Article

Keeping Sidewalks Clear and Safe

January 2018, Government Fleet - Feature

by Staff

The Ventrac SSV is designed with an arsenal of snow removal
attachments and de-icing options. Photo courtesy of Ventrac
The Ventrac SSV is designed with an arsenal of snow removalattachments and de-icing options. Photo courtesy of Ventrac

As its name implies, the new Ventrac Sidewalk Snow Vehicle (SSV) is expressly designed for snow and ice removal on sidewalks. With this stand-on, skid-steer-style machine, municipalities can clear sidewalks more quickly and thoroughly after a snowstorm, helping to prevent slip-and-fall accidents, according to Ventrac.

The machine features four-wheel drive and a tight turning radius. It measures just 36 inches wide, including attachments. As a result, narrow sidewalks and most park pathways don’t pose a problem. An 18-hp Kawasaki commercial engine powers the SSV. The welded steel frame is designed to endure many years of heavy use, the company said.

Multiple Attachments Available

The SSV can run power attachments and also apply salt-based solutions for snow and ice removal. Both brine and granular options are available for spreading.

Attachments available include a 38-inch poly bristle broom, a 42-inch snowplow, and a 20-gallon brine tank. The broom attachment features adjustable speed and reversing capability. The snowplow has a hardened-steel cutting edge; a poly edge is optional.

A 100-lb. stainless steel drop spreader and a 34-inch snow blower will become available soon, according to Aaron Graber, product development specialist at Ventrac.

The Upcoming Drop Spreader

The forthcoming stainless steel drop spreader is a clone of the unit that Ventrac sells for its full-size tractors. The drop spreader will feature selectable gate and speed settings.

“It’s a patented design that doesn’t use a vibrator or agitator like most drop spreaders — those tend to get clogged and jammed with really hard material,” Graber said. “A lot of times people are running bulk salt through those and they get clogged up in heavy use.”

Instead, the Ventrac drop spreader uses an agitation plate that grinds and crushes what’s in the hopper to avoid jamming. “It can crush basically anything that goes through it,” Graber said. “There’s almost zero chance for it to bind up and get stuck.”

The drop spreader is attached between the front and rear wheels, sliding into the center of the frame. “It takes up no additional space hanging off the back, front, or sides of the machine,” Graber said. “It keeps everything super compact.”

Skid Steer Design Advantages

The SSV’s skid-steer-style design permits the machine to have four-wheel drive — a must for extra traction, power, and the ability to climb curbs — at a lower cost. But the lack of a traditional operator platform — the operator stands instead — helps keep the machine compact for tight spaces, according to the manufacturer. Additionally, the straight frame chassis lends itself to easier maintenance.

With the SSV, municipalities can dramatically improve sidewalk snow removal efforts while cutting labor costs at the same time, Graber said.

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