As part of Gatwick Airport’s £8 million investment in snow fleet, the airport has taken delivery of two specialist de-icing trucks based on Scania chassis and fitted with high-pressure spraying equipment by Chafer Machinery Limited of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. Built to a highly advanced specification and featuring a state-of-the-art GPS control system, the vehicles are capable of de-icing a snowbound runway in just 15 minutes.
"While we have previously supplied Gatwick with trailer-mounted sprayers, this order represents the first time the airpo rt has taken truck-mounted systems from us," says Rob Starkey, Commercial Manager for Chafer Machinery Limited. "This has come about due to the fact that Gatwick has enjoyed an extremely positive operating experience with a number of Scania vehicles it already has in service. It was therefore a logical step forward for us to integrate the truck and a spray system into a single unit."
The Scania chassis selected for the task is a P 280 6×2*4MNA rear-steer rigid with a 280 horsepower Scania engine driving through a fully automatic Alison GA766 gearbox. Supplied by Scania (Great Britain) Limited, Scunthorpe, the rear-steer configuration has been specified to deliver maximum manoeuvrability and help preserve tyres.
The Chafer Machinery spraying equipment comprises a 10,000-litre de-icing fluid tank linked to twin fold 24-metre booms. The spraying operation is controlled by GPS, which activates the system within a pre-determined geo-fenced area and prevents over-spraying of areas already covered. The system also automatically adjusts its spray rate should the vehicle’s speed increase or decrease to ensure an even spray pattern is maintained at all times.