West Lothian Council - Robust resilience and all year use
West Lothian sees its fair share of bad weather in the winter, but this year the area was more than prepared to deal with the effects of it.
West Lothian Council boosted its winter maintenance fleet, with the addition of two Multihog multi-purpose implement carriers with gritter, snow plough and snow blower attachments.
The council has a network of 950 km of roads and 1000 km of footways in its remit, and needed to find cost effective yet extremely efficient machines to supplement its existing resources.
After watching a video of the Multihog in operation, Supervisor of Road Services Tom Ward and his team saw at first hand at a demo how quick and easy it is to change the demountable attachments.
“The Multihog’s versatility and manoeuvrability made it a very attractive proposition and we were impressed with the quality of manufacturing,” said Tom.
“By augmenting our existing winter resilience fleet with the two Multihogs, we have been able to improve the effectiveness of our snow clearing service across West Lothian,” says Tom.
The snow has not yet been heavy enough to warrant the use of the snow blower, but the two Multihogs fitted with a combination of the rear mounted 1m³ capacity gritter and a front mounted hydraulic lift, tilt and angle snow plough were used to great effect recently.
Operations Manager Andy Johnston explains: ”We deployed the Multihogs within two residential areas in Fauldhouse and Blackburn, as these areas have been historically problematic to clear due to narrow roads, and turning restrictions in cul-de-sacs.
“Fixed snow ploughs have difficulty manoeuvring around obstacles such as parked cars in these restricted spaces and they can also only clear snow in one direction.”
The Multihogs’ compact design and manoeuvrability allowed them to access all areas, move easily around cars and in and out of cul-de-sacs. They enable drivers to have better control of where cleared snow is deposited for more even distribution. Time savings achieved were also impressive: an estate that used to take a whole day to clear using two fixed snow ploughs was done and dusted in a morning with just one Multihog, considerably improving the council’s productivity. A further bonus is the top road speed of 40 km/h which enabled the Multihog working in Fauldhouse to quickly cover the 12 mile distance from the depot.
“The Multihogs’ initial performance leaves us in no doubt that we are well equipped for efficient clearance should the snow return,” says Andy Johnston.
When the winter season is over, West Lothian Council will be investigating other attachments such as a patch planer, which has ability to carry out permanent carriageway repairs in a fraction of the time needed by a larger machine that cannot travel under its own power.
Tom Ward sums up: “The beauty of the Multihog is that it is never likely to sitting idle whatever the time of year.”
West Lothian Case Study