The infrastructure development spree that India has embarked upon has meant a boon for equipment manufacturers. While the growth story of the Indian construction equipment industry has been well document, not much has been written about infrastructure maintenance equipment. A good example is available in the form of road cleaning and sweeping equipment. They are now gradually becoming a familiar sight across Indian cities. Factors such as the increased size and network of roads and the shortage of labour has meant that civic authorities are now increasingly dependent on mechanization to bail them out. In came equipment including, mechanized drain cleaners, garbage collection trucks and road cleaning equipment for their help.
It was not smooth sailing for this type of equipment from the beginning. Cost factor was initially a hindrance for sales. However, things have taken a turn for the better now. This is because most of the work of municipal corporations is outsourced to private contractors, who have realized that the high initial investment on equipment will be offset by the long term savings these machines help them to make.
With India embarking on an ambitious plan for development of roads and highways, it was only a matter of time before mechanized equipment specifically meant for keeping them clean hit the market. A job that was till now being done manually by labourers has now been gradually transferred to these machines. Tractor towed models; with a sweeping capacity of 5-7 kms/hr is a common sight in many Indian cities now. These models have also hydraulic system incorporated in them to enable unloading and emptying of the collection containers. Advanced models include chassis mounted self contained vacuum sweepers, that are usually powered by diesel engine capacity ranging from 5 to 6.5 cubic metre capacity. Vacuum sweeper models are ideally suited for sweeping of roads and highways. These compact vehicles are also easy to maneuver making them ideally suited for even the narrow by lanes, which are typically found in many Indian cities.
With infrastructure maintenance gradually becoming a focus area, civic authorities and large township developers are now increasingly dependent on specialized road cleaning equipment. This demand has meant that slowly, but surely, there has been a spurt in the number of manufacturers and suppliers offering this type of specialized machinery in the country.
One company that has carved a niche for itself in the field of industrial cleaning, Roots Multiclean, offers its “Citycleaner” range of road sweeping equipment. The range consists of popular models including the RSB 6000, RSR 6000 and Hako City Master 1250. The RSB 6000 model comes with 6 cubic metres debris hopper capacity, and a 1000 litres water tank. Other salient features of the model include large side broom with flexible head, water jet for dust suppression, suction ports and hopper dumping. The RSR 6000 also comes with a 6 cubic metre hopper capacity. The Hako CityMaster 1250 model is a compact sweeper for municipal cleaning, with grounds and winter maintenance options. The model is designed for high maneuverability even in the most confined of spaces. It features a well designed cab which offers a perfect view of the work area.
Another company that has made a name for itself in this specialized line is Kam Avida Enviro Engineers. Apart from its range of road cleaning equipment, Kam Avida also offers a wide range of sewage and drainage cleaning equipment too. The company’s wide range of road cleaning equipment includes models such as Kamsweep 3AT, Kamsweep 400T, Johnston CN101, and Johnson VT 650. The Kamsweep 3AT is an attachment mechanical sweeper which is powered by tractor hydraulics and is capable of a sweeping capacity of 5-7 kms/hr. Kamsweep 400T is a tractor towed self contained vacuum sweeper powered by a 75 hp diesel engine of 4 cubic metre capacity. The Johnston CN 101 model is designed for excellent maneuverability and is suitable for both municipal and private use. The Johnson VT 650 is a chassis mounted self contained vacuum sweeper powered by a 75 hp diesel engine of either 5 cubic metre or 6.5 cubic metre capacity. The machine comes with a sweeping capacity of 5-7 kms/hr with hydraulic unloading of the collection hopper.
The narrow roads that are so typical of Indian cities and towns have meant that manufacturers are designing road sweeping equipment that offers excellent maneuverability. Dulevo India , which is a subsidiary of Dulevo SpA, Italy, a global leader in industrial and road cleaning equipment, for instance offers a range of machines that is designed for easy maneuverability , apart from offering a very low per kilometer sweeping cost. Its range includes the 850 Mini, with a scrubbing width of up to 160 cm. The range also includes the Dulevo Commando model, which offers excellent sweeping capacity of up to 12 km/h and is also ideally suited for maneuverability in tight spaces. The Dulevo 200 Quattro is a medium sized sweeper ideal for cleaning of large areas. The Dulevo 5000 Evolution is the largest machine in its range, ideally suited for daily road sweeping in public areas.
Another leading player in fray is TPS Infrastructure with its range of road sweeping machines. One of its popular models is the 5000 SP road sweeping machines. Their container capacity ranges from 2000 litres up to 5500 litres. The company also offers ride on sweeping machines with container capacity ranging from 160 litres up to 800 litres. Truck mounted sweeping machines is another product offering from the company. These machines have been developed to suit the high dust loads on Indian roads , as well as high temperatures prevalent during summers in India.
The future for specialized road cleaning equipment looks bright in-deed with civic authorities and project developers all over the country looking at mechanized solutions to speed up maintenance work. Global leaders in the manufacture of this equipment are now looking to enter the lucrative Indian market. In a situation where municipal authorities, across the country have been stretched to the limit due to increased work load, the advent of equipment meant exclusively for the civic sector has come as welcome news. Large scale industrial parks and integrated townships too have been factors that have been driving up the demand for specialized road cleaning equipment. This is one particular equipment market segment which is all set for a period of rapid growth in the near future.