Take Up the Snow Challenge with Kawasaki Loaders

The Salt Lake City International Airport serves over 18,5 million passengers a year, with an average of 750 flights a day. It is the 50th largest in the world. With an average snowfall of 62 in (157 cm) a year, snow removal is not taken lightly. In fact, the airport's snow removal crew is as good as they come ­ they won first-place at the International Aviation Snow Symposium for "excellence in snow removal and ice control" during the winter of 2002.

Key to the airfield strategy of snow removal is their fleet of Kawasaki loaders. Although they use trucks equipped with snow plows on the runways and roads, loaders have proven to be ideal in highly congested areas such as ramps, gates, and taxiways. They are agile, quick, and definitely more powerful.

Kawasaki uses heavy-duty torque proportioning differentials in the all models except the 115ZV and 135ZV as standard equipment. This transfers up to 60% of the traction from the slipping side to the traction side automatically, therefore adding traction and reducing tire wear.

Kawasaki uses outboard brakes on its bigger machines. They have higher oil capacity, which lowers heat buildup. The outboard brake and planetary system lasts longer cost less to maintain.

"Our loaders are responsible for clearing about 20 million square feet," says Gerrard. "They have 30-foot snow plow blades. When the loader is on a ramp, it will push the snow to a windrow. Blowers will blow the windrows into a field or pad designated to receive snow or they will blow the snow into huge piles.

The Kawasakis change over to 12-yard snow buckets, dig into the piles, and load 40-yard articulated haul trucks. The trucks then take the snow to a designated spot."

"Our operators really enjoy running the new ZVs," says Tom Gerrard, Senior Airfield Maintenance Supervisor. "They like the cab layout and from a maintenance standpoint, they are easy to care for. They have worked out excellently." The airport ordered each of their 95ZVs with a 6-yard dirt bucket, a 12-yard snow bucket, a 30-foot ramp plow, and a quick coupler system.

After snow season ends in late March, the loaders are kept busy with a variety of other tasks. When a building is demolished, the loaders put the debris into haul trucks. They do road building, runway maintenance, road stabilization, and tree removal. They also do dirt work ­ like repairing any snow-melt erosion, filling in low spots around the perimeter fence, and creating snow pads onto which next winter's snowfall will be piled.

Source: Montréal Tracteur Inc.,
Kawasaki Loaders


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