“The telephone lines were swaying”

The winter of 2017-2018 was one of the snowiest for many years in northern Scandinavia, and it also provided the perfect conditions for testing Mählers’ new high-throw side plough. On a cold February day, reps from Mählers News met one of the test pilots, Pelle Eriksson, a driver at Engqvist Åkeri in Tåsjö, in the county of Jämtland.

Pelle drives the haulage company’s Volvo FH480 6×4, which can be used on both lowland & upland terrain. The ploughing route starts in Rotnäset before gradually rising in altitude, finally joining Route 815, which is the final stretch of the 210 kilometre long return ploughing trip. The turning point up at Härbergsdalen mountain farm is at an altitude of around 500 metres, while the peaks on Silkentjakke that line the road reach up to around 1200 metres. This is mountainous terrain, in other words, and the Volvo has therefore been equipped with a Mählers V-plough dating from the 1980s. “There are actually two reasons why we drive with the V-plough. One is that it is easier for us to get through the hard snow drifts that regularly form up here in the mountains, while the other is that we cannot get past the bridge in Svansele with any other type of plough.

“In fact, we have even had to make cuts in the plough and adapt its shape in order to navigate the bridge railings,” says Pelle, showing us the modification.

As though a snow blower has gone past

At the time of our visit, there is only light clearing required, as a little snow had blown in at the roadside during the night. On some stretches, Pelle is able to raise the V-plough and only use the side plough. Pelle maintains a relatively low speed on the winding road, yet Mählers’ new side plough is still able to throw the snow up over the high ploughed edges with ease.

“You can see for yourself how well the wing throws the snow,” says Pelle contentedly when we stop at the turning point up in Blomhöjden. “I was actually startled the first time I tested the wing,” continues Pelle, going on to explain that the snow the side plough was throwing up was causing the telephone lines to sway. A further advantage of Mählers’ SPH side plough, and one that we get to witness, is that the ploughed edges are very straight, in fact vertical.

“Some people are convinced we have used a snow blower when they see the ploughed edges, but it’s actually the design of the new plough does this,” says Pelle, pointing to the design of the plough. After we have finished talking and taking photos, it’s time for Pelle to clear the return on Blomhöjdsvägen, after which he has to complete Härbergsdalen before he can turn homewards and plough the remaining 105 kilometres.