John Rouleau has been the Public Works Director for Old Town, Maine for the past 12 years, so his experience of winter maintenance is extensive. Although Maine’s colder seasons are not extreme, Old Town still sees plenty of harsh weather and ice events, and snowfall averages around 70 inches per year. As a seasoned professional, John wanted to ensure that he had the right machine to match up to the climate. Having initially rented a Multihog CX tractor on a monthly basis from the local Multihog dealer for the 2021/2022 winter season, he ended up purchasing it based on its performance during the first winter season.
The machine has been in operation for over a year now, in combination with a raft of attachments including an open-ribbon snow blower, rear-mounted sander/salter, and a broom for general spring clean-up. The town has also just ordered a plow to complete the winter line-up.
With the machine in operation for more than a year now, John says its main purpose is snow removal on the town’s 22 miles of sidewalks, many of which are just 5 feet wide. Having previously had three sidewalk snow vehicles from other manufacturers, what made John turn to Multihog?
“We wanted to try something new. We’d had a lot of problems with our previous machines, which were from a competing manufacturer. By that I mean we had major service support issues and difficulty getting parts which were both expensive and often unavailable. From an operations perspective, we also wanted to switch from a traditional blower to an open ribbon blower, which requires more power than our old machine could provide. And we need that power – we’re seeing more and more ice events over the past 8 years, and they create heavy, frozen snow which can only be properly cleared using a ribbon blower.”
Of course, the most important opinion is usually that of the operator, and Old Town is no exception to that rule. “My operators love it,” says John. “Even the bigger operators tell me how much more comfortable it is. They’re also impressed by its power and say that the smoother ride is completely superior. The a/c and heating are better, which is very important for winter, and just generally they say it has better visibility and ergonomics. Overall, the difference between the Multihog and our old machines is literally night and day.”
What about productivity or health and safety, two themes which are important in the public works sector? “We are definitely operating more efficiently, and a lot of that is down to the fact that we can use an open ribbon blower on the Multihog. It’s almost doubled our operating speed. We used to average 0.5 mph on our old machine, and now we can run at 3-5 mph if conditions are right.”
“For my department, the Multihog really helps us to provide great service for our residents. We’re fielding less complaints from residents about the noise of the sidewalk machine. A lot of snow removal work is done at night and in the early hours, and the fact that this machine is so much quieter is a huge bonus for our residents. The visibility from the cabin is great, which makes it much safer to operate in residential areas. It’s also much more reliable – I’m not worried about the machine breaking down while my guys are out clearing snow in -25°.”
Having had some issues with after-sales support on his previous sidewalk machines, John is very satisfied with the follow-up from both Multihog and his local dealer, Central Equipment. “I have to say, the dealer support has been great. They’re local and they stock parts. Surprisingly to me, it was even easy to get parts during the pandemic, which hasn’t been our experience with other manufacturers! We’ve also had a technician from Multihog’s Irish HQ drop by to make sure everything was going ok – and to me, that shows great after-sales support and communication from the manufacturer.”
“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"