It is an offence under the Highway Act to deposit mud and debris on the road. Where the offender can be identified, they can be prosecuted by either the police or local highway authorities.

Mud and other debris can be dragged onto the road from construction sites, quarries, or waste management sites.

The two most common solutions for managing mud on roads are wheel washes or road sweepers.

Here, we asked Alison Galley, Head of Sales at Wheelwash to explain when you will need a wheel wash and when you will need a road sweeper.



1. What is the difference between a road sweeper and a wheel wash?

Put simply, a road sweeper is a reactive way of dealing with mud on the roads.

A wheel wash is a proactive way of preventing mud on roads.

Ecowash Bespoke

2. When might you need to use a road sweeper rather than a wheel wash?

Some sites physically cannot fit a wheel wash. This is usually on housing developments in areas where there might be limited space available, such as dense inner city areas.

Ecowash Excel, High-pressure spray wash system


3. When would you need a wheel wash rather than a road sweeper?

Nowadays most projects plan to have a wheel wash. Most contractors are part of the Considerate Constructor’s scheme, which makes a wheel wash an essential part of the site infrastructure. So when customers go to book their tower crane, toilets, etc., the wheel wash system is a standard part of the toolkit. It’s not so much an afterthought but part of the essential infrastructure of a site.

Ecowash Extreme, High-capacity spray wash system


4. When might a road sweeper be the wrong choice?

Road sweepers can be quite controversial because they are slow and create traffic jams. It’s also cleaning up mud that’s already on public roads, whereas a wheel wash makes sure the mud is contained on the site.


Ecowash Extra, Unrivalled in reliability


5. How do the costs compare?

Hiring a road sweeper can be £40-£50 per hour. Some sites might be using them four hours a day, five days a week. That’s easily £4000 a month on a road sweeper.

Most wheel wash systems will cost you less than £14 per hour.

What should you do now: 

If you want to discuss specifying or investing in a wheel wash for your site, please get in touch with our super team. Please either call us: + (44) 1270 214 886 or email

If you just want to stay in touch with the latest wheel wash product innovations and news, we regularly update our LinkedIn page. Follow our LinkedIn page to stay in touch with us.