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.”
"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"