Page URL: http://gb.baumpub.com/news/2443/grader-power
News | Headlines
August 10, 2012 - For most people in the larger urban areas of North America, a weather forecast that called for several inches of snow, very high winds and temperatures dipping to minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit (-35 degrees C) could best be described as ominous. But for the folks of central Saskatchewan, this is just another typical winter weather-forecast.
In the Rural Municipality of Elfros #307, located approximately a two-hour drive south and east of the City of Saskatoon, it has been snowing, blowing and bitterly cold for days now. This typical prairie municipality or county is 18 miles (29 km) square and has over 400 miles (643 km) of gravel or dirt roads to maintain in the summer and keep snow-free in the winter. Although there are only approximately four hundred people living in this predominantly agricultural area, the roads must be kept open to accommodate school buses, emergency vehicles and those needing to get to work or into town to buy the necessities of life.
It’s still dark as Terry Torgerson and Marcus Elphinstone make their way to the municipal garage. There waiting for them is a pair of Volvo G970 Motor Graders, each equipped with a one way snow plow on the front and a full-size hydraulic snow wing on the right-hand side. This will be another long day for this team of highly experienced grader operators, but they fully understand the importance of their job. “We have to keep the traffic moving, and that’s not always easy. It can get pretty ugly out there sometimes, it’s white and flat with no easy reference points in many areas and because of the wind whipping the snow around, visibility is quite often at a minimum,” explains Torgerson. “It can be very dangerous for both man and machine but it’s our job to keep the roads open... and we do.”
The Rural Municipality of Elfros has been purchasing Volvo motor graders for a number of years and prior to that they owned a series of Champion motor graders, the Volvo brand’s predecessor. “We have to be very prudent with our constituent’s money,” explains veteran Elfros municipal councillor Barry Syrota. “As a council, we have found that the Volvo product performs very well for us. They are priced right to begin with, have excellent fuel economy and as long as we keep them well maintained, when it comes time to trade them in, the value is still there.”
It’s still early and the morning sun hasn’t graced the horizon as yet, but Terry and Marcus have their Volvo G970’s fuelled up and ready to roll. Each will make every effort to plow a minimum of 200 miles (321 km) of road during today’s shift. “We make every attempt to maintain an average speed of 25 miles-per-hour (40 kph) when plowing, but when the going gets tough, as I know it will today, we have no choice but to slow down,” Terry explained. “These graders have excellent power-to-weight ratio, just the thing you need for snow plowing. They also have excellent visibility.”
Each Volvo G970 Tandem Drive Motor Grader has a net operating weight of 41,660 pounds (18,900 kg) and is powered by the field-proven 210-250 hp (156-186 kW) Volvo D9 with V-ACT diesel engine. This engine is capable of a top rating of 262 net horse power when operated at 1700 rpm in the high horsepower range. The result, high engine torque at low rpm. Power is transferred to the ground via a standard 8-speed transmission or the optional 11-speed HTE1160 transmission with selectable manual, auto-shift and travel modes providing both power and speed when and where you need it.
Snow in the city
In the nearby City of Saskatoon, Maintenance Manager Rod McKenzie is very pleased with their fleet of Volvo motor graders and Volvo wheel loaders. During the winter months, Saskatoon primarily uses their graders for clearing city streets and moving huge piles of snow and ice into the centre of the roadway in preparation for the appearance of a giant snow blower and a fleet of snow removal trucks. Equipped with an extended length, serrated cutting edge moldboard a Volvo G960 Tandem Drive Motor Grader is cutting through and breaking up ice that is six to ten inches thick, while manoeuvring with ease on narrow streets and around both moving and parked cars.
Following closely behind the Volvo G960 is a Volvo L150F Wheel Loader mounted with a giant Larue D65 Snow Blower. Again, engine power and machine weight are crucial to the safety and efficiency of this operation. To fill extended box dump trucks with snow and ice in a matter of seconds requires powerful, steady forward motion on slippery roadways, while the self-powered snow blower develops a tremendous amount of rotational torque that smaller or less efficient wheel loaders are incapable of handling. The Volvo L150F has the right power-to-weight ratio and handles this job with ease.
To learn more about this company:
312 Volvo Way, Shippensburg, PA, US, 17257
- Telog HPR-32 provides wireless hydrant pressure monitoring
- PACCAR Parts celebrates its 40th Anniversary
- Douglas Dynamics, Inc. acquires TrynEx, Inc.
- Long Beach Transit orders 12 Rotary Lift MOD30 inground lifts
- Work Truck Show 2013 Green Award goes to Odyne Systems
- Fisher STORM BOXX pusher plows
- New Ditch Witch TK Series HDD Guidance System enhances productivity