How do you compare skid steer broom attachments? To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a high-quality broom attachment and a poor-quality one. Even when there’s a couple of them sitting side-by-side at the dealership, it can still be tough to tell. When it comes to owning and operating a power sweeper, differences in quality start to stand out fast.
How do you figure out if the broom you’re considering has the structural strength, performance capabilities, and quality components you need? A truly heavy-duty, high-quality broom will remain operational and efficiently clean surfaces for many years.
I’m going to cover a handful of features that’ll help you identify a high-quality skid steer broom. Look for these features before investing your hard-earned money into a new broom.
Direct Drive System
Direct drive systems have fewer replaceable wear parts and are more powerful than other systems. They’re safer than mechanical systems because there are no belt or chain pinch points and no stored energy when hydraulic pressure is not properly relieved. Virnig brooms utilize direct drive systems. These use fewer moving parts, which means less wear and tear and a longer lifespan.
Pressure Relief Valves
Pressure relief valves protect the motor and the loader’s hydraulic system from pressure spikes. When the broom hits an object, the relief valves open and relieve pressure. This prevents seals or other internal components from damage due to excessive pressure. Virnig brooms come standard with relief valves for protection against pressure spikes.
A Guarded, USA-Made Motor
The motor is the most expensive component on a broom, so it’s important to find out where it’s made and how it’s protected. Motors made in the USA will provide maximum reliability and longevity. A guard is an often overlooked, but important, feature.
Look at how the motor is guarded and make sure it’s easily accessible for maintenance. Virnig broom motors are USA-made and are protected on the top, front, and bottom with a ¼-inch plate welded to the motor can. The guarded design offers protection and easy access for maintenance. Additionally, the motor on the broom is sunk into the side about four inches, which makes it less likely to get hit by obstructions while sweeping.
Wafers will eventually need to be replaced, so ease of access and replacement cost are important to consider. Check the cost of replacement wafer kits before buying, and ask about how to replace them. Some may not be easily accessible and will take a great deal of time to replace.
On Virnig brooms, bristles can be replaced quickly and easily without disconnecting the hydraulics. To remove the bristle core, simply unbolt and remove the hydraulic motor assembly, then unbolt and remove the shaft assembly and bearing to free the bristle core from the brush head.
Broom Head Adjustment System
A major cause of wear on skid steer bucket-style brooms is improper broom head adjustment. Many brooms utilize a bolt and nut adjustment. These systems can break or freeze in place when exposed to the elements and can be difficult to adjust evenly.
The Virnig adjustment system allows the operator to set bristle height with minimal downtime. Simply elevate the head of the broom from the bucket, remove the holding pin, and set the adjustment shaft.
Overall Attachment Weight
Look through the specs to find the overall weight of your broom. A heavier broom usually means it's heavier duty, since the weight is likely attributed to thicker steel and additional bracing. Specifically, look at the hood and find the thickness and steel grade.
Virnig pick-up brooms weigh upwards of 1,200 lbs while other manufacturers’ brooms range between 800-1,000 lbs. Where does the extra weight come from? It comes from thicker steel throughout the broom and a heavier hopper bucket.
Identify the Highest Quality Sweeper Available
Using these details, you’ll be armed to walk into any skid steer attachment dealer and identify the highest quality sweeper they have available.
If you’d like more information on broom attachments—like detailed explanations of different types of brooms, bristle options, operating tips, and maintenance tips—get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Skid Steer Brooms: