Sweepers cause flat bicycle tires in Leeuwarden 11:22 in Regional news The weed trucks lose iron pins from the brushes. If cyclists drive over it, the tire needs to be replaced immediately.

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The brushes that the sweepers use in Leeuwarden to clean the streets

In association with
Omrop Friesland
NOS News

Iron pins from sweeper trucks cause flat bicycle tires in Leeuwarden. This involves hundreds of flat tires every year, according to a tour by Omrop Fryslân to bicycle shops in the city.

These special vehicles remove weeds from the street. This is done with brushes containing iron pins. If the brushes lose their pins and cyclists ride over them, the tire needs to be replaced immediately.

“This has been a big problem for us in the last two years,” says Riemer de Vries of bicycle shop Mient de Vries. “We have about twenty flat tires a week. 80 to 90 percent are caused by the road sweeper.”

Worse in the fall

De Vries mainly sees the flat tires coming in when the road has just been swept. “It’s worse in the autumn, because then there is more rubbish that the sweeper truck has to sweep up.”

The problem of the iron pins is not unique to Leeuwarden. For years, cyclists in several municipalities have been complaining about flat tires caused by the brushes of weed trucks, such as in Almelo, Eindhoven and Enschede.

One of the pins removed from a bicycle tire

Not only bicycle tires, but also scooter tires are regularly punctured, says Rene Visser of bicycle shop Lammert de Vries. “Every month, about ten scooters arrive here with an iron pin in the wheel. Such a tire is a lot more expensive to replace than a bicycle tire.”

The sweeper trucks are from waste processing company Omrin, which is hired by the municipality of Leeuwarden. Customers of the bicycle repair shops can contact Omrin for compensation, but this is only possible if they can prove that the damage was caused by the sweeper truck. That is not always possible, says bicycle maker De Vries. “You can find the pin on half of the bicycles, but not on others.”

The company informs Omrop Fryslân that it receives five reports every week, so more than 250 per year. Three quarters of the reporters also receive the money back.

Brushes and special flaps

The problem of the iron pins has been known to the municipality for years. In a response, Leeuwarden informed Omrop Fryslân that alternatives have already been looked at, but according to the municipality, steel brushes remain necessary to properly remove the weeds.

Omrin is also looking for solutions to limit the damage. According to Broer Visser from the waste processing company, it has to do with the pressure of the brushes and special flaps.

“We put those flaps on to prevent the pins from slipping away,” he says. “There is always another sweeper truck driving behind to clean up the pins, but sometimes they get further away and we lose them.” It is therefore not possible to completely prevent a steel pin from being left behind, says Visser. “We do our best.”

  • In association with

    Omrop Friesland

  • Regional news

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