Vegetation management is required at virtually all airports. Overgrown vegetation can cause a variety of problems including:
- Provides habitats for wildlife, which in turn creates hazards to aircraft operations
- Tall grass can obstruct airport lighting and signage
- Shrubbery and small trees can obstruct airfield visibility and create potential obstacles in the event of a runway excursion
- Larger trees, particularly off-airport, cause hazards to aircraft approaches and takeoffs.
The amount and variety of vegetation at each airport, along with varying terrain will dictate what is required for management. Gale has recently assisted several airports with the acquisition of compact track loaders (commonly referred to as skid-steers) used for vegetation management, as well as other applications. These machines often come with multiple attachments, which increase the equipment’s versatility. Attachments can include:
- Forestry Disc Mulcher
- Brush Mower
- Hydraulic Pallet Forks
- Pick-up broom
- Box Plow Snow Pusher
- High Flow Snowblower
Using a track loader, with any of these attachments, allows an airport’s maintenance crew to accomplish many tasks from routine mowing and plowing of aprons and building areas, to removal of trees up to 10 inches in diameter. The versatility of a track loader provides a cost-effective solution to site maintenance and vegetation management issues that would otherwise require multiple pieces of equipment to tackle the tasks.
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