Battling weeds with the Cleango 500
It’s rare to see a woman behind the wheel of a sweeper. Bettina Kessler is one of the few, and she puts her heart and soul into it. Her career began traditionally, as an assistant tax consultant in the commercial sector. ‘I also trained as a farmer, which definitely helps me handle the sweeper,’ says Kessler. In March 2018, she swapped her desk at the office for the sweeper. ‘I used to handle the administration of the small family business run by my partner Uwe Jaworowski. We specialise in landscaping and municipal maintenance; for example, we’re responsible for street cleaning for municipalities and construction companies in the area around Schwerzen in the Southern Black Forest. Previously, we used a Schmidt Wasa towed sweeper. A year ago, we replaced it with a Schmidt Cleango 500. The compact sweeper is particularly useful for us in tight spaces and narrow streets in newly developed areas. The turning circle is noticeably smaller than that of the towed vehicle, meaning that it’s possible to turn around almost on the spot. The suction machine also produces an even better result for the surface being cleaned than the mechanical one, improving efficiency and ultimately making customers happier. Last but not least, the Cleango 500 allows us to clean more quickly and flexibly, because it doesn’t have to be repositioned or attached to the tractor.’
Twice a year, the entire area undergoes a deep clean in which all the weeds are removed. The tractor attacks the weeds at the edges of the road with its built-in weed brushes. It is followed by the Cleango 500, which collects the debris in its 4 m3 hopper. Depending on the amount of debris, a single stop to empty the hopper may be sufficient for a whole working day.
‘We chose a used Euro 5 machine,’ explains Kessler. ‘The machine had already been in use for two years before we acquired it and we have used it reliably for 500 hours. Despite the comfortable conditions – such as the suction shaft monitor and the control system integrated into the armrest, which allows you to control the brushes with one hand – the work remains challenging. By the evening, I can always feel what I’ve done that day. Driving in heavy traffic or manoeuvring between parked cars requires intense concentration, as you have to control the brushes, the suction cover and the speed, all at the same time.’ Nonetheless, Kessler doesn’t regret the transition from desk to driver’s seat. On the contrary: she says it was 1000% the correct decision, and the Cleango 500 is already almost like a second home to her.