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How Scarab’s innovative single engine system is helping operators manage the impact of the legislative changes to Red Diesel usage


How Scarab’s innovative single engine system is helping operators manage the impact of the legislative changes to Red Diesel usage

Legislation surrounding the use of Red Diesel - and other rebated fuels - is changing in the UK from April 1st and it is set to trigger seismic change across the sweeping industry. For years, municipal and contractor operators up and down the country have climbed into the cabs of their preferred twin-engine sweepers, relying on the subsidised rates provided on fuels such as Red Diesel to meet the demands of their operations efficiently. However, with this legislative change set to come into force in only a matter of months, many are left looking for a solution to continue to meet sweeping targets without feeling the pinch of increased fuel costs.

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For over 30 years now, Scarab has been promoting the environmental benefits of our single-engine technology and now, with many concerned by this change, are primed to support domestic operators as they transition away from twin-engine machines. Scarab first pioneered the single-engine road sweeper in the 1980s and has continued to deliver our expertise at the sharp end of the industry ever since. Our single-engine machines are lighter, provide a greater payload, produce reduced engine emissions and, crucially, consume less fuel than comparative twin-engine machines.


Our collection of single-engine machines range in size from 7.5 – 18 tonnes and come equipped with either 5.5, 6.2, 7.2 or 8.2 cubic metre hoppers – making each machine suitable for a wide spectrum of municipal and contractor applications. Each machine can deliver exceptional suction performance thanks to Scarab’s short, efficient airflow path that only bends three times before passing through the suction fan, which is mounted to the roof of the hopper. Most crucially, with only one engine to worry about, there is also only one source of emissions.

The result? A huge reduction in fuel consumption and NOx emissions compared to comparable Stage V twin-engine models. So, as well as producing unrivalled sweeping performance, Scarab’s single-engine system will deliver considerable fuel savings for operators too. But how does this system work and why is it crucial in helping accelerate society’s transition to a cleaner environment?


At the core of our trusted single engine system is Scarab’s innovative hydrostatic gearbox. This gearbox is installed directly into the chassis driveline which allows all the sweep components to be powered from the truck engine alone – which, as a result, leads to a more efficient use of fuel. This tried and trusted system is a staple feature in thousands of machines operating across the globe and can be firmly attributed to Scarab’s success as the industry leader.

When the machine is in ‘Travel’ mode, the Scarab gearbox provides a direct connection with the output from the truck’s transmission to the input of the rear axle – and so, the vehicle behaves exactly as if the gearbox was not there. However, in ‘Work’ mode, the power output from the truck is redirected from the gearbox to power our custom configured hydraulic pumps which, in turn, provide power to the suction fan, sweeping equipment and a powerful, electronically controlled pump that drives the robust hydraulic motor. This motor is responsible for driving the rear axle and provides the operator with exceptionally precise control of sweeping operations up to 15mph.

As well as bringing a range of performance benefits such as reduced weight, increased payload, reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions, the single-engine configuration also offers a range of operator benefits to make sweeping as effortless as possible. These include:

  • Easy to Engage | Once the machine has been brought to a stop, it only takes a matter of seconds to enter sweep mode and begin working. To start the process, the operator simply has to put the handbrake on and press the clutch down. From here, they press the red button on the top of the control panel until a static “H” symbol appears, place the machine into top gear and release the clutch. To complete the procedure, they then turn on the fan and press the toggle switch before commencing sweeping – this whole process takes less than 20 seconds.
  • Easy to Operate | Single pedal control and simple joystick functions – which is housed on Scarab’s door-pod control system - make sweeping easy. The operator dictates the vehicle’s movement by simply pressing the joystick forwards or backwards – this reduces fatigue and allows them to fully concentrate on sweeping.
  • Easy on the Environment | As mentioned, single-engine machines produce fewer engine emissions and harmful particulates. This makes this system ideal for customers looking to transition away from less efficient twin-engine machines.
  • Easy to Maintain | With no auxiliary engine to worry about, our single-engine customers benefit from lower maintenance costs and less machine downtime. Our single-engine machines, on average, also experience less brake and clutch wear due to the system’s ease of operation when in Hydrostatic Mode.
  • Easy to Trust | Over the years, our innovative hydrostatic system has proved to be an incredibly reliable solution – that’s why we are confident in providing our customers with bespoke warranty packages to suit their needs.


The exceptional performance of Scarab’s single-engine machines has been trusted by customers around the world for decades. Andy Farley, Scarab’s Business Development Manager, has been with the company since 1987. Thanks to his tenure with Scarab, he remembers the first single-engine Major rolling out of the factory: “When I first started [at Scarab], I worked in Spare Parts but, as was common practice back then, it was often a case of putting all hands to the pump to help get machines out to customers. I remember the day when the first single-engine Major was complete and I think it’s safe to say that we knew we had something special on our hands, even back then.”

“It has been rewarding to see the product evolve over the years, continue to meet the ever-changing demands of the industry and still come up trumps. When you speak to Scarab customers and operators, you are rewarded with the confidence that our single-engine products stand up and rival any twin-engine counterparts - to have seen our machines evolve to reach this level is outstanding. I like to explain to people that may be new to the Scarab product that it literally only takes 15 seconds to consider the environment, the same time it takes to enter hydrostatic mode and begin sweeping”.

While justifiably claiming the status as pioneers, Scarab can stand firm in the knowledge that our single-engine machines still set the industry standard of sweeping excellence to this day.

To find out more about our innovative range of products, please contact a member of the team: