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The differences are many — maneuverability, capacity and economics.

One took a commercial drivers license to operate — the other doesn’t.

The Roanoke Rapids Public Works Department had its new Ravo street sweeper on display before a city council meeting last month.

Today it was sent to have decals placed on it and then it will have extra safety lights added, said Assistant Public Works Director Doug Love.

The new machine was one of the capital requests the department made during summer budget negotiations and will be the primary street sweeper the city uses while a 2004 Elgin Crosswind will undergo intense maintenance and be used as a spare, public works Director Larry Chalker said today.

“It’s outperformed anything we’ve ever had,” Chalker said of the new sweeper.

The Elgin, Chalker said, was “just worn out. When it was brand new it was a good sweeper.”

But with two engines it required the CDL to operate and was noisy, said city Street Superintendent Wayne Medlin.

When it came time to get a new sweeper the city demoed three different ones. The Ravo, Medlin said, “outperformed the others we tested.”

Medlin said the hopper is bigger than the Elgin.

Mike Manning, city maintenance superintendent, designed the graphics to go on the sides of the machine.

“The appearance makes it look like a toy,” Chalker said. “We wanted it to be appealing to the kids. We wanted to brighten it up.”

Said Manning: “I just piddled around in my spare time and came up with a couple of designs.”

Medlin said the design of the machine and its broom system makes it easier to get to cul-de-sacs and curbs.

The machine comes equipped with an onboard pressure washer for cleaning the hopper out after runs.

Because the CDL requirement is no longer required, the department will have at least two or three employee trained to operate the sweeper, Love said.