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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Recently, I was contacted by a long term customer with a fleet of Tennant Sweepers. Among these models he has many Model 355 sweepers, 385 sweepers and 6500. He does sweeping services for a large variety of businesses and is very familiar with his equipment. So, I was surprised when he e-mailed with a couple of questions. First, just out of the blue, he said that he purchased a used Tennant from a business in order to acquire their sweeping business. He stated that it was an older Tennant but in very good condition. I ask what model machine. He said it was a Tennant Model 365 with only 430 hours on the hour meter. I said wow, that’s low. He said can you tell me about this machine? Of course, I am very familiar with this machine. I thought they were pretty good machines, but were more cheaply made then the typical Tennant. I rebuilt many of these Tennants in the day.

First of all, its heyday was between 1988 and 1993. It had the Ford KSG416 and was one of the first engines that was distributorless. This engine produced 47.5 HP @ 3600 RPM. It was equipped with gas or LP. There were no diesel engines used in this model as far as I am aware. I would be interested in finding out if anyone out there has seen this with a diesel. The model 365 were all made with the high dump feature as standard equipment hence, giving it the popularity. Many used this indoors but just as many used this sweeper as an outdoor sweeper. It had the power and the speed needed and with its high dump made it ideal. Another advantage was the sweeping path of 48” and with a side broom it became a total of 60” (5 foot). Another nice feature was the small left turning radius of 77 inches. For that time this is a very small area for the size of the machine to turn. But what I believe made it popular was the hopper capacity. The hopper had a capacity of 16 cu. ft. at 1,200 pounds (over a half a ton of debris). Even though it is almost 30 years old, it can be a nice back up machine in a fleet of sweepers. So, this is the sweeper. Let’s move on to his question regarding the hopper filter also known as the panel filter. He stated that he is having trouble with them actually falling apart. I asked him to explain please. Apparently, some of my sweeper operators are sweeping when it rains and I don’t think that should be. You are correct in regards to wet-sweeping. Tennant sweepers are not meant to wet-sweep. However, I will go into more detail on this subject.

Sweeping is always meant to be done in the dry weather, not when it is raining. First of all the hopper is made of steel. When you sweep dirt, dust and debris into this hopper and mix it with water, it becomes a muddy mess. So when the operator is finished with sweeping the hopper must be emptied. After that, the hopper should be hosed out and allowed to dry. Unless this is done, over a very little time, the hopper starts to rust. Something else occurs that few are aware. Dampness is drawn up through the hopper filter by the vacuum motor where mold, mildew and rot starts to eat away at the filter. Now understand this is happening because the filter is made out of paper. A little known fact is that these filters are also made out of a synthetic material that resists mold and mildew.

So I explain this to my customer which I was surprised he hadn’t heard of before. Yes, I said, just use synthetic filters and you should be good to go. It is a pity that not all sweepers have synthetic filters available for them. For those interested in this, you can e-mail me your brand and model.

As always, thank you for reading.

Creamer’s Corner is a monthly conversation with Hi-Gear’s Mike Creamer giving you advise, technical assistance, brand comparisons and on the job stories on repairing, maintaining or replacing your sweeper/scrubber. For your comments or questions, please e-mail Mike at