When Serban Ilie, Bucharest Airport’s Head of Special Ground Operations first saw the MH90 model at the Interairport exhibition in 2011, he immediately recognised its potential for improving the quality of apron clearance in the winter months. Bucharest Airports National Company were subsequently equally impressed and two MH90s are scheduled for delivery in September 2015, with a total of seven units to be delivered by 2018.
In the past, the airport had used bigger machines for winter clearance on the aprons but with limited success. On recommendation from other airports already using Multihogs the management liked what they saw and realised that not only would the Multihogs be able to access the more confined areas around parked aircraft but would also reduce turnaround time on the apron during adverse weather conditions.
The first two machines operate a rear mounted de-icer, snow blower, two combi snow plough & brush units and a salt spreader, so will be more than adequately kitted out for whatever the Romanian winter brings. A special safety feature specifically requested by Bucharest is an automatic lift of the combi unit when the vehicle is put into reverse gear which will prevent any potential damage to the attachment. As parking space is also restricted this will assist with tight manoevering to access a parking bay.
With temperatures in winter dipping to as low as -20⁰C operator comfort is high on the list of priorities and Multihog added further features to ensure that drivers are protected from the cold. Auxiliary cab heating and a heated windscreen will ensure that the cab is warm with a clear screen when drivers start work. A two way radio will ease communication and a rear camera was requested as an added safety feature.
As well as apron clearing, the Multihog’s ability to get into tight corners will allow it to be deployed for de-icing the narrow crew stairs on the passenger air bridges as well as the push back areas for the tow tractors. Possible future uses may also include all seasonal operations such as grass cutting and apron washing or brushing.
Mr Ilie says: “I really liked the machine from the first moment I saw it, and I know from demos and video footage I’ve seen that it will do exactly as it promises. It will definitely be a valued addition for smoother airside operations for Bucharest.“
"The only way to compare the Multihog to other machines is to compare the comfort of an old vintage car to a brand new car. - there is no comparison"
"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"
"Our asphalt grinding process is faster and more efficient now, we tested it and we’re definitely covering more feet per hour than before"
"The Multihog is a different animal from anything we’ve ever had – the articulation, rubberised tyres and 4-wheel drive ticks a lot of our boxes."
“We try to improve our operations with each new purchase of equipment & this has certainly been the case with the acquisition of our Multihogs"
“I really liked the machine from the first moment I saw it, and it will definitely be a valued addition for smoother airside operations at Bucharest.“
“The Multihog system is simply better all-round, from a cost-performance ratio it is unbeatable and the budgetary savings are positive for everyone"
"We had a huge problem with potholes but our programme of permanent patching repairs using the Multihog has helped to rectify the situation"
"During the very heavy snow in early 2013 the Multihogs were still going strong after four days of non-stop 24 hour operation"
“Throughout our dealings with Multihog the company has been totally customer focused, committed and very responsive to our requirements"
“The ability to use the Multihog for very diverse tasks coupled with a very powerful performance make it an efficient and cost effective solution"
"The crucial factors for us were the quality, high payload, compact dimensions and also the impressive power of the vehicle."
"The quality of the finished cut is very good: thanks to the Multihog’s steering and its weight it doesn’t leave any tracks behind on the grass.”
"For the drivers, the cab is ergonomic, easy to get in and out of & they report that it offers good comfort throughout their shift of up to 12 hours”
"The Multihogs are exceptional - easy to drive, fast and they turn in a very small space"
“I have had a lot of experience with equipment from other manufacturers but in comparison this machine is quicker & much more robust"
"Multihog stands behind their equipment; they're available to answer technical questions for our mechanics and spare parts are available on-demand"