Case Studies

Donegal Airport

In 2016 Donegal Airport, on the north west coast of Ireland started looking for a cost-effective solution for airside winter clearance duties, and shortly afterwards a member of staff found Multihog through an internet search. For the regional airport, which handled 44,000 passengers last year, buying a dedicated runway sweeper for winter simply didn’t make financial sense.

Following a successful test drive at the Multihog factory, Donegal took delivery of an MH 75 multipurpose tractor, a 2700 mm (8.8 ft) combi snow plough & brush, 1200 litre (317 gal) de-icing sprayer and a rotary grass mower in winter 2016. The machine’s year-round multifunctionality, along with the fact that it’s manufactured in Ireland affirmed Donegal’s decision and Dennis Forker, Fire Officer at the airport is certain it was the right choice: “We originally bought the machine for winter duties, but we’ve used it at least 2-3 times per week for grass mowing this past summer. The weather last winter wasn’t overly severe but we still needed the sprayer for de-icing and it works very well. The brush on the combi unit really proved itself during a hailstone and sleet shower one morning before our first flight was due to depart – everything was completely cleaned away in minutes.”

Donegal previously used a tractor with a sprayer, plough and mower attachments for airside tasks before the MH arrived. Now, the Multihog is the first preference every time when a task needs to be carried out – especially because the operators love the air con, heating and the in-cabin radio. As the Multihog is operated all year round, there is also no need for retraining when the winter arrives; everyone is already familiar with how to use it.

“Even the non-drip nozzles on the sprayer make a big difference”, says Dennis. “With our old tractor, when it was parked up and switched off in the hangar, the de-icing nozzles would continue to drip on the ground, which obviously wasn’t ideal from a safety or environmental perspective. With the MH there’s also no need to fold out de-icer booms – you just drive it out and press the buttons to start spraying. That sounds like a small thing but it means that you don’t get covered in de-icing fluid and every second counts when you have a crew waiting to get a flight out on time. I’d like to take all of the credit for keeping everything moving, but in truth the machine makes us look good!”

Did he have any initial reservations about the Multihog? “In the beginning, I was the one who wanted to buy another tractor, as I thought there was no alternative. When I saw the Multihog online I was sure it was too small to do what we needed, and even when I arrived at the factory I still thought the same. But once I test drove it, I realised straightaway that looks are deceiving and that it is packing serious power for its size! I would highly recommend a test drive to anyone considering buying a machine like this – the Multihog really does sell itself.”

  • Donegal Airport
  • MH