Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world serving around 33 million passengers each year. Gatwick Airport operates a fleet of 23 Multihogs, both MH and MX models both airside and landside during the winter months. 2 units complete winter services duties landside in car parking and forecourt areas, with the remaining 21 machines operating airside on the apron for efficient stand clearance.
In recent years Gatwick invested £8 million in new snow clearing equipment – doubling the size of its snow kit to 95 vehicles. As part of this investment, the airport was focused on finding a method of clearing snow and ice from around aircraft parked at stands, which ideally required a smaller machine than the tractors that had traditionally been used for this task.
“We were looking for something compact and manoeuvrable which could access the whole of the stand area for efficient clearance”, says Airfield Operations Safety Standards and Training Manager David Charman. “We liked what we saw on the Multihog website and were even more impressed when we saw it in action at a demo here on site. Its powerful hydraulics enable it to be fitted with implements both front and rear, which is a great benefit, as the tractors could only operate with front attachments.”
Gatwick’s Multihogs are fitted with combi snow plough & brush units on the front, developed according to Gatwick’s requirements, and 1200 litre de-icing sprayers on the rear (salt spreaders for the landside vehicles). David comments: “We had recognised the ‘combi’ as the most effective solution for initial ploughing and final sweeping, and Multihog have a very ‘can do’ philosophy towards customer initiatives – their designers quickly came up with the exact specifications that we wanted. Together with the rear attachments we have in effect a ‘3 in 1 machine’ at our disposal.”
Gatwick’s repair and maintenance team underwent workshop training at Multihog’s manufacturing facility in Ireland to ensure the smooth running of the fleet, and extra airport personnel have been trained to operate the vehicles should weather conditions be particularly severe. David says, “We have had nothing but positive experiences with Multihog since we embarked on this project. During the very heavy snow in early 2013 the Multihogs performed exceptionally well – they were still going strong after four days of non-stop 24 hour operation. The machines were all delivered on schedule, Multihog were very accommodating to our demands, and we now have a system in place that helps to minimise disruption to passengers both airside and landside. The Multihogs’ all-seasonal ability also means that we will be looking at further applications for the warmer months.”
“My operators love the Multihog. Even the bigger operators tell me how much more comfortable it is."
"We’re cleaning the streets more efficiently, so that is definitely an environmental benefit for our city."
"The Multihogs were ideal for us. As they’re much lighter than our old machines, we can use them to remove snow from our boardwalks and sidewalks."
"The driving experience absolutely convinced me. I love driving it, the suspension is amazing. To be honest, the comfort level could not be better."
I knew it must be a really good piece of equipment, and my instincts were right - our two machines have been operating flawlessly.
“Since the purchase of our first Multihog in 2019, they have proven to be a valuable asset in our machinery fleet."
"I recognized straight away that a Multihog could serve our city well. We’ve got 8 attachments for it, and it’s taken the place of multiple machines."
"Apart from the environmental benefits, it’s also really, really comfortable to drive and I'm relieved that it has improved our operational safety."
“Our cycle paths are very neat in just one sweep/working passage. This ensures the safety of our residents, especially during autumn and winter."
“From a maintenance standpoint we have far fewer problems and downtime than other similar equipment in our fleet."
“Our MH outperforms our older snow blower by at least 200%. It can handle all types of snow with a greater output and much faster.”
"The suspension really allows an incredibly high level of driver comfort, and we’re amazed by the performance of the PTO hydraulics."
"The Multihog has performed very well on the reliability front compared to other machines. It’s a really solid and extremely strong machine."
"My colleagues are so much happier using this machine. It’s more ergonomic, warm and comfortable for them."
"Our 2 machines can do so many things, and although they’re small and compact, they’re so well built that they do the work of much larger equipment"
"The Multihog puts us at a professional level that’s unmatched by our competition"
"The Multihogs are working really well for us. The operators have found them straightforward to use and we hope to add to our range of attachments."
"The Multihog doesn’t vibrate like our old machine, and it’s so quiet I don’t even need to wear ear protection - no post-shift fatigue anymore!"
DHL at Leipzig-Halle airport operate a fleet of 12 Multihog tractors equipped with combi snow plough & brush attachments, de-icing sprayers and V snow
"It’s one machine that does it all - safely and efficiently. Very comfortable in the cabin too, which makes work more enjoyable for the operator."
"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"