The Swiss specialist for heavy haulage, Friderici Spécial, has acquired SPMT modules from TII SCHEUERLE for the first time. Four SPMT PowerHoss vehicles serve as replacement chassis´ for two gantry cranes which play an important role in the renewal of the runway at Geneva Airport. Thanks to their versatility, the SPMT PowerHoss transporters will also be used for transport assignments in the energy and construction sectors as well as in industry. As everything has to function smoothly when work is being carried on the runway, Friderici Spécial first performed a practice run: with transformers, the components of a tunnel boring machine - while simultaneously celebrating a Swiss premiere.
A perfect start for the SCHEUERLE SPMT PowerHoss from Friderici Spécial: since April, the self-propelled modular transporters with the integrated drive unit from the Swiss heavy-load logistics company have had to prove their performance capabilities along with their comfortable and easy handling numerous times. “To be honest, I had no idea how a SPMT PowerHoss felt when driving. However, now I can say: It's unbelievable how well the modular transporter can be controlled. It can be steered precisely and easily adapted to suit the load as well as the incline of the road,” says Stéphane Friderici, Managing Director of the family-run Swiss heavy haulage company, praising the qualities of the SPMT PowerHoss from TII SCHEUERLE.
Swiss premiere: SCHEUERLE SPMT PowerHoss driven on public roads for the first time
Firstly, Friderici Spécial transported two transformers weighing 100 and 147 tonnes respectively to Martigny in the canton of Valais. The use of the modular transporter on the final stage led along a public road for around 500 metres. With Friderici Spécial, a transport company had used the self-propelled platform transporter on a public road for the first time. "For this, the approval of the Motor Vehicle Control Office Switzerland (MFK) was required. The SPMT PowerHoss was granted this,” explained Stéphane Friderici.
In the tightest of spaces: no room for modular trailers in flood discharge tunnel
The newcomer to the Swiss transport company´s fleet experienced another baptism of fire during the dismantling of a tunnel boring machine in the Sarneraatal flood discharge tunnel in the canton of Obwalden. Every metre really counted on this assignment. "Due to its weight of 88 tonnes and dimensions of 14 metres long and 6 metres wide, we could have transported the drill head using one of our modular trailers. However, there was not sufficient space available in some areas of the transport route for a pulling vehicle combination with modular axle lines,” said Stéphane Friderici. This applied in particular to the access area of the water retention tunnel where a containment area of around 15 metres long is being protected by means of sheet piling from the water of Lake Sarnen. That was just enough space for the heavy-load logistics company to be able to bring a machine pipe weighing 190 tonnes and 14 metres long out of the tunnel on the SPMT PowerHoss.
Expert´s opinion: “easy handling and incredible manoeuvrability”
In the end, the transport of the two tunnel boring machine components with the SCHEUERLE SPMT PowerHoss was carried out as planned. The compact 12 metre long and 2.99 metre wide platform transporter also comfortably mastered the bottleneck in front of the tunnel entrance during both operations. “The manoeuvrability of the SPMT PowerHoss is almost unbelievable and the handling is impressively easy. It is ideal for use in tunnels, galleries, halls and similar spaces where manoeuvring space availability is very limited,” explained Stéphane Friderici. He went on to confirm: The transport solution can be used immediately thanks to operating the vehicle is based on the plug-and-play principle. “Even when under load and negotiating road inclinations, it can be excellently controlled with the radio remote control. There is always enough time to compensate for road gradients,” he reported.
In constant use at Geneva Airport: SPMT PowerHoss as a gantry crane chassis
Now that the Friderici Spécial team was familiar with handling the SPMT PowerHoss, the actual use of the transport and manoeuvring solution could begin. Friderici Spécial has purchased four SPMT PowerHoss 260, each with six axle lines and accommodating payloads of up to 256 tonnes, for realising an order placed by Geneva Airport. The runway there is constantly being refurbished. Concrete slabs, each measuring 15 by 8 metres and weighing 180 tonnes, which had been used to create the runway are being replaced piece by piece with new, prefabricated slabs. As Geneva Airport has only one runway, maintenance work always takes place at night during the ban on night flights so that regular flight operations are not disrupted in any way.
Up to now, the airport operator has used two mobile gantry cranes for this task which alternately transported a concrete slab to and from the actual working area. However, the two lifting machines are now showing their age. The chassis was the main problem so the airport operator looked for a replacement solution. Together with the experts from TII SCHEUERLE, Friderici Spécial developed the concept of replacing the chassis´ of the gantry cranes with the SPMT PowerHoss - two of the module transporters per gantry crane onto which the supports of the gantry crane are bolted. "Our search for a functional replacement for the gantry cranes chassis has shown that the SCHEUERLE SPMT PowerHoss is the most efficient solution for this task and the most cost-effective solution in terms of acquisition and operation," explained Stéphane Friderici. The crane and load together weigh around 300 tonnes which is why two SPMT PowerHoss 260 vehicles with a total of 512 tonnes provide sufficient payload.
More than just a vehicle: consulting service provided by TII SCHEUERLE experts pays dividends
In addition to the technical characteristics of the vehicle, the decisive factor for the decision in favour of the SPMT PowerHoss was the advice given by the experts from TII SCHEUERLE. “In the past we have bought transport solutions from the various TII Group subsidiaries and were therefore in a very good position to appraise the extraordinary know-how of the TII experts. But they also managed to convince not only us but also the airport management team of their concept and to dispel any reservations,” said Stéphane Friderici. A concept for implementing emergency operations which is essential at an airport in order not to paralyze flight operations in the event of an emergency also contributed to this. As a result, the cranes must under no circumstances remain on the runway. To accommodate this, TII SCHEUERLE has equipped the SPMT PowerHoss with special connecting elements so that it can be driven away in an emergency using an airport towing tractor.
Economic miracle: versatility of the SPMT PowerHoss facilitates high level of efficiency
The Geneva Airport contract is expected to last several decades. After this, and also at those times when work at the airport has been suspended, Friderci Spécial can use the SPMT PowerHoss vehicles for other projects again - for example, for transporting components from the energy, bridge construction and civil engineering industries or relocating machinery. The possibilities are almost unlimited in the payload class of up to 1,024 tonnes thanks to the modularity and coupling capability of the SPMT PowerHoss. And it is precisely this versatility that makes the SPMT PowerHoss from TII SCHEUERLE such an efficient and economical transport and manoeuvring solution for all heavy-load logistics providers.