Hard and soft developments

25 April 2008

In line with a trend on the European market, Goldhofer has introduced the XLE, a new range of compact special trailers. Highlighted at the recent IAA exhibition for trucks and trailers in Hannover, Germany, the new XLE is a challenger in the competitive 25 to 110 tonne payload sector. It is designed to offer a short combination length while driving empty and an especially long loading deck where necessary.

Until now the category has been covered by the established combination system type STZ-VL and STZ-VH/ET. The new XLE is designed to meet end user demand for a lighter, more compact and easier to operate vehicle system. Primary features of the new type, according to Goldhofer, are: compact construction; low deadweight; high axle load capacity; a wide range of extension positions; and deep and wide excavator recess in the rear bogie.

During its development strong emphasis was put on the use of proven components, for example, pendulum axles with a vertical travel range of +/- 300 mm. Bogies, crawler deck and gooseneck are a new design trimmed to be as short as possible to get the largest possible loading surface area in the overall trailer combination length.

The compact gooseneck has a new dual-circuit steering system to increase manoeuvrability and offer extra security.

Versions are available with between two and eight axles, including one-, two- or three- axle intermediate modular bogies between the gooseneck and lowbed. The compact two- and three-axle rear bogies have a vehicle width of 2.55 or 2.75 m, whereas the four- and five-axle bogies measure 2.75, 2.85 or 3.00 m wide.

The compact system is designed for simple servicing and operation. A deep excavator trough (also up to 950 mm wide) at the rear bogie, means large and high excavator booms can be lowered and stowed in between, instead of dismantling and putting them on separate transport.

Planning software

In addition to trailer hardware, there is also a growing requirement for software to be used in preparing and engineering heavy and oversized transports. “Major transport tasks require appropriate logistical preparatory work,” explains Stefan Fuchs, Goldhofer CEO.

Three software packages are offered. EasyVersion is a basic planning aid for combining the THP heavy-duty modular trailer system. EasyLoad is to allow unassisted determination of load schemes for different trailer combinations. Latest in the suite is the Stratbau easyTrack, for simulations, calculations and determining the negotiability of curves for heavy-duty transports.

The new program was developed jointly by Rhein-Mainischen Software- und Entwicklungs GmbH and Goldhofer. Bernhard Katzenschwanz, Goldhofer board member, explains, “Again and again heavy-duty carriers are confronted with problems due to reduced-traffic areas, roundabouts and normal routes. Loads are getting larger and heavier. Whether rotor blades for wind power plants with a length of 30 m, diesel engines weighing 200 tonnes, or just a yacht, all are 'everyday' loads that have to be transported from A to B. These transport tasks require enormous logistical preparatory work and, in this connection, computer simulations offer tremendous help.” In addition, the software could help get quicker clearance of thoroughfare permits from authorities, the company says.

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