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trailer world Issue One 2012

    Issue One 2012  29 Heavy transport: This does not mean dismantled traffic signs, major detours or road closures in every case. Despite impressive dimensions and two and a half the times the normal tonnage, heavy transport can be- come almost a matter of routing for real professionals. 3.60 metres wide,   101 tonnes in weight Alivid green excavator without shovel - a Volvo tractor unit with incomplete trailer - a low-bed trailer - a blue tractor unit - a Mercedes van; spread out like chess pieces on a board, these vehi- cles stand at the end of an inhospitable winter night on the square parking lot behind the factory buildings of Sennebogen Maschi- nentechnik GmbH & Co. KG in Wackersdorf. Who will make the next move? Hans Krallinger pulls on oil-stained work overalls and climbs up into the driver’s cab of the excavator. As if born to the task, the driver of the heavy haulage company of Schwandner from Pfreimd operates the buttons and levers in the 53-tonne monster, which gets around on eight wheels and at the end of a long journey will work on another continent. Oberpfalz meets East Germany Krallinger is really a truck driver, but the loads of Sennebogen are part of the “daily bread” of the heavy haulage company - and for truck drivers to load their own trucks is no longer the exception, but rather the rule. If only that was always so quick and easy as with an excavator. Slowly the truck driver manoeuvres his precious cargo onto the low-bed trailer, as- sisted by Markus Büngener. The two men make an interesting con- trast. Krallinger comes from the area and speaks the broadest Ober- pfalz dialect – Büngener, the driver of the escort vehicle, comes from Leipzig and therefore communicates with Saxon accent. “That’s al- right,” laughs the trucker. “Markus is still young and learning, but we get along fine.” They have to, because the 53-tonne load has to be positioned for transport almost to the last millimetre in the centre of the low-bed trailer. After a few hand signals, the heavy machine is precisely positioned within a few minutes. Finally, the sometime excavator driver lowers the claw arm into the recess between the wheel housings of the Goldhofer semi-trailer. This part, which itself weighs tonnes, rests on huge wooden blocks, and does not have to be secured separately: “When the hydraulics are switched off, nothing can happen,” knows Hans Krallinger. The next to move is the Volvo, and the manoeuvring skills of the Schwandner driver are once again required. He must reverse up to the low-bed trailer in order to connect the head section of the trailer with the rest. Seven axles are on the move. The truck driver has now been doing this job for some years, and could probably even manage the manoeuvre with his eyes closed. So he needs no more than one precise move, and the heavy transport is complete: four, three and five axles, ten, twelve and twenty wheels on the road, with the eight wheels of the excavator about half a metre above them. The struggle with the chains So far everything looked quite easy, but when it comes to securing the load, the mixed pair from Leipzig and the Oberpfalz soon break into a sweat. “If only they were not so heavy,” groans Krallinger, after wrestling for minutes on end with the massive chains, which ensure that the work machine stays where it is positioned during the journey. Four 16-tonne and two 13-tonne chains are required to secure the load. In the meantime daylight has Photos:RichardKienberger Road