Sweeping the High Plains

March 27, 2014

Located in Northwest Kansas, the city of Oakley is known as the birthplace of the legend of Buffalo Bill. It was here in 1868 that famous bison hunter and showman William F. Cody earned his nickname in a hunting contest with William Comstock, a scout for General George Armstrong Custer.

With a population of approximately 2,000, this small town on the high plains faced a big problem with its primary street sweeper, which spent more time in the shop for repairs than it did on the job. And with so much sweeper downtime, many of the city’s streets had accumulated several years’ worth of debris.

The city approved the purchase of a new street sweeper and worked with Butch Burris, director of Oakley’s street department, to put out a competitive bid. As part of the process, Burris ordered demonstration sweepers from multiple vendors. After a thorough bid process, the Pelican three-wheel mechanical sweeper from Elgin Sweeper was selected to support the city’s street maintenance program.

The local Elgin Sweeper dealer in Wichita, Kan., Key Equipment & Supply Co., delivered the sweeper to Burris and his crew in Oakley to put into service.

After 220 hours of operation during the city’s 2013 sweeping season, the Pelican removed more than 700 tons of roadside debris from Oakley’s streets—debris that otherwise would have entered the city’s storm drain system, causing water pollution and an increased risk of flooding.

“The Pelican has operated like a workhorse for Oakley, without a single major service issue,” said Tom Wyant, territory manager at Key Equipment. “We attribute that durability to the EcoInfused on-demand hydraulics built into the machine. In heavy sweeping applications, such as those performed in Oakley, power is sent to the sweeper component that needs it the most, all while saving fuel, reducing emissions, and drastically improving productivity and downtime.”