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Better Roads Staff | August 1, 2010

Snow and Ice Equipment

By Tina Grady Barbaccia

Valk Manufacturing Co. offers a series of snowplows designed specifically for the F450, F550 and 5500 series trucks. The VW-8PRHD/BSS, VW-9PRHD/BSS, and VW-10PRHD/BSS are 10-gauge steel moldboard plows with an extension spring tip. All of the models are available in heavy-duty 1/2-inch bottom angle assembly, semi-circle assembly, and angle push frame assembly. Other features include five 1/2-inch vertical ribs with two rows of horizontal ribs; is reversible up to 35 degrees left and right; has 2-1/2- by 10-inch single-acting reversing cylinders; and the 10-foot plow has 96-inch five hinge-point semi-circle assembly.

The Boss Snowplow has just unveiled two new professional-grade plows designed especially for the UTV market. The UTV plows feature many of the same “smart technology” and hydraulic systems and other quality enhancements found on full-size Boss plows. Available in two models – the 6-foot, 6-inch Power-V XT and the 6-foot Poly Straight-Blade Snowplow – provide flexibility to reach areas where traditional plows cannot go due to space limitations or rough terrain.

The Boss Snowplow introduces the BX-12, its first box plow designed to remove large volumes of snow in a single pass. The box plow features a 12-foot-wide sectioned trip edge featuring segmented cutting edges that allow each 8-inch cutting edge segment to trip individually. This keeps the remaining cutting edges in contact with the surface. Articulating end plates are self-leveling to keep the scraping edge surface closely in contact with the pavement, reducing wear and tear on the shoe heel and the impact felt when an obstruction is struck.

Worksaver Snow Blades for skid steers (SBS Series) and tractor loaders (SBFL Series) for snow removal in driveways, parking lots or other large areas are able to angle left or right for easier use and feature a 90-inch width and 3/8- by 6-inch cutting edge of 1044 steel. The 9-foot snow blade features 5-degree lateral oscillation, allowing the blade to follow ground contours. Other features including a reinforced 27-inch-high 10-gauge moldboard, free-floating blade to clean uneven surfaces and adjustable depth skid shoes come standard. A “universal” quick-attach mounting system is built into the skid steer models and offers easy access to the operator’s seat. Optional interfacing quick-attach brackets are available for most tractor loader models and optional hydraulic angle adjustment kits are available for all models.

All Fisher brand snowplows feature enhanced corrosion resistance thanks to an improved Storm Guard multi-step powder coating process. The system incorporates a new epoxy primer plus a new high-gloss powder coat formula to deliver much longer-lasting protection against wear and rust. The process includes the following features: An 8-wheel shot blaster that removes mill scale and profile steel surfaces for best adhesion; automated multi-stage pre-wash to provide superior surface preparation; the new epoxy primer for added protection and powder coat adhesion; and robotic guns in a climate-controlled powder-coat booth to deliver uniform coverage of the new high-gloss powder coat formula.

Snow Dragon’s SND580 is claimed as the first snow melter manufactured to date that can be used on the top deck of a parking garage. The dual-axle snow melter weighs approximately 10,000 pounds filled with fuel and water, and only 6,500 pounds empty, allowing it to be towed by a properly sized Ford 150 or a Dodge Ram 1500 or higher. Measuring 16 foot in length, 6 feet 3 inches in width, and only 6 feet 2 inches high at its highest point, the melt rating on this 5.8 million snow melter is 18 tons per hour, also allowing it to be used on standard melting applications.

SnowEx has just introduced AccuSpray de-icing/anti-icing sprayers, available in 100-, 200- and 300-gallon capacities (models VSS-1000, VSS-2000 and VSS-3000, respectively). The units are compatible with a wide range of service vehicles, from utility vehicles and pickup trucks to larger flatbed and dump trucks, and can spray all de-icing and anti-icing liquids currently available on the market. There are five downward facing nozzles in the boom for driving surface spraying, a nozzle on each end of the boom for lateral, or curb, spraying, and a handheld wand for spot spraying. The five surface-spraying nozzles each offer three-position actuation, allowing the operator to choose between single-stream, triple-stream or wide-fan spraying. Additionally, the spray wand includes 100 feet of hose standard on a heavy-duty retractable reel, and offers a spray pattern from hollow cone to straight stream depending on how far the trigger is depressed.

