California Dreaming

Since November 2017, Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD) in California has been using a Multihog MX 120 tractor equipped with a Pronovost snowblower and Metal Pless angle blade for winter service on the area’s trails.

Ralph Turner, senior operations specialist with TCPUD, has put over 400 hours on the Multihog in his first winter season. The main purpose of the Multihog is snow blowing, and depending on the weather, operations can vary, as he explained.

“Once it snows, we have 5.5 km of trails to clear, but it can be more if it’s a drought year – in that case we have to keep up to 16 km open. To have 1.5 m of snow by January is totally normal,” says Mr. Turner.

The Multihog is a big change for TCPUD, who did not own any winter machinery previously, apart from a small skid steer with a bucket. They cleared a small amount of snow on the sidewalks manually, but not on the trails.

As an operator, Ralph Turner has first-hand experience of the benefits the Multihog MX has brought to Tahoe.

“It’s a hydraulic tractor running a big snowblower. In spring lots of our trails sit under 3.6 m of snow, and that pressure would definitely break the shaft on a PTO tractor. Once the snow melts to around 1.5 m, we get our Multihog in there. At that point the snow is super dense, icy and solid; it’s pretty hard to shift, but it’s no problem for the MX. This tractor is really, really good – it’s the best thing I’ve seen around here, and it’s also the quickest,” said Mr. Turner.

Having known local Multihog dealer, Alpine Smith Inc., for several years, TCPUD knew they wanted to work with them due to their excellent after-sales support.

Outside of the winter season, TCPUD rent a boom mower for the MX to cut verges and hedges in the summer. The boom mower replaces handheld trimmers, and Mr. Turner mentions that the new method is “much safer and way better.” A vacuum sweeper has also been ordered to assist with picking up sand spread on the trails and in parking lots during winter seasons, ensuring the MX is working all year round.

Source: Multihog

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