A township in Massachusetts had a small fleet of four snow plow trucks used to clear the roads for the entire local municipality. Most of the towns in eastern MA are condensed, with large populations in a small area. They were using poppet couplers that would allow water inside the coupler, which would then freeze when left out overnight. This would cause delays when needing to plow early in the morning as they had to constantly remove the ice first which caused delays in getting the plows on the road.
Another issue was that the poppet couplers would leak every time they had to disconnect. Due to strict EPA regulations, all quick connect and disconnect had to be performed inside the garage to avoid hydraulic fluid spills on the ground. The poppet couplers in use were also very difficult, if not impossible, to connect with any residual pressure.
TIMELY CLEARING OF THE ROADS FOR COMMUTER SAFETY
The challenge facing this municipality was getting their small fleet of plow trucks on the road in time to clear snow for early morning commuters. The impact of using poppet couplers not ideal for the application could have potentially serious consequences. Delays in clearing the road could lead to dangerous, if not deadly accidents from snow and ice filled roads. Connecting under locked pressure was also a continual problem which caused delays in operations.
APM SERIES FLAT FACE QUICK COUPLER, LEAK-FREE, CONNECT UNDER PRESSURE
After talking with our quick coupling solutions specialist, they realized there was a better option than the poppet style coupling. Our APM flat face quick coupler provided the ability to quick connect under residual pressure with leak free performance. Our APM coupler is found in many machine applications to significantly improve safety and efficiency when connecting with residual pressure.
The Stucchi Solution – the APM flat faced coupler, designed to release pressure within itself, allowed for easy, quick coupling by hand even under residual pressure with the leak-free performance expected of our flat face coupling design.
We suggested they use the APM with our FIRG couplers to meet the budget requirements. The use of the APM Series is popular on many machines due to its ease of use and interchangeability with other flat face couplers. The use of multi-coupling plates is very popular on pieces of snow management equipment but with skid steer machines, this solution was the most effective option. Our specialists work with clients to provide the best solutions for the machine profile, application process, and within their budget.
RESULTS ARE A HOME RUN
The primary issue of moving connections indoors was addressed with the flat face connect under pressure solution. This allowed other processes to improve by eliminating the constraint of moving each truck thru one at a time to connect each truck / plow to decentralizing the dispatch and drivers doing the connections themselves. This process changes saved unmeasurable hours on the front end and during a shift with inclement weather. This improvement allowed the mechanics to focus on other repairs and maintenance increasing total uptime of the trucks during weather events.
We often encounter situations where the end user may not realize that a better solution is now available and they no longer have to deal with maintenance issues caused from quick couplers. Many townships and municipalities may be dealing with older poppet couplers and problems that they do not have to deal with anymore. This small town municipality is now enjoying:
- No delays in snow plowing
- No maintenance issues with frozen quick couplers
- The ability to easily connect under residual pressure
- Leak free performance to meet environmental regulations
- Improved process leading to productivity gains