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Some innovations in snow and ice control equipment.

Snow and ice control professionals know that matching the right equipment to the job is critical to their programs' success and that it pays to keep abreast of new developments in equipment. Two major pieces of equipment used for snow removal are snowplows and snowblowers. The following article looks at a few of the latest innovations available in snowplows, snowplow controls, snowplow blades, snowblowers, snow sweepers, and other specialized equipment.

Snowplows and Related Equipment

The Universal V-blade Snowplow from Fresia Engineering Inc. (Richmond, Virginia) can be employed effectively on any type of road construction and snow conditions, from clearing high or frozen snowdecks to working in tight, congested places such as parking lots and narrow side streets. The very versatile plow boasts a scraper blade made of hardened manganese steel for high wearability and impact resistance. Four different sizes are available for use with 4 x 4 trucks, front end loaders, motor graders, industrial tractors, and specialized vehicles. An optional self-contained electro-hydraulic control package mounts on the plow to control lift, float, and opening or closing of either wing separately.

Little Falls Machine, Inc. (Little Falls, Minnesota) supplies a wide range of snowplows and snow wings. Products include one-way snowplows (fixed and trip moldboard) V-plows, power reversible snow plows (trip moldboard, trip edge, and expressway/dual taper), benching snow wings (truck and motor grader mounted), dual-function direct hydraulic snow wings (truck, front end loader, and motor grader mounted), trip edge snow wings, fixed dozers, and angling snow dozers as well as hitch systems, quick couplers, and scarifiers.

The UniMount[R] System from Western Products (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is billed as a revolutionary concept in snowplow design. It is available for some compact trucks and most full-size domestic vehicles. Because most of the snowplow mount can be quickly and easily removed from the vehicle when it is not be used for plowing, vehicle appearance is improved and less permanent weight (about 110 lb) is on the front of the vehicle. No tools are needed to attach or remove the UniMount System. Once the stand is in position, four pins and two electrical plugs are all that is needed to attach or remove the system.

Root Spring Scraper Company (Kalamazoo, Michigan) supplies a variety of snow removal equipment:

* Underbody Scrapers. Units are mounted underneath medium- and heavy-duty truck chassis between the front and rear axles. These units use direct hydraulic down pressure to remove snow and maintain gravel roads. Sizes available range from 10 to 12 ft with 1/2 to 1 in. thick moldboards. The units can be fixed angle or hydraulic power reversible.

* Front Snowplows. Includes fixed angle, one-way plow, power reversible straight and one-way trip plows, straight blades, mounted on loaders for airport ramps and parking lots and up to 22-ft reversible plows for airport runways. Front plows are built for 2-ton trucks and up and have a variety of tripping mechanisms.

* Loader-Mounted Snowblowers. Self-contained single-stage auger type machine with either 8- or 9-ft cut, powered by a standard Caterpillar 3208 engine. Capacity is 10 to 18 tons per minute. In-cab controlled hydraulic clutch and throttle control. Optional hydraulic turning chute.

Two different styles of snowplows for Class II 4 x 4 pickup trucks are made by Boss Snowplow, A Division of M.J. Electric, Inc. (Iron Mountain, Michigan). The first and most popular is the Power-V line of multi-position snowplows. Power-V blade positions include vee, angle, scoop, and straight. The second style is the Super-Duty Straight-Blade snowplow, built extra strong for heavy-duty municipal use.

Guest Industries, Inc. (Torrington, Connecticut) furnishes bucket-mounted snowplows that clamp to the bucket lip without tools in under three minutes. No need to dedicate a machine since no adapters or special frames are needed. Available in 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 10-, and 12-ft widths. Manually angles 30 [degrees] to either side. Excellent for piling snow and very effective on walkways.

The "Predator" sidewalk plow from Sno-Way International, Inc. (Hartford, Wisconsin) features a 69-in. wide Lexan moldboard with a special down-pressure system that places extra weight on the cutting edge through hydraulic pressure - yet the plow is light enough to not damage the vehicle's front end. The Lexan moldboard is slippery and moves snow very efficiently.

