b'WINTER OPERATIONSMLT65This new Larue snowblower is so much more comfortable andunits capable of moving anywhere from 3,000 to 7,500 tons of efficient to help us maximize our winter operations, Campbellsnow per hour. remarks. It is not even in the same class or caliber as what weAirports can customize the machines by upgrading elements had. Its a two-stage blower with a twin engine truck followed bysuch as chutes, steering, drums, tires, hooks and couplers. a four-wheel steering truck that also converts to a plow. It drawsAdd-on options to increase cab comfort include air conditioning, snow into the machine that has a separate auger, and then castsheated driver seats, air ride passenger seats, motorized mirrors the snow awayIts very efficient. and two-way radios. Nearly 30 Years the Making MLTs new four-wheel-drive snowblower has four-wheel Located just below Mount Katahbin, MLT is located just outsidesteering, a heated windshield and heated wipers on the front and of Baxter State Park at the end of the Appalachian Trail. Lastsides. The cab is equipped with heating, air conditioning and a year, it logged 8,500 operations by private aircraft ranging frombluetooth stereomuch more comfortable and roomier than the Gulfstreams and Citations to Piper Cubs. Despite the lack ofbucket loader that powered the airports previous snowblower. scheduled service at MLT, traffic remains fairly steady throughoutOne of the key factors is that I can snow blow faster, says the winter months.Campbell. In the past, with perfect conditions, I could blow 3 In the 21 years Campbell has been at the airport, local weathermiles an hour, and the runway is a mile long [and 100 feet wide]. has evolved dramatically. Average annual snowfall is now 89.4It took 20 minutes for one pass and then 20 minutes back. With inches (compared to 28.8 inches for the rest of the country); butthis new blower, I can blow 8 to 10 miles an hour in the same the winter of 2007 dumped 160 inches.conditions. This exponentially improves the speed of operation.Years ago, the snow season lasted from December throughThe new machine is also quieter and very easy to operate,March. Now, MLT begins receiving snow the first week ofhe adds. November, and it typically keeps falling through April. WintersWhen using the 1994 equipment, Campbell began by plowing used to include powdery snowfall every few days. Now, stormsthe first row slightly in from the runway lights, and then blowing come more often and also include rain. the windrow that created. If the blower was unable to pick up We didnt have the types of storms we have now, Campbell reflects. It used to be a rare event to have ice on the runway that I couldnt move.The aging Blanchet snowblower worked fine for light, powdery snow, but it wasnt designed to handle the heavier wet snow the airport now receives. Its not like a snowblower that you use for your driveway, with one auger that pulls the snow in and a second auger that casts the snow out, he explains. There was only one device for all of it. It was very frustrating, he adds. You had to wait until the snow would freeze or until it was dry before going back out to try and clear the runway.When that happened, the airport suspended traffic and closed until the runway could be cleared. This was a slow process because the Blanchet snowblower moved slowly even in ideal conditions, and for years Campbell was the only equipment operator. After a 12-hour day removing snow from the runway, he still had to clear the taxiways, apron and vehicle parking lots. Time for a ChangeWhen MLT took delivery of its new snowblower in November 2020, it finally had equipment specifically designed for airport use. This new machine will pick up anything from snow, slush or water and then throw it 50 feet, raves Campbell. The 1994LEADImprove your airportsnowblower was very old-school, with levers and pedals. Larueswith our versatilesnowblower is an electronic joystick-driven machine. You just sitTHE WAY and cost-efficient snow removal equipmentin the chair and operate it like a video game. Personnel from J.A. Larue Inc. note that snowblowers are theirLARUESNOWBLOWERS.COMbread and butter products. The company offers chassis-mounted AirportImprovement.comOctober 2022'