Winter road maintenance is an important task for municipal companies. Given the unstable weather conditions in recent years and the unpredictability of temperatures and precipitation, winter maintenance operators face a difficult task each season. RASCO always strives to be one...
- Lahorka Lojen
We spoke to the driver of a spectacular custom-made new winter service truck to hear his perspective on winter road maintenance in Norwegian conditions
When it comes to winter maintenance, Norwegians take things very seriously. If your daily job includes operating a winter service vehicle on temperatures below freezing point, you need to have the best equipment possible. And that includes RASCO spreaders – a vital and reputable piece of equipment among many winter service operators in Norway.
Winter service on -30°C
One of them is Mr. Kristoffer Tetlie, who works at Lindsethmo Transport AS in the city of Skage and operates a winter service truck between Overhalla and Namsos municipalities. The region he works in often has temperatures going below -30°C and his main job is to prevent ice buildup on the road. In such heavy conditions, he uses natural sand for spreading, mostly in quantity from 150 to 200 g/m2.
Winter in middle Norway is very unpredictable and Kristoffer’s engagement varies from one hour a day to a non-stop work when the truck works 24/7 and he and his colleagues exchange.
The Lindsethmo truck is instantly recognizable on the road thanks to its custom red-and-white paint scheme and matching winter service implements. The model is a brand-new Volvo with 750 hp, 6×2, three axles and hydraulic steering on the third axle. The Spreader mounted in the back is RASCO’s SOLID with a chain transport system and 9 m3 dry agent capacity, operated by EPOS 10 control unit directly from the vehicle cabin. Snow is cleared using a Mählers DPD 3700 snow plow mounted on the front side of the truck, and a grader blade is installed behind the truck’s front axle.
EFFICIENCY AND SIMPLICITY OF SPREADERS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN SCANDINAVIA
RASCO has hundreds of spreaders in the Scandinavian area so we asked Kristoffer why they are so popular among his colleagues. He stressed their durability, simplicity, and intuitive operation, but also the reliability of support his company gets from our Scandinavian distributor partner Mählers.
They are easy to operate, once you get used to the control panel you do not have to take your eyes off the road to do some adjustments when spreading. I have tried other spreaders with touchscreen controls, pressed the wrong buttons very often. So RASCO has a good solution! The dealer in Norway (Mählers) has a very good service if something breaks. New parts are on the way the very same day! We as a company who does maintenance have no time for downtime on equipment, and the dealer knows it! 10 out of 10 points from me, said Kristoffer.
non-stop work in the most difficult conditions
At very low temperatures, spreading materials stored in the spreader’s hopper for longer amounts of time may freeze if they contain a certain moisture content. Kristoffer is therefore satisfied with the vibrator solution installed on the spreader, which shakes the hopper and unclogs any sand that may get caught up in it. Pressing the button inside the cabin activates the vibrating device on the spreader. Once it is finished, he can continue working without the need to physically walk out to the back of the spreader and fix the problem manually, “saving a ton of work on this little badass!”
Kristoffer shared practical tips for winter service operators, especially ones driving the chain transport system spreaders: Make it a weekly routine to check wear pads to prevent damage to the chain conveyor. If gravel builds up in the hopper, it is a problem, and I recommend to get a vibrating device installed on the spreader.
In the end, we discussed the possibility of the development of electric winter maintenance equipment. Although Kristoffer does believe electricity will come to the industry, he is sceptical about the viability of a battery powered winter maintenance truck working at extremely low temperatures. However, he does not discount the possibility of future technological breakthroughs in this area.