As the 21,000 residents of Aarau slowly wake up every morning, work is well underway as two 2 m3 class compact sweepers and their bigger 4 m3 sister from Aebi Schmidt make their way around the streets.
The starting point every morning is the main railway station, the ‘hotspot’, as Regina Wenk, head of operations for the municipality of Aarau, explains. ‘From the station they move on to sweep the streets of the old town. With the large machine in our fleet, we can work on the cantonal roads and local neighbourhoods at the same time. The sweepers are used throughout the Aarau Rohr district, and pass through other nearby municipalities as part of a third-party contract. Each machine does around 1,000 hours every year.’
Deputy workshop manager Rolf Höltschi remembers the beginning. ‘In 2013, we started using the “small” sweeper, which is based on the Schmidt Swingo. In need of a quick replacement for another machine, we added the second “small” sweeper from Aebi Schmidt in 2016 as we had been so happy with the first one. We were so pleased with the first two models that in the same year we bought the larger counterpart, the 5 m3 Cleango, to complete the fleet. Having exclusively sweepers from Aebi Schmidt in our fleet has also made our drivers very happy. The vehicles are very intuitive to operate and the controls are virtually identical, which makes rotation between different models much easier. The noise levels in the cabin are also lower than any for other machine we’ve had in this class. The cockpit is tidy, well organised and well designed with ergonomics in mind. As we use the large sweeper to clean underground collection points and glass collection points, and to clear standing water, the high suction power of the Cleango was a real selling point. The high-pressure cleaner, which we use to clean areas that have been heavily soiled, was another advantage.’
One of the biggest challenges that the team has to face every year is the annual ‘Maienzug’ festival that takes place in Aarau in June. With its sizeable parade, it attracts thousands of visitors to the old town. ‘Our team is already hard at work before the last festival goers have gone home,’ explains Regina Wenk. ‘People leave all manner of things behind, and we need to have everything cleaned before 7 a.m. the next morning. It’s a major effort for our workers and our machines. Our fleet of three isn’t enough to get everything cleaned in time, so every year we have access to a fourth sweeper, which Aebi Schmidt has always been very happy to provide. We truly appreciate the service and excellent partnership that we have. Sweeping is a matter of trust, not only when it comes to the “hardware”. We feel it is essential to have a reliable and competent partner with us in the background. If we ever have problems or questions, we know that we can fully rely on the team at Aebi Schmidt Switzerland. And that’s crucial to our business.’ Regina Wenk knows exactly what she’s talking about – she scrutinises every machine carefully before deciding whether or not to buy, and always makes sure to get behind the wheel herself. ‘I need to make sure that my team can feel comfortable when they’re in the cabin. If they do, the quality of the work is higher, care for the machine is higher and as a town, we benefit, too.’