Since the 2014/2015 winter season, a German/Swiss duo has been deployed for winter maintenance in the community of Berneck in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. With the old vehicle/equipment combination, a Unimog with a snow plough and spreader, having been retired after around 30 years of service, it was time for a new vehicle/equipment combination. To be more specific, it was time for an Aebi VT 450 Vario with a Schmidt MPC-S 30 plough and a Stratos double-chamber wet salt spreader.
In this small community in the Middle Rhine Valley, it is necessary to clear snow and ice from both steep and narrow mountain roads and also steep and wide mountain roads. It is vital here not just to have a powerful and compact carrier vehicle, but also to have suitable and efficient equipment. The Schmidt MPC steel plough is the ideal partner for narrow-track carrier vehicles. During winter maintenance, the solid blade reinforcements allow the safe removal of even fairly large amounts of snow.
In particular the swing-out is “top notch”, according to Markus Bischofberger, deputy head of operations for the road maintenance depot in the community of Berneck. The MPC-S 30 is equipped with combined cutting edges and an automatic deviation system. The working angle on the cutting edge of 45° allows aggressive snow clearance, but at the same time the level of noise is reduced to a minimum.
It takes just five minutes to attach/detach the snow plough. “Compared to the previous combination, this is incredibly fast!” says Markus Bischofberger.
The MPC-S 30 is operated using a joystick from the driver’s cab of the Aebi VT450 Vario. According to Markus Bischofberger’s experience, it is very easy to control. Even drivers who start operating the equipment for the first time quickly get to grips with it thanks to the intuitive control. “One of our employees who had never operated the vehicle before had to fill in at short notice for a colleague who was ill. After ten minutes of testing it on the maintenance depot site, he was able to set off,” says Markus Bischofberger. Another aspect that was particularly emphasised was that the snow plough responds very nicely and quickly to any left/right adjustment.
In combination with the versatile and adaptable Aebi VT450 Vario, the Schmidt MPC plough is an ideal partner and, depending on what is required, is available in a length of 2,600, 2,800 or 3,000 millimetres.