Edinburgh Airport- Four Seasons, One Machine
Edinburgh Airport's Multihogs enable a quick and effective response to the first sign of snow from Scandinavia as well as other applications throughout the rest of the year as Scott Watson explains
More than 40 airlines serve 100 plus destinations from Scotland’s capital airport Edinburgh, and its passenger numbers of some nine million a year look set to grow further. Due to its location it is on the receiving end of considerably more snow and ice than other airports situated further west or south.
In spite of this, Airside Operations Delivery Manager Scott Watson and his team manage to avoid many closures, and are mindful of the fact that every area is critical – runway, stand, passenger roadways etc – with old tractor based winter kit from 1997 replaced by two Multihog multi-purpose implement carriers which provide not only fast and efficient head of stand clearance but also all seasonal availability.
“Staying open is a matter of pride, to say nothing of the costs that closures entail – a six hour shut down can cost around half a million pounds for example,” said Scott. “There is also much more pressure from airlines regarding improved winter maintenance as well as government focus on efficient operation in bad weather, which is why we decided to look at new products a year or so ago. After our own thorough investigation and speaking to contacts within the industry we came to the conclusion that there was nothing to match the Multihog in terms of versatility, performance and living up to its promise.”
Leading head of stand clearance
The Multihog’s compact build together with excellent manoeuvrability and visibility make it the ideal tool for safely accessing confined areas around parked aircraft. The front mounted combi plough and brush units fitted to Edinburgh’s two machines feature push button function change from within the cab and guarantee thorough initial snow clearance and final sweep. Scott is particularly impressed with the powerful brush performance which is a great improvement on the heavy and unwieldy brushes previously used.
The de-icer tanks on the rear are coupled with 300 psi lance attachments which can operate at high or low pressure and are particularly effective for fast de-icing of passenger walkways and steps. The CANBUS systems on the tanks monitor and regulate the quantity and spread of the de-icing fluid which is advantageous from both environmental and financial points of view as it considerably reduces wastage of this expensive commodity.
Effective all-year utilisation
Edinburgh Airport has also trialled a number of other attachments which enable the Multihog to be used for all manner of tasks outside of the winter period: by fitting a set of forks the machine is transformed into a handling device for transporting IBC’s and can be used by the Fire Service Training Division for picking up crashed vehicles for example.
“This multi-purpose ability is a sound argument with the finance department who naturally look to get the most out of expenditure,” said Scott. “Machines designed and engineered for very specific jobs end up being used for just a few months of the year whereas we can count on daily use of our Multihogs, and their 4 wheel drive also means we can use them on terrain that is problematic for other vehicles.”
“We are often the first to get cold fronts from Scandinavia and need to be on constant alert to the requirement for de-icing. But with the best will in the world and an excellent team, we can only be effective with the right equipment,” explains Scott. “We are now in a position to react very quickly and thanks to the Multihogs’ in-cab comfort and visibility our drivers are more than happy to get them out there to keep things clear and moving.”
Interested in the all-seasonal utilisation demonstrated by Edinburgh Airport? Call 01254 703212 to arrange a demonstration