Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has taken delivery of a Multihog multi-purpose utility vehicle for highway maintenance duties to keep the region's road network safe and in good condition. The vehicle was supplied by TransLinc, May Gurney's specialist fleet services business.

TransLinc is working in partnership with the council under a 10-year contract, which commenced in 2004. The contract covers vehicle provision through contract hire with maintenance. TransLinc currently supports 177 vehicles for the council including 4x4s, trailers, road sweepers, tippers, vans, pick up trucks, a gully emptier and jetter, library vans, mini buses and lorries.

The Multihog is being used primarily for patch planing this season, but along with the planer attachment the council also ordered winter service attachments in readiness for next winter. Having the hydraulically operated gritter unit and the heavy-duty lift, tilt and angle snow plough available will however enable snow clearing to be carried out should the bad weather return before then.

Previous patch planing operations relied on traditional methods which involved the use of multiple vehicles and manual breaking, and Highways Delivery Manager David Hepworth was keen to find a more streamlined procedure as he explains: “We had looked for a while for a quicker and more effective method for carrying out these types of repairs. Smaller machines were not up the job and I was of the opinion that there was definitely a gap to be filled in the market. When we saw a demo of the Multihog we realised that this was the niche machine we needed.”

Following a short demo the Multihog was trialled for two days in real time repairs and the combination of the powerful base unit and the 400mm wide planer attachment proved to be a time saving and efficient method which also eradicated the need for manual breaking. This contributes to much better health and safety procedures as any risk of hand arm vibration is avoided. Planing to a depth of 125mm, the attachment saves the cost of infill materials by accurately removing only what is needed. This produces a sound base for reinstatement and reduces transport and recycling costs by creating are-usable material.

“We anticipated significant increase in structural damage after the winter period and Multihog pulled out all the stops to get the machine to us for early January as required,” says David. “Although the weather has not been as harsh as expected the machine has been in operation on a daily basis ever since. At the moment it is doing basic patching work but its versatility means that we will be using it within a planned scheme of first time fixing of pot holes and for major maintenance scenarios in future. We have been more than happy with its performance and the drivers love it ' they regard it as their extra Christmas present!”

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