New Multilane Snow and Ice Clearing Solution for DOTs

June 04, 2021
The Wide Wing System clearing snow from two lanes and the shoulder.
The Wide Wing System clearing snow from two lanes and the shoulder.

Well before the harshest of winter weather hits, fleet and operations managers from state Departments of Transportation seek out the safest, most efficient equipment for their road network snow and ice removal operations. 

But just like navigating roads during winter months, it’s not always an easy task. In addition to the equipment effectiveness, state DOT managers also need to consider ease of operation and the availability of skilled drivers, which are important aspects that are often overlooked. 

Now, with Tenco’s Wide Wing System (WWS), DOT managers have access to a new solution to resolve these issues while enhancing road clearing operations. The WWS is a multilane clearing system that can clear up to 27 ft wide in one pass. The WWS is a complete package including truck and mounted equipment. It boasts a 21-ft wing, 12- or 14-ft reversible front plow and 17-cubic-yd capacity body/spreader plus pre-wet brine tank, and control system. 

Tenco Inc. (est. 1976), serving U.S.- and Canadian-based clients with a complete line of snow and ice removal equipment for the maintenance of highways, roads, streets and airfields, recognized that there was a need for more efficiency, safety, and cost effectiveness in road clearance. 

The WWS makes plowing easy—as simple as operating a conventional plow truck. This innovative new offering from Tenco is capable of adjusting from one lane clearing to up to two-lane plus shoulder clearing, all in one pass. It is a money-saving solution for DOTs and contractors because WWS technology offers more clearance with fewer trucks on the road, improving safety and efficiency.

Yet what really makes the WWS a “game changer,” according to Tenco VP Sales and Marketing Jean-Philippe Bourque, is its centralized control within a single-user joystick. And therein lies the challenge of designing this innovative turnkey package, Bourque explained.

“The biggest issue our customers have is finding drivers. Competitors’ products require drivers with special licenses, so there are often trailers sitting around yards. They’re not getting a good return on their investments,” said Bourque.

With a goal of creating a plowing system as easy to operate as a conventional plow truck and able to cover multiple lanes with just one driver, Tenco went to the drawing board and collaborated with hydraulics specialist Bosch Rexroth Canada as well as with Tenco client Emcon Services whose specialties include highway maintenance and bridge construction.

All the equipment is installed on the main vehicle, like a standard plow truck.
All the equipment is installed on the main vehicle, like a standard plow truck.

A major contractor for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), Emcon is responsible for clearing a portion of the Trans-Canada Highway in addition to many roads in the Northwest Ontario, Canada region which can experience the wrath of winter for five straight months each year.

“For about two years, I’ve spoken with Tenco about arriving at a user-friendly solution for plowing,” explained Emcon fleet manager Norm Porterfield. “They bounced ideas off of me, drew plans, and now have an innovative, awesome product.”

Bourque said the entire inception-to-delivery process took only a year and a half, and was without any hitches. Emcon put the WWS into action in Ontario, Canada this winter, and now has approval from the MTO for a two-year trial.  

“The MTO is very prescriptive in regards to what you need to have in your equipment,” Porterfield explained. “So to get the MTO to buy into this trial is huge—for us and for Tenco.”

“To see Emcon commit so quickly to the WWS for the next two years, and to have the MTO on board is a big win-win,” Bourque said. “Our main goal was to make this easy and safe for a single operator—an operator who has never driven a snowplow before. With the joystick, it’s a feel-good operation. We’re not reinventing the wheel, but instead are keeping it simple while doing more with it, and it’s going to bring Tenco to another level.”

Tenco targets fall 2021 for the Wide Wing System rollout across Canada and the U.S.

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Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Infrastructure Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the Roads & Bridges' Editorial Team.

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