Mählers control system improved my work
It’s the end of April, the sun has shown its face again after a night of snow, and we’re waiting at a roadside café just south of Levanger for the main protagonist for one of today’s meetings. We don’t have to wait long for a nearly new Volvo truck to turn into the car park, and driver Stein Lindsethmo climbs out of the cab.
Stein is driving a fully loaded Volvo FH16, 750 6×2 fitted with with Mählers grader blades/jaw blades HB3-N and the MC2 control system. A control system which Stein really enjoys using.
“Yes, my work environment has really improved since I got the MC2,” explains Stein, pointing out all the functions he can control from the driver’s seat.
The MC2 contains a small, handy panel with a joystick and buttons. The control system manages the plough and grading equipment. It’s possible to set the plough and grading equipment to automatically lift when the driver selects reverse, to mention just one example of how the MC2 improves the work environment.
When the driver then wants to lower the equipment again, all he has to do is press a button. This lowers all the equipment to the position it was in when reverse was selected.
Stein has also added almost all the equipment available, so he also has a GPS unit, TV, weighing equipment, four reversing cameras and air suspension surveillance.
He also has the reporting system which monitors ploughing and reports to Stein’s employer, Mesta.
This system detects when Stein lowers the plough or grader blade and measures the distance, and when ploughing or grading is complete it reports back to Stein, who checks his iPad to make sure everything is okay and then confirms this.
This completes the invoicing information and so there’s no printing of drive notes or any other kind of reporting required.
We start chatting about the grader blade, and Stein explains that it was easy to choose a blade this time around.
“I was very pleased with the grader blade on my last truck, and when I found out that Mählers had upgraded to the current version with shallower installation dimensions (better ground clearance) and that it can also be controlled with the MC2 as well as other plough equipment, I didn’t hesitate,” says Stein.
The blade is used all year round as he grades snow and ice in winter and gravel in summer.
As we’ve already noted, Stein sets great store by a good work environment, and in that regard we get talking about the Flexiway, Mählers’ new plough which has more or less revolutionised the plough industry with its innovative features.
Besides the side extension of ± 450 mm, its many advantages include the fact that it’s possible to apply more pressure or reduce the pressure. The fact that it’s articulated, allowing it to follow cambered or uneven roads, allows this plough to be adjusted precisely to suit the road surface.
All this, together with a range of other smart functions, definitely improves the driver’s environment and the results as well. And if all goes according to plan, Stein will be one of many drivers testing the Flexiway in the winter of 2014/2015.
So we have to hope that next winter is “better” than last year’s low-snow season, when we saw barely 40 plough operations compared with the normal 110–120.