Lill-Pärs’ wheel loader runs with Mählers' ploughs in the winter
For the past five successful winter seasons, Lill-Pärs Schakt has cleared snow using wheel loaders in the county road network in Dalarna. The machine is fitted with ploughs from Mählers.
Hooking up snow clearance equipment that is really designed for trucks required a lot of special solutions. The modifications were made by Lill-Pärs Schakt themselves, in collaboration with Hitachi’s general agent Delvator AB in Eslöv and Furuhill Maskin AB’s workshop in Falun. Lill-Pärs Schakt is owned and run by Pär Höglund from Leksand. Since last season, they have finished equipping a second wheel loader in the same way. Once again, it’s a 15.5 tonne Hitachi ZW180PL. It has the same equipment with a front plough, wing plough and rear-mounted grader that are normally hitched to trucks during snow clearance. This setup was used for the sixth time in the winter of 2018/2019. There are many advantages in using a wheel loader for snow clearance on minor roads, according to Pär Höglund:
“A wheel loader is more flexible than a truck as it has a shorter wheelbase and articulated steering. Thus it can handle bends and snow clearance in intersections faster and more effectively,” he says. The previous truly snowy season (2017-2018) exposed the equipment to severe tests. For almost a whole week, the machine was operated round-the-clock. The company has a plough route totalling 120 km of county roads, including spur roads. “For us, snow clearance in the winter is a means to extend the working year for our machines and personnel. Otherwise we work mostly with excavators and civil engineering jobs. But with this equipment, our wheel loaders can work all year round,” explains Pär Höglund.
The specially built snow clearance equipment set-up consists of the following:
- Front plough: Mählers Rossö 2010 installed on the main boom and supports the plough in float mode. The plough’s own weight creates the necessary pressure against the road.
- Side wing: Mählers’ wing plough hitch is installed on the wheel loader’s counterweight, which supports the wing and its hydraulic extender.
- Rear-mounted grader from Bakbettet in Färila. (”But I would prefer a rear-mounted greater with a Mählers’ extender to extend/retract together with the wing.”) A rear-mounted VGB hitch supports the rear-mounted ice-scraping grader.
- All of the plough hitches are from Mählers.
- The machine has snow tyres, but no studs or chains as these are not necessary. The pressure of the wing against the snow banks causes no sideways movement – the machine’s own weight provides the necessary stability. With equipment, the whole rig weighs close on 20 tonnes.
- To make sure everything works, the Hitachi’s hydraulics have been supplemented with an extra valve package that provides three additional double-acting hydraulic functions. For example, the wing’s extender is operated by an extra joystick.
“When we equipped the new machine we drew benefit from all of our experiences from earlier seasons. Things get better every season! And when spring arrives, it’s just a matter of unhitching the equipment and using the machine the way we always do with the rest of the company’s machines,” says a satisfied Pär Höglund.
LILL-PÄRS’ HITACHI ZW180PL-6
Machine weight in basic version: 15,500 kg
Power train: Power shift transmission with the ability to lock the selected gear
Engine: 6 cylinder Cummins 129 kW (173 hp)
Max speed: 38 km/h
Total weight with snow blade, wing, rear-mounted grader blade and hitches: Almost 20,000 kg