Nottinghamshire County Council - Hire deal saves £1000 per day
Cutting costs, time and verges
By hiring two Multihogs for verge cutting across the county’s 4,500 km of roads, Nottinghamshire County Council expects to make substantial savings on traffic management costs, reducing these by as much as £1,000 a day. The council is also the first local authority in the UK to kit the MH90 base units out with unique Multihog flail mower/cutter attachments enabling faster and safer verge cutting operations.
The side shifting and traversing front mounted flail mower attachment can be hydraulically positioned to work either side of the Multihog, offering major benefits compared to traditional fixed rear or side mounted cutting equipment, particularly when working on dual carriageways. Project Manager of Highways Services Mick Monaghan explains: “Due to the requirement to work in the same direction as the traffic, our old tractor mounted system involved lane closures and rerouting, which obviously caused disruption as well as incurring considerable costs. Cutting either side of the Multihog whilst travelling with the traffic flow allows us to complete the work much more quickly and safely.”
More efficient mowing methods were looked at when this work was brought back into the Council’s remit after previously being under the umbrella of District Councils. It quickly became clear that there was nothing comparable on the market to the Multihog when it came to the high level of versatility the machine offers coupled with one-man operation for the best use of available labour.
The Council has also hired snow plough and gritter attachments, allowing the Multihogs to switch seamlessly from mowing to winter clearance duties for year round utilisation. “Unlike our old mowing equipment, which stood idle in the yard in the winter, there is no ‘closed season’ for the Multihogs, so we will be making maximum use of our resources,” says Mick Monaghan.
Wherever possible the Council aims to reduce the risk of injury and improve the working environment for the workforce, and the Multihog will enable it to do just this. Its articulated design and compact build is particularly beneficial for working in precincts, cul-de-sacs and narrow roads on estates for ploughing and gritting and it can access confined areas that previously needed to be gritted by hand for more accurate spreading and faster procedures.
The front mounted mower attachment allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road ahead for better visibility, avoiding the need to constantly look over their shoulders as is the case with rear mounted mowers. Attachments can be operated from inside the cab, eradicating the risk of hand arm vibration injury. The solid chassis is very stable even when working on gradients and the 40km/h top road speed is faster than tractors for reaching outlying areas.
“It makes sense to have equipment capable of working in all seasons, particularly when the weather seems to be so unpredictable,” say Mick. “The wide variety of attachments available from Multihog means that we are considering other operations such as patch planing and carriageway maintenance which will further enhance the use of these already very flexible machines.”
Picture: Council employees stand by Multihog.