Why not supplement a fleet with tractors?
HLA Snow was created as part of the HLA Attachments line of products a little over 20 years ago. Working in dirt and other materials, HLA always knew that tractors and industrial equipment are very capable machines that people use all summer to dig, push and pull, but when the snow flies they became a one-trick pony — doing what they can with a single bucket. Equipment properly outfitted with that correct attachment can unleash unrealized potential and provide owners with true 12-month benefits. Snow management professionals and fleet managers should consider the advantages of supplementing four-season equipment in place of adding additional trucks to a fleet.
Though time has proven their effectiveness, large, heavy frame trucks are engineered to pull or haul loads with low surface friction. A tractor can withstand a high amount of stress across the frame. When one pauses to consider the implements tractors drag and push through the ground, they closely mimic the stresses associated with plowing snow.
A solid fleet of truck plows can’t be beat for clearing highways and major roadways: In subdivisions, however, they may not be the answer. With smaller properties and less room for parking, the effectiveness of a plow truck is greatly reduced, often leaving behind large windrows of snow as it drives around parked cars.
Attachments in both agricultural and industrial applications have continued to evolve, often creating some very innovative units for specific applications. Many manufacturers engineer the same attachments for both sectors. A lot of times the only difference is the adaptor on the back of the attachment. Yet there seems to be a stigma that equipment and attachments developed for agricultural equipment are inferior to the equivalent industrial equipment.
With a large variety of available blades, fleet managers and operators have options to ensure that they get the right blade for their application. When working with any equipment type, configuration is key. It’s important to ensure that equipment and blades are matched properly. Too large a blade and the equipment can be damaged. Too small a blade and that blade itself could be damaged. It’s important to do some research and determine what the maximum operating weight, horsepower and mounting options are and then determine what type of pushing needs to be done.
Most blades were designed for specific applications, such as a box blade or an angle blade. A box blade only allows the operator to push snow in the direction of travel, where as an angle blade deflects the snow and allows the driver to windrow. A good angle blade with wings combines the common function of a box blade and an angle blade, allowing the operator to adapt to the situation.
Available in 3000, 4000 and 5000 series models, there is a perfect pairing for the SnowWing and almost any piece of equipment. Landscape or general contractors can pair the 3200W with their compact skid loaders or wheel loaders. The 5206W is ideal for those wanting to get more out of their heavy equipment, with operating weights of 40,000 pounds.
As a seasoned veteran, the SnowWing is an angle blade with hydraulic end plates that rotate 180 degrees. What sets the HLA SnowWing apart from other blades with wings is its patented rotary actuator. It’s strong enough to stand up to heavy loads and features a relief valve to protect the equipment and the operator from impact resulting from unexpected collisions.
Over the years more commercial companies in the private sector have experienced the benefits of agricultural tractors as part of their snow and ice management program. This led to the development of the six foot wings on HLA’s 4206W/5206W models. These wings not only provide up to 12 feet of additional clearing but also feature removable top sections for clearing areas with low clearance heights.
Skilled operators have cleared 90 percent of the snow around a light standard simply by manipulating the wing, sweeping it around the base of a light standard in a single pass. The packed streets of today’s urban routes would benefit from these advanced clearing practices, whether it’s clearing snow in front of hydrants or from around parked cars.
Municipalities have begun to consider integrating tractors to reinforce their existing fleet. Solutions could include purchasing the blade outright and renting the tractor for a reasonable hourly rate. Fleet managers can use these reinforcements to supplement their existing fleets and manage their budgets by tracking how many hours they’ve been in use, and dispatching accordingly. As an annual program this solution provides always-new equipment that hasn’t been worn down by time. As an added bonus the used equipment market is flooded with high-quality, low-hour equipment that can help keep struggling companies moving forward.
Information provided by HLA/Horst.
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