The P-Series of heavy-duty all-wheel drive snowplow trucks from Oshkosh Truck Corporation (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) weighs in at 52,000 lb. The vehicle can be equipped with either Detroit, Cummins, or Caterpillar powerplants and comes in a 4 x 4 or 6 x 6 axle configuration. Equipped with a dump body, insert salt or sand spreader, a folding wing plow, and front reversible plow, this unit can tackle any snow condition found on the road. Options include an electronic "All-Steer" system and an anti-skid braking system. Oshkosh also makes an all-wheel drive, heavy-duty rotary snowblower with an 8-ft blower head mounted on the front. It can blow and/or remove 4000 tons of snow per hour at a east distance of 100 ft.

A wing positioning device from Rouse Equipment and Fabricating (Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada) can be very helpful when it comes to safety while carrying a plow wing and laying down salt or sand. The Wing Positioner dramatically improves visibility by repositioning the wing down below the side window of the truck. Made of high-strength steel it attaches easily with bolts or pins to new or used wings.

Snowplow Controls

APITECH, A Unit of Applied Power (Butler, Wisconsin) has introduced a new multi-function control console for snowplowing and spreading operations. The unit puts all the controls for the different functions in one convenient console that can be mounted with standard brackets on top or bottom of the spreader controller. Control console functions include plow, wing, beacon lights, hammer, float option, tip vibrate, and more. Available in 12 or 24 volt, the control console is backlit for night and low-light conditions.

Snowplow Blades

Designed for safety and long life, Dura-Steel urethane cutting edges from U.S. Highway Products, Inc. (Westport, Connecticut) reduce the chance of damage due to the striking of manhole covers, potholes, frost heaves, plowable markers, and plastic pavement markings. Dura-Steel's special urethane resists corrosion and abrasion and allows the blade to absorb the shock of impact, then rebound to its original shape. A steel keeper blade is inserted in this reversible cutting edge for better pack snow removal.

Pacal, Calmenson & Company's (St. Paul, Minnesota) "Big Foot" enhances the cutting ability of its carbide-insert plow blade by putting 100 percent more carbide on the wear surface. It has a supported sharp "toe" that scrapes packed snow and ice more effectively. The new blade can be used for most plowing applications, including underbody scrapers where it is mounted with the "heel" as the cutting edge for ice removal and snow clearing.

When the urethane snowplow blades from C.U.E., Inc. (Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania) strike a buried road hazard - such as a manhole cover - the working edge flexes, absorbing most of the impact, and rides over the hazard. The blade then returns to its original shape, even at -22 [degrees] F. The reversible blades can be specified with molded-in mounting slots to adjust for wear.

Snowblowers and Other Specialized Equipment

Are you windrowing snow on city streets or clearing mountain roads and passes? If so, then this snowblower from Wildcat Manufacturing Company, Inc. (Freeman, South Dakota) may be the answer. The simple design of the firm's single-stage blower minimizes downtime and allows the passage of large objects. A special shear hub assembly allows the operator to replace shear bolts easily and to quickly return to the job. Capacities available from 1500 to 4000 tons per hour and cutting widths from 7 to 10 ft wide.

A 42-in., two-stage snowthrower attachment for the SunStar Garden tractor from Simplicity Manufacturing (Port Washington, Wisconsin) is shaft driven and attaches easily. The rugged 18- and 20-hp tractors feature power steering, adjustable seat, and easy-to-operate control panel. Snow cab available.

Excel Industries, Inc.'s (Hesston, Kansas) tractors can be equipped for plowing with snow blades, such as the Model 9400 UTR[TM]. Built for heavy-duty work, the 90-in. wide snow blade is easily raised, lowered, and angled using illuminated buttons. The snow blade is easy to mount and unmount once the mount kit has been bolted to the tractor frame. Snow throwers are also available for use with the company's machines.

The polypropylene and wire bristles on the Power Sweeper from Sweepster[R] Inc. (Dexter, Michigan) bend independently when they come in contact with the surface being swept. The brush head remains in constant contact with the surface, ensuring a clean and even sweep. Power Sweepers are ideal for cleaning walkways and streets made of inlaid brick. The flexible bristles reach down into low spots, cleaning the grooves between the bricks. Styles are offered for mounting to tractors, loaders, and skid-steers as well as lawn and garden tractors. A walk-behind unit is also available.

Ultra-slick QuickSilver dump body lining systems from Poly Hi Solidur (Fort Wayne, Indiana) release loads easily in sub-freezing temperatures, so there is no need for warming sheds or backhoe clean-outs. Unloading sand, salt, and compost goes smoothly. Installation is quick and easy with standard shop tools.
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Publication:Public Works
Date:Mar 1, 1995
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