Multifunctional high-performance airport pavement cleaning systems for year-round use.
It has been 8 months since I retired from GRR. It was my dream and then my promise to the Field Maintenance team that before I left, we would have had an entire snow vehicle fleet replacement. The list was long and the processes as you know can be painful and disappointing at times but the reality is, most times you will take what you can get. NOT!!
As my time to go off and pursue other opportunities was quickly approaching, I was extremely fortunate to first witness a well researched and thought out snow fleet replacement matrix coming together. The initial concept in this high stakes business idea was not rocket science or new to those of us that understand that extended primary pavement surface time closures were no longer acceptable. Let’s also not forget about the stress of mandated snow clearing expectations from FAA. Oh–they ARE watching–and they should be.
It’s just the way it worked out but I had a legitimate “cart before the horse” scenario going. My blowers were far superior in their capabilities than my brooms so I had gained nothing.
Soon, my first 2 of many deliveries started with Airport Technologies, the SB 1050 Snow Wolf Snow Blowers. Ya. Not a bad way to start but it actually did not solve my pavement closure times. Oh–they were doing things with snow that I had never witnessed before but they by necessity, are the last pieces of equipment in a conga line that cannot (will not) leave the airfield until the pavement is deemed safe and operational.
You see I had 7 front-loaded brooms. Yes. They do and will always have a place in the airport snow removal industry but I had 2 hungry blowers that were capable of traveling at 25-35 mph, under duress. Wet heavy snow is predominant in West Michigan so for the Snow Wolf’s, it was not an issue. My front-loaded brooms of course struggled. The closure times were not decreasing as you can go only so fast with brooms that were loading up with packed snow. There was also a great deal of additional closure time spent having a spare broom clean-up all the spills from the primary brooms, which was inevitable. This clearly represented delays in re-opening surfaces. Unacceptable.
It is then when the plan started coming together. The missing links to operational efficiency started arriving. 1st it was 4 Airport Technologies Snow PV-400 Snow Maulers followed soon by 4 Boschung T-10000 Jet Brooms, the first of their kind in the United States. Instantaneous game changers? Yes, but I still had a problem. I calculated that I needed a total of 6 of these combination units to satisfy the aforementioned demands placed on airports for safety and compliance during inclimate weather.
Well— As I mentioned, I have now been gone for 8 months but the other day, I got a call letting me know that I can RIP. The final 2 combination units, totalling 6 had been delivered. I haven’t gone back to the Field Maintenance Department since I retired but the time for that visit had finally come. I had to see them. My visit was brief and the handshakes were emotional. I actually engaged with Boschung’s best, David and Bill from SES. They are the men that makes this equipment work it’s magic. I then walked away knowing that while their challenges with Mother Nature remain the same, they are now fully equipped to meet those challenges with an unbeatable, highly technologically advanced snow removal fleet. My vision and my dream had come true. While I’ll keep watching now from afar, I couldn’t be more confident that they really never needed me around anyway. Semper Fi.
SEE YOU IN BUFFALO