine particles.”

Clearing the air

For this Phoenix suburb, the removal of ultrafine particulates helps safeguard the region’s air quality. Particulate matter is one of six common air pollutants identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being critical to assessing the environmental health of a place. Particulate matter comes in various sizes, and particles between 2.5 and 10 microns in diameter are known to aggravate respiratory illnesses. The TYMCO closed-loop regenerative air system helps trap particles, reducing the amount of dust being exhausted into the atmosphere.

The city of Chandler is also trying to improve air quality by lowering vehicle emissions and recently added a TYMCO sweeper that meets Final Tier 4/Stage III B emissions. Dong says the city has been running TYMCO sweepers with John Deere engines for more than 15 years with great success, and he’s pleasantly surprised by the ease of use of the new engine model. “This is the first Final Tier 4 engine with diesel exhaust fluid that the city has owned, and we don’t even notice when it goes into regeneration mode. There are no issues at all.”

TYMCO is a family-owned business based in Waco, Texas. Founded by B.W. Young in the mid-1960s, the company pioneered the regenerative air concept and remains dedicated to the technology to this day. TYMCO manufactures regenerative air models for cleaning everything from streets to construction sites and even has high-performance models for airport runways.

The sweeper’s auxiliary functions, such as the high-powered blower that provides the air blast and vacuum, are driven by a dedicated John Deere PowerTech™ 4.5L engine supplied by John Deere engine distributor engines, inc. in Jonesboro, Arkansas. “We’ve been using John Deere engines for over 30 years,” says Bryan Young, grandson of the company’s founder. “It’s been a very reliable engine, which is important because it helps support our goal of having a product that’s simple and easy to work on.”

Longtime relationship

Over the years, TYMCO met each rising emissions tier with PowerTech engines, and in early 2016 migrated to the PowerTech PWL 4.5L Final Tier 4/Stage III B on its Model 600 and 500x sweepers. “This John Deere engine meets Final Tier 4 emissions using SCR technology, which keeps the engine packaging smaller,” Young says. “That’s important because we strive to keep the sweeper as compact as possible.”

The TYMCO Model 500x sweeper encompasses many of the proven features of the TYMCO Model 600 with the addition of a high-dump hopper. Both models feature multiplex electronic controls that offer onboard diagnostics of the John Deere auxiliary engine and sweeping functions. “Before, an end user would have an hour meter in the cab. Now, they can access detailed information on a high-resolution color touchscreen,” says Young. For example, the display provides service hours for the auxiliary engine and hydraulic system fluids and filters. Additionally, the sweeper odometer records lifetime and trip curb miles swept.

In Chandler, street sweepers run around the clock in double shifts, and the working environment is harsh. “The sweepers get washed every day because it’s so dirty,” says Dong. Yet the TYMCO sweepers operate day after day without fuss. “We have very few mechanical problems if any at all; the engines have held up well. They basically only need oil, belts, and fluids changed. As long as those items are taken care of, they’re nearly bulletproof.”

Distributor: Engines, Inc. in Jonesboro, Arkansas;