The Township of South Frontenac has made the switch to the Trackless Vehicles municipal tractor (MT) to meet many of the township’s equipment needs.
“We use the MT for snow removal in the winter months, sweeping in the spring, and mowing behind guiderails in the summer,” says David Holliday, Area Supervisor, Township of South Frontenac.
Holliday has been with the township for eight years. The MT6 that the township purchased is now going into its third season.
“We originally purchased the sweeper, 51-inch boom flail, and 75-inch ribbon blower with extendable chute with the Trackless. We have since also purchased the -five-position snow plow and sander unit,” says Holliday.
A lot of the changes that were made to the MT6 were the result of customer feedback. For example, the MT6 now has joystick control. This change improves ease of use and productivity. Also, customers wanted greater visibility so Trackless Vehicles increased glass area by 20%. The large front corner windows allow the operator to keep a close eye on the attachment when working up close to a wall, tree, post, fire hydrant, or other obstruction.
“The operators like how compact but powerful the MT6 is,” says Holliday. “Historically we were completing snow removal in one village per night and now we are able to complete up to three villages in one night.”
The Trackless Snowblower is a two-stage, twin auger unit that accepts either a sidewalk chute or a quick-change truck loading chute. An average loading time for the snowblower is seven yards per minute.
Trackless Vehicles also manufactures several other snow removal attachments like a five-position folding V-plow, a double trip sidewalk plow, angle snowplows, V-plow, a front spreader and plow, and a dump body and rear spreader.
The MT6 comes with six low-volume hydraulic quick couplers, two high-volume hydraulic quick couplers, and a water coupler to accommodate a variety of attachments, like the Trackless snowblower and the Trackless rear mounted spreader. Two additional high-volume hydraulic quick couplers are optional.
Attachments can be fastened to the front and back of the MT6, so operators can fasten the snowblower to the front of the machine and a spreader can be fastened to the back. The spreader is powered by a separate hydraulic system from the sweeper so both attachments can be engaged and disengaged independently. The hydraulically driven Trackless Rear Mounted Spreader can apply salt, sand, or a mixture. The amount of spread is controlled by a lever.
A variety of front and rear attachments gives year round versatility. An asphalt heater, aerator, planers, sweepers, mowers, and loaders are also available.
“I really like the versatility of the machines. Can easily switch from winter to summer operations,” says Holliday.
Only when it is necessary to operate a PTO-driven attachment such as the snowblower does the tractor need to operate at full rpm. Flip the rocker switch to work mode and set your throttle to the desired rpm. At this point the pedal will only stroke the transmission to move the vehicle.
The engine on the MT6 has been upgraded to an 86-kW (115 hp), Tier 3 Cummins engine. Other powertrain components consist of a Sauer Danfoss hydrostatic system, Dana axles, and Twin Disc PTO clutch. The new engine permits operation in two modes: work and travel so it saves on fuel costs and decreases emissions.
The front and rear axles have limited slip differentials which provide excellent traction under normal circumstances. However, if you desire the ultimate in traction, electric locking differentials are available as an option. The front, rear, or both can be engaged for use in low gear. With this option, the axle still has the limited slip feature when the electric lockers are disengaged. Having both limited slip and electric lockers improves the MT6’s performance and versatility.
While in travel mode, the operator simply drives the tractor exactly like a car, pushing on what appears to be the gas pedal. This controls engine rpm, like it does in a car, but also strokes the hydrostatic transmission making the vehicle move. This avoids the age-old problem of hydrostatic tractors having the engine screaming at high rpm, which wastes fuel. Driving the tractor, and even plowing snow, can all be accomplished while in travel mode.
“The people at Trackless Vehicles and at Joe Johnson Equipment—our Trackless Vehicles vendor—are fantastic to deal with,” says Holliday.
Trackless Vehicles has a distributor network of more than 25 distributors in the US and several in Canada. In Canada, Trackless vehicles are available from Williams Equipment in British Columbia, Joe Johnson Equipment Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, but shares Ontario with Work Equipment Ltd., Joe Johnson Equipment in Quebec, and Saunders Equipment in the Maritimes.
More sound absorbing insulation on the MT6 decreases noise in the cab. The range on the tilt steering column was increased so it is easier for operators to enter and exit the cab. The ROPS cab and front frame are one weldment creating a stronger overall structure.
The crew at the Township of South Frontenac.
To see the original article check out 2016 Issue 5 at equipmentjournal.com