Compact roof cleaner for greenhouses up to 20.000 m2
The greenhouse cleaner Jan van der Heijden developed a roof cleaner at the request of two strawberry growers and it was so successful that he decided to begin selling it. The machine first clears the gutter and then cleans the glass with 2x8 brushes. The roof cleaner is suitable for 3,000 to 20,000m2 size companies.
A few years ago two strawberry growers asked Jan van der Heijden to develop a roof cleaner. They weren’t happy with existing models. "Cleaning occurred too quickly. Sometimes the greenhouse wasn’t cleaned properly or there were streaks. So they’d rather do it themselves," he says. "And the machine actually worked well from the initial prototype. After that we made it even more compact."
The roof cleaner first clears the gutter, after which the windows are cleaned. Both sides of the washer have eight brushes. Van der Heijden: "Many other roof cleaners have very long brushes. That’s costly and we find that this works better.” The machine is also equipped with an electrical drive to handle the counter-pressure. Gutter lengths of 50 to 60 meters can be cleaned without the electrical (24 volt) drive.
The roof cleaner is manually operated. According to Van der Heijden it is particularly interesting for nurseries of 3,000 to 20,000 m2. "For big companies it's not worth it. From 5 to 6 hectares fully automatic machines are used. But that’s pretty pricey." And witnessing the process has another advantage: "If there’s damage to the greenhouse we can fix it right away."
February and September
Besides the two initial strawberry growers, now several growers have purchased and are using the machine. Contractors also use it - as does Van der Heijden himself. Armed with a tractor, scissors lift and roof cleaner he will be cleaning several greenhouses in September and February, along with two other growers. "We clean about 7,000m2 in 3.5 hours, but more important than speed is that the greenhouse is thoroughly cleaned. The roof cleaner was designed to clean your greenhouse yourself when it’s dirty, about two to three times a year. But it isn’t enough. You also need a good pump and a hose, possibly a reel and working dock and space at the front or back of the greenhouse to drive alongside with a tractor or truck."
Curious about the roof cleaner? Contact Jan van der Heijden to take a look. "In February we will again be starting on the greenhouses that are washed with this machine twice a year."
For more information: Jan van der Heijden (e-mail)
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