Plaistow, NH – Contractor Andy Galloway is through second season with his PT-80 track loader and as far as he is concerned “he made the right choice”. Andy utilizes his PT-80 year round by coupling the unit with an Erskine ES2400 high flow snow blower in the winter time to manage the nearly 15 acre site in Plaistow, NH which houses the Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond and Staples. This past spring Andy was able to work through some unfavorable weather that many other track machines “would have been useless”. Come Summer and Fall the PT-80 is a very valuable tool especially as job nears the end and you need a “great finishing machine”. Amidst all of the enormous equipment that Galloway Trucking owns and runs from a Cat 980G loader to one of the many 90,000lb excavators or D8 or D9 bulldozers, there is still a need for the right tool for the job and that is why Andy added a PT-80 to his fleet.
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Although not directly related to the construction industry, many readers are certainly avid snowmobile enthusiasts and club members. When it came to trail grooming, snowmobile clubs had to rely on either a small sled with a 4’ wide drag or a much larger machine which very often was cost prohibitive and/or just too large for their trail systems. Many attempts have been made to find the right mid-size machine with an enclosed cab and heater along with the ability to carry a passenger. These typically consisted of a 4wd utility vehicle equipped with tracks but they just didn’t have the power needed to handle snow loads and steep terrain.
Almost two years ago, ASV introduced the Scout utility vehicle. Although designed for many different applications, one primary use was snowmobile trail grooming. The Scout is a dedicated track vehicle equipped with a 50HP Perkins diesel engine, 2 speed hydrostatic transmission and a conventional steering wheel. Many options include a fully equipped 2 passenger heated cab, front snow blade and hydraulic dump box. With the dump box removed, the machine is left with a flat bed and the perfect place to mount a gooseneck hitch.
In January of 2008, M.B. Tractor & Equipment coupled a 6’x12’ MTN snow drag behind the Scout and began promoting it at groomer shows, Snodeos and individual club demos. Dan Weed of Bow Pioneers Snowmobile Club assisted us with testing and providing valuable feedback. “After a long search for a mid-size grooming tractor we found the ASV Scout SC-50. Last year the Bow Pioneers Snowmobile Club became a test site for the Scout in the Northeast. We had been looking for a mid sized machine that would bridge the gap between a snowmobile type groomer and a full sized groomer such as a Tucker Sno-Cat or Pisten-Bulley. Until last year there were no viable alternatives. You either had under powered ATV/UTV conversions adapted with tracks or utility vehicles that were feeble attempts at being a grooming tractor. After testing the Scout during the summer we were excited to test it in the winter with the optional snow track and a drag. The 50HP diesel and hydrostatic drive system is a good match with a 12’ long drag. After having the snow tracks put on we tested it last year on our trail system. We found that the Scout is very maneuverable in tight areas and has plenty of power with this configuration. The machine has been very successful in filling the void for a mid sized tractor. We are looking forward to our second season with the Scout.”
In addition to trail grooming, another attractive feature of the Scout is its versatility. It can be used during the spring and summer for trail maintenance as well as moving material at a job site. Other possible markets include utility companies and fire/rescue departments.
M.B. Tractor successfully sold and delivered seven Scout/Groomers to various clubs throughout New Hampshire.
Seacoast Area – Truck mounted snow plow thefts are increasing and have doubled in recent years. This past week I spent time in all the seacoast regions, Gloucester to Newburyport, Hampton to Portsmouth, Dover to Rochester and York County, Maine. I visited many people in these area’s and at least one person each day told the tale of a stolen snow plow (plows). Either they were the victim themselves or it was someone they did business with, nonetheless the common denominator was that they were all Fisher brand plows. I grew up Quincy, Ma. and the Police Captain John Dougan reported there were 3 plows stolen in a weekend and 1 of them was stolen from the city itself, the fact is that with the lack of snow and fewer snow removal jobs theft cases have increased everywhere.
Fisher Engineering is aware of this issue and is busy developing Anti-Theft devices for us like; The Security Guard snowplow anti-theft system. This system, currently available on their new HT series snowplows renders the plow “dead” to anyone who connects to the blade and cannot input your programmed security code on the controller. This is the same principle as German made automobile audio systems as I have “heard” that if a BMW or Mercedes radio is taken from it’s original vehicle that it will not work no matter how “good” your wiring guy is, why steal it if it is going to be useless once in your possession?
New England has been “Fisher Country” for some time now and if you pass 10 vehicles on the road equipped with snow plows, chances are 7 of them will be Fisher Plows. This ratio is partly the result of 1; Fisher Engineering manufacturing snow plow blades in Rockland, Maine for almost 60 years or 2; The fact that they just plain make the best snow plow on the market hands down. If you have never been to their website and you are interested in a snowplow you owe it to yourself to check it out www.fisherplows.com. M.B. Tractor is stocking Fisher distributor for new snow plows and sanders so if you are looking for a plow you are in the right place. Even if you are looking to buy a used blade, check with your local MB store to find out which plow is right for your truck and how much money the new equipment is going for, that way when you are dealing with a private seller you will be informed.
Alright so we are aware there is a problem and that there may be a great solution coming from the class leader some time in the future, but what do we do with the unit that is already installed on your money maker? Scott Carlson and Dean Outhouse, two seacoast snow management professionals are very in-tune with these issues. Well here is what they came up with, the lock is installed in a position that in most cases the lock would need to be cut on both sides for removal without the key. The thought is that thieves will not be prepared for this system (no cutting equipment) or that they would not be interested in generating the noise that would accompany lock removal without the key.