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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Sidewalk Sweeper

Northwest's Environmental Services staff recently built two sweepers that can be attached to its skid steer loaders to clear sidewalks. By using spare parts to build the attachments, the staff saved the University about $7,000. (PHOTO BY DARREN WHITLEY/UNIVERSITY RELATIONS)

May 13, 2010

Environmental Services staff saves about $7,000 for Northwest by building sweepers with spare parts

MARYVILLE, Mo.- Northwest Missouri State already is saving thousands of dollars each month with its use of alternative fuels and innovative technology programs. This spring, the Environmental Services team built additional savings into the University's budget.

After a winter that dumped several feet of snow on Maryville, Northwest's street sweepers had taken a beating and needed to be replaced. Rather than spend thousands of dollars on new equipment, Environmental Services staff looked at what they already had.

"Some of our stuff started breaking down in that heavy stuff, so we needed something that was heavier and tougher," said Chris Redden, hardscape grounds supervisor, who devised the sweepers based on plans he found on the Internet. "We have all the extra parts lying around here, so I just started welding them together."

Northwest was in need of two new sweepers that could be attached to its skid steer loaders. With the used parts they found on campus and at local junkyards, Environmental Services staff built their first sweeper in February and completed a second one in March. Each took less than a week to build.

Redden said the first sweeper cost about $291, using bristles and parts from Northwest's old sweepers. The second cost about $894 because staff installed new bristles and a used hydraulic motor. Building the sweepers on campus instead of buying completely new models saved Northwest about $7,000.

The sweepers' primary uses will be moving snow from sidewalks, but they can be used on almost any surface, Redden said. Blades on the sweepers, which measure about 6 feet across, also are capable of turning 45 degrees.

"We can use them with stiff blades and they don't scratch the sidewalk," Redden said. "A nice three-inch snow, you can just push it right off. All the places you see around campus, where we push snow, gravel and wood chips on the grass, you can also just drag everything from the grass."

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468