Devon-based Brooking Hire operates a fleet of 14 truck-mounted vacuum sweepers - all of which are based on Volvo chassis – but their recently-delivered new Volvo FH16-based flagship, supplied by Justin Fisher, Sales Director at Stuarts Truck and Bus, is one of the highest-specification sweeper vehicles in Europe.
Twelve of the Brooking Hire fleet are two-axle Volvo FMs with Johnston VT801 equipment, but two are special Johnston-Beam units designed to give a ‘back-to-black’ surface finish. However, the Totnes-based operation’s latest acquisition, fitted with the Johnston-Beam S14000 sweeper body, is based on the Volvo FH16 6x2 rear-steer chassis. This 650hp unit features front and rear high-pressure spray bars, dual / simultaneous sweep and a rear suction bar with V-jets operating at 400bar to give that ‘back-to-black’ finish. Full hydrostatic drive is engaged when sweeping and the truck’s water tank capacity is 9300 litres.
“That capacity is enough to sweep and wash at full power for over two and a half hours in a single pass,” confirms Martin Brooking, Company Principal at Brooking Hire.
When the driver, Heinz Peter Kostka gets into the cab of his 26-tonne gross Volvo FH16-650 sweeper, he could be heading anywhere. But it’s not until he’s reached his destination that the real work begins. It could be cleaning an airport runway, or a major construction site. And he will probably need to stay on site until the job is done.
“I might be working away from home for up to twelve weeks, which is why cab comfort and having plenty of space is so important,” Heinz Peter explains. Which is why, in addition to the standard creature comforts like night heater and air conditioning, Heinz Peter is grateful for a fridge and a microwave oven.
“Creature comforts are important, but it’s Volvo’s reliability and service back-up that is vital,” adds Martin Brooking, “We don’t run a 100 per cent Volvo fleet by accident. Our sweepers are often working all night, usually while the motorway or airport is closed, so we cannot afford any downtime issues. Any over-runs and we incur contract penalties.”
Martin explains, “Volvo’s back-up is first-class and the technical support we get from our local dealerpoint, Stuarts Truck and Bus in Exeter, has also been invaluable. They’re brilliant people.”
Having recently been hired to sweep the hard shoulder of the M25 Motorway, Heinz Peter’s next job was a little further afield; ‘deep cleaning’ a vehicle test track in Italy, a three-day drive from Brooking Hire’s Totnes base.
“That’s why it’s essential our drivers have a safe comfortable environment in which to work and why we run a 100 per cent Volvo fleet,” concludes Martin.
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Notes for Editors :
1. Brooking Hire was established in 2002, with Company principal, Martin Brooking starting as an owner-driver. His first new sweeper was based on a Volvo FL6 chassis.
2. Brooking Hire’s latest Volvo FH16-650 / Johnston-Beam unit represents an investment four times the price of a typical council highways vacuum truck-mounted sweeper.
3. ‘Dual, simultaneous sweep,’ means that both kerb brushes can be deployed at the same time, giving a swept area across the full width of the vehicle.