These specially built snow clearing machines at Arlanda airport in Stockholm, are based on Volvo A25D articulated haulers, with a supporting fleet of Volvo wheeled loaders fitted with ploughs and snow blowers. The Volvo machines are key items of kit in the continous battle against the snow in the winter months, at what is Sweden’s largest airport. Since its opening in 1962, Arlanda has retained an envieable reputation of never having to close due to snowfall, and indeed the airport claims to be a world leader at runway snow clearing operations. The advanced Volvo A25D based PSB machines (plough, sweep and blow), are fitted with a 7.3 metre wide snow plough at the front of the machine which clears most of the heavy snow deposits. This is followed in the mid-section of the machine by a rotary brush which sweeps away the remaining snow and ice. The job is completed by a rear mounted blower that simply blows away any remaining debris. The team have developed a technique of using nine of these machines side by side, which enables them to clear a 3.3 kilometre long and 45 metre wide runway in less than 10 minutes, impressive going by anyone’s standards!
This video came to mind yesterday morning as I was battling my way along the A30 in Devon, en route to my new site in Brixham, passing articulated lorries up embankments and cars on their roofs!. At 5.45 in the morning, there was not a single snow plough or gritter lorry in sight, which just seemed crazy to me considering we were all warned about what was heading our way?