Sweeper keeps Clanton cleaner

Published 3:05 pm Thursday, December 21, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The pavement in Clanton is looking cleaner these days, thanks to a new piece of equipment and a man who enjoys his job.

Clanton has had a street sweeper operating on the weekends since August. The equipment was purchased to replace an aging sweeper.

In recent months, Martis Mims has taken the driver’s seat in the vehicle and is blowing through the streets of Clanton each weekday, usually for 8 hours a day. Mims said he enjoys working by himself on his routes around town.

“He does an outstanding job,” sanitation supervisor Dale Collins said. “You won’t find a better one.”

He said the new vehicle is better than the previous one, and has requires maintenance.

Mims had worked in the sanitation department for the past five years driving a garbage truck.

Prior to that, he had worked for eight years at a company that serviced street sweepers. This job gave Mims a good knowledge of the inner workings of the machine.

“There is not a lot of problems, cleaning it is the main thing,” Mims said. “If you don’t maintain the maintenance and cleaning it … it will wear out sooner.”

A brush on each side of the undercarriage of the machine blow dirt under the vehicle where it is sucked up. Water is sprayed onto the pavement to keep the dust down.

Saturdays call for the early shift for Mims as he starts at 3 a.m. to get the downtown area done before traffic starts.

For bigger debris, Mims stops the vehicle, so that he can get out and pick it up.

The most challenging aspect of the job is not really anything to do with the machine itself, but rather others on the road.

“You have to be careful of the curb and of the traffic because traffic don’t yield to you,” Mims said.

The vehicle has light on the front and rear to try to make it more visible to other drivers.

Leaves in the street can also pose a problem because the machine cannot pick up the piles. Mims said leaves piled for the limb truck to pickup need to be kept on the curb out of the road.