Beginning in the spring of the year, as soon as overnight temperatures stay above freezing, the street sweeper is operated from 4 am in the morning until 3:30 pm in the afternoon. A haul truck and operator are also assigned to help haul away the heavy debris during this time. Residue left on the streets from the winter, including ice control sand, is swept up as quickly as possible. The entire City is swept in a once over fashion during the first couple of months. Once the heaviest debris is picked up the sweeping methods change somewhat.
As the rest of the Street Crew gets busy patching and preparing streets for seal coat, the sweeper goes back to an 8-hour per day shift. No other operators are assigned to help haul during this time. During this time, the downtown area is swept on a weekly basis and the rest of the City receives another thorough sweeping. It is also during this time that the sweeper is called on to:
- Sweep ahead of the seal coat crew to assure clean pavements to seal coat
- Sweep areas that may be subject to debris from construction projects
- Sweep up the excess aggregate from the actual seal coating of the streets
- Take care of the many miscellaneous sweeping requirements around the City that come up so often
When not on a special sweeping assignment the sweeper continues to sweep the City on a routine schedule throughout the summer months.
In the fall of the year, as the leaves begin to fall from the trees, the sweeper is again put on extended hours of operation to attempt to pick up a majority of the leaves prior to freeze up. To speed up this operation, a water truck (to wet down the leaves) and a haul truck (to haul them away) with operators are assigned to help. This process continues until freeze up.
The sweeper cannot operate during the winter months because the debris in the gutter is usually frozen and impossible to pick up and the water pipes on the sweeper used to wet down ahead of the broom (to eliminate dust) would freeze in the cold temperatures. So, the street sweeper is put away for the winter months.