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Grounds Crew at 9/11 Memorial Uses Ariens Sno-Thros and Power Brushes to Take on a Tough Challenge

10/5/2015 5:00:00 AM

Chief Engineer Tony LoCasto understands that the challenge he faces is without equal.

He and his crew maintain the National September 11 M​emorial Grounds​, eight acres of Manhattan that pay tribute to those who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001.

"We represent all those that died in the tragic event," says LoCasto. "We're here to put on the best face possible for the Memorial. We are here to make sure no one forgets." 

The site resides in one of the most densely populated business centers in the world. More than 16 million people from all 50 states and around the world have visited the Memorial since it opened in September 2011. Foreign and domestic dignitaries, military leaders, ordinary citizens—they all come to pay their respects. Hours of operation are lengthy: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. ​

LoCasto explains how peak times actually occur during the morning and evening rush hours when the memorial path becomes a highly trafficked cut-through for New York City pedestrians to travel to and from work. He feels it is the memorial crew's duty to keep them safe.

He and his staff work hard to ensure the grounds look immaculate. They cut grass, clean pools and fountains, and remove snow, ice and debris from walkways to provide a safe, inviting and consistent visitor experience.

"It's a hard, ongoing effort. We have to continually be aware of our surroundings. The plaza is very delicate. It's all stone, which is very smooth and very slippery when wet," LoCasto explains. 

The surfaces include polished concrete and granite cobblestones and pavers. What's more, underneath the surface it is uniquely hollow due to the preservation of tunnels for irrigation and the construction of the memorial museum.

To keep walkways clean and safe for visitors of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, as well as for tens of thousands of rush-hour pedestrians each work day, the 9/11 Memorial purchased six Ariens® Hydro Brush 36 units last year.

The Ariens Power Brush​ clears up to six inches of snow from pavement, pathways, and parking lots down to the surface, minimizing facility and contractor liability for ice-related accidents.​​ In addition to snow removal, the Power Brush has multiple uses for other maintenance tasks throughout the year. Brushes can be used for dethatching grass, leaf clean-up, debris removal, turf fluffing and even asphalt preparation.

"Brushes are fantastic. Brushes are one of the best tools we have…As long as it's operated properly, the Brush leaves nothing behind." LoCast​​o adds: "The cleaner the surface, the less risk we have. The Power Brush does a good job. It's giving me a clean surface, and that's what I need."

Strong, durable polypropylene brushes clean surfaces completely. Salt, sand and chemicals are either not needed or are used sparingly, saving time, cost and labor.

The Power Brush also reduces the amount of ice melt the crew uses, according to LoCasto. Less ice melt means less money spent on ice melt, less time spent applying it, too. What's more, using less ice melt lowers the cost of cleanup inside the accompanying memorial museum and protects decorative surfaces and landscapes from discoloration and damage.  Since the memorial plaza has been created as one of the most sustainable, green plazas ever constructed, the reduction of the use of ice melt decreases environmental impact and meets the green initiatives the memorial requires. 

LoCasto says Ariens also offers the durability and ease of use that he and his crew require. "They are basically turnkey. You start 'em up. Keep them fueled. Change the oil. They last. The brushes seem durable. I don't see any wear on them."

The machines are designed to make a tough job easier with automatic traction control for effortless steering and user-friendly controls including brush angle remote control.

The Ariens power brush line features three different models with brush sizes ranging from 28" to 36" with prices starting at $1,999. Each model contains variable speed selections and a flexible brush height system to reduce brush wear and accommodate unique weather situations like LoCasto encounters.

For quick, easy starts in freezing temperatures, the Power Brush boasts a powerful, all-season Subaru® engine. This dependability is something that the memorial crew values. A day at the memorial won't stop for the weather.

In short, the Ariens Power Brush helps the memorial crew do a noticeably impressive job day in and day out. "We definitely get pats on the back for keeping the Plaza clean and clear."​

Besides the Power Brush, the memorial crew uses the Ariens Hydro Pro 28 snow throwers. "The tank treads are why I choose them," explains LoCasto. 

"They don't slip on the Plaza and that's a big advantage to me. They start nice and easy, too."

Whether snow thrower or Power Brush, "they are definitely sturdy machines. And I won't deny I like the orange color," adds Tony with a smile.

Tony LoCasto and the memorial crew honor the victims of 9/11 by doing their job with exemplary dedication and attention to detail. Their challenge is an extraordinary one. As Tony puts it, "There's no margin for error."

The Ariens Power Brush helps the 9/11 Memorial crew win their challenge each and every day.​​

Can the Ariens Power Brush help with your challanging snow removal situation? Now through October 31, 3015, buy any two units and receive 20 percent off of the list price. See your local dealer for details.