Your Airfield Solutions Partner

Breaking up is hard to do

Compacted snow and ice is an annual challenge for many airports in North America and around the world. Countless hours and dollars are spent trying to mechanically and chemically remove this compacted snow with limited success.

“We are continually asked by our airport partners to find better ways to break up compacted snow and ice” says Team Eagle President and CEO Steve McKeown. “About a year ago, colleagues from Toronto Pearson International Airport, Aéroports de Montréal and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation asked us to look at a mechanical technology from Finland, and we did, with feedback that looks to provide excellent possibilities for airfields” says McKeown.

The Raiko icebreaker is a front-mount, mechanically enabled device that uses specially engineered, flattened, truncated, hardened cones on a roller, in tandem with the unit’s forward speed, to crush and loosen compact ice and snow, breaking it down into loose pieces. The debris can then either be removed by mechanical sweeping or possibly plowed to the side.

“Since the unit does not require downward pressure to operate normally (can be used if required) the Raiko will not damage valuable airfield surfaces” says Team Eagle’s technical lead Sam McKeown. “The Raiko comes in various sizes ranging from  4.56’ wide for small walkways to 8.69’ to suit many applications. It can be mounted on various equipment, including loaders, graders, tractors and trucks, depending on what the airport or road maintainer has available”.

Team Eagle demonstrated a Raiko Model T14 (8.1’ wide) ice breaker mounted on a 380 HP CLAAS tractor in a variety of airfield settings last winter and the feedback was tremendous.

“We learned how to use the Raiko with the help of our airport partners with great success. This is a very cost effective way to break up compacted snow and ice and restore the traction and/or the ability to mechanically and then chemically de-ice the surface in different conditions”, reports Sam. “It also increases the effectiveness of airfield chemicals providing penetration of the ice or compact down to the surface to allow the chemicals to easily undermine and break the bonds between the compact and the pavement”.

Team Eagle will be continuing its demonstration program at airports throughout the 2011/12 winter. For more details on Team Eagle and/or the Raiko ice breaker, visit us online at ,

or contact : Sam McKeown at 705-653-2956

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