The FFC Snow Blower from Paladin Construction Group turns a skid steer into a mini snowplowing machine for small to medium snow removal jobs. The two-stage hydraulic blower is available in both standard and high-flow models that range between 4- and 8-feet wide, with shroud openings of 25 or 36 inches. The 18-inch auger cuts as deep as 36 inches into snow and drifts, and then throws it up to 45 feet away from the clearing surface. Choose from an electronic or electro/hydraulic powered, poly-lined chute and deflector.

The AccuBrine automated brine maker from Cargill Deicing Technology enables users to produce large volumes of brine on demand and store it for later use. The brine maker with automated control is made of non-corrosive, marine-grade fiberglass construction, and its bottom-down water-flow design produces cleaner, more concentrated brine, according to the manufacturer. That means less sediment and fewer flow meter and pump-seal failures.

Sears Ecological Applications Company’s (SEACO) Ice B’Gone is a dark brown, sweet-smelling liquid with a molasses-like texture and viscosity that is either mixed with rock salt or applied directly to the roadway. The product contains low molecular weight carbohydrates (LMWCs), which are essentially sugars such as molasses, high-fructose corn syrup, or distillers and brewers byproducts. The de-icer, composed of organic-based, non-toxic, agricultural products, is chemical free and has received a “Design for the Environment (DfE)” recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The PolarFlex blade from Valley Blades Limited replaces the rigid cutting edge of a standard blade setup with independent 12-inch-long carbide-tipped steel segments. These segments are mounted inside a system of synthetic rubber components, which completely isolate the segments from the plow. The rubber-mounted segments are free to move vertically and axially (float), allowing them to conform to the uneven contours of most roads.

The patented Domar Dome from the Dome Corporation of America is non-corrosive/corrosion resistant, from the asphalt pad to the shingles. The standard domes range in size from 50 to 150 feet in diameter, and its barrel buildings are limited only by the amount of land available.

The Guardian system from Vaisala is a non-invasive Road Weather Information System, or RWIS, that enables the user to remotely monitor road conditions in real time. The system is capable of detecting the first ice crystals that develop on the roads monitored and relays frost and snow information. Visual confirmation of all measured conditions and levels of traffic are provided by the Guardian’s camera. The stem is a “do-it-yourself” installation and allows the data to be collected without slot cutting or lane closures. The system was recently awarded the 2009 Idaho Transportation Department Excellence in Transportation Award for its partnership with the agency for its Road Weather Information Stations (RWIS) Build Out program.

The new SR-110 and SR-210 utility spreaders from SnowEx are compact units, driven by electric motors and equipped with wireless controls. The dual 12-volt electric drive/maximum torque transmission system is completely sealed within a weather-resistant enclosure. Pocket-sized wireless remotes control the rate of the two-speed spinner and toggle the electric motor on and off. Both models attach to a variety of vehicles, including pickups, SUVs, cars, utility vehicles and ATVs. Both spreaders feature a 3-cubic-foot capacity hopper. The SR-210 spreads up to a 25-foot range and features a vertical high-flow auger that works in conjunction with the spinner, allowing the unit to spread bulk materials. The SR-110 spreads material up to a 20-foot range and uses a gate feed system, allowing it to handle small calcium chloride pellets or bagged ice melters. The SR-110 includes a cable to open and close the gate from the cab.

Ice Manager from Ver-Mac’s Jamlogic Division is a fixed anti-icing system with free wireless access and automated, scheduled or manual control. The system uses green power, both solar and wind. According to the manufacturer, Ice Manager works well for trouble spots such as bridges, tunnels, curves, steep slopes and intersections.

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