the fleet of equipment the city of Toronto uses to clear snow from
city streets is the Toronto snow melting machine. This piece of
equipment is designed to load and melt snow, draining off the water
while the vehicle is in motion.
The first model was put into service in 1974 (as part of the former
Metro government). It proved to be a very efficient machine. Over
the years, various technological improvements were made resulting
in a machine that followed the road surface better and required
machine is powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine and has a
top speed of 24km per hour. Most of the time, the machine
travels much slower in order to efficiently collect snow for melting.
It's about 17.4m long, 3.9m high, 3.1m wide and has a ground
clearance of 27cm. The machine weighs 42.6 tonnes, but expands
to 56 tonnes when full of water.
snow melting machine will melt approximately 136 tonnes of snow
For those who like all the nuts and bolts information, here's
how the machine works.
The operating principle of the equipment is based on a submerged
combustion technique which allows that a high velocity high heat
release burner be fired directly into a pool of water thereby agitating
and heating this water economically and efficiently.
The thermal burner receives air and fuel under pressure from a
combustion air blower and fuel source respectively. Combustion
takes place within the burner and the hot combustion gases are
forced down below the water level and channelled up again through
a concentric wire. These gases carry with them a portion of the
water which is heated by the gases and are overflowed in to the
As snow is added to the melting pit and comes into contact with
the turbulent warm water bath, it is immediately melted. The water
that results from this operation is drained off into some convenient
storm drain or sewer. The inlet of this drain is positioned so
that a proper water level is maintained in the melting tank throughout