All lorries are connected to a modern logistics system, which saves time and is environmentally friendly.
Volken Group's snow clearing and salt spreading vehicles are ready for action weeks before the first snowdrops fall in Valais. For years, we have been clearing traffic routes, pedestrian zones and public open spaces in the canton, in the local community, and for private citizens, rescuing them from snow and ice.
To ensure that the mountainous canton Valais stays on track in winter and no one starts to slide, we are perfectly prepared for snowfall and icy temperatures. We have a tried and tested fleet of winter service vehicles for salt spreading and snow clearing. We use large and small snowblowers, snowploughs and salt spreaders to clear important main roads as well as dozens of side roads, steep mountain passes, and private citizens' properties.
No less than 10 Volken Group lorries with all-wheel drive, snow chains and snowploughs are on-call from November to March, working their way around Goms, and between Ausserberg and Eggerberg at the request of the canton. And what's more, they do so day and night, regardless of the weather. 20 experienced employees with snowploughs deliver great work around the clock - when needed, even on Christmas Eve or at the turn of the year. They are always available and wait for instructions from the road worker, the person responsible for road sections in the canton.
Clearing snow with heavy snowploughs comes with its dangers. That is why only our most experienced drivers take the wheel. On mountain roads, normally two vehicles are present; on wider streets, there might even be three. The first plough clears one side of the road, while the second one clears the other. That way, a single passage is enough to clear the entire road. If there is not a roadblock, a road worker drives ahead to warn the oncoming traffic.
In addition to snowploughs, Volken Group also operates 2 salt spreaders. Road salt consists of approximately 94% conventional cooking salt. As well as snow, it also melts away ice on traffic routes.It reduces the freezing point of water to more than -20 degrees celsius, prevents icy surfaces and allows road users to drive safely. Our spreading salt is stored in Gamsen at Valais's road maintenance depot. One load is enough for two operations. At Volken Group, we always have several filled salt spreaders ready for use to avoid having to load them first.
The tasks that snowploughs perform on the road can also be performed by snowblowers. These are often used in areas such as car parks and pavements. Snowblowers propel the snow metres away. A rotating spiral blade picks up the snow and feeds it into the ejection chute. A second impeller then throws the snow aside. If the snow is higher than the cutter drum, the material will be removed in several layers.
As an important connection between Valais and Ticino, the Nufenen mountain pass needs to be accessible by vehicle for as long as possible. It also needs to open in early summer. Volken Group's two super strong snowblowers are partly responsible for making that a reality. Even 15 metres of snow will not stop them - they will fight their way through it. If the weather and snow conditions allow, the work will begin as early as May. However, the clearing work can only be carried out from early in the morning until noon. Later in the day, as the temperature rises, so too does the risk of an avalanche. That is why safety is always prioritised. All employees wear an avalanche transceiver and are supervised by a mountain guide.