Tricky manoeuvres in the Alps for Hämmerle

By Katherine Weir29 June 2016

Hämmerle had to manoeuvre this unusual load in reverse for a transport project in the Alps

Hämmerle had to manoeuvre this unusual load in reverse for a transport project in the Alps

Austria-based heavy haulage company Hämmerle Spezialtransporte - part of the BigMove network - transported two inseparable steel components weighing 32 and 39 tonnes each for a bike bridge in the Alps. To carry the cargo the vehicle had to be 43 metres in length and was 70 tonnes in weight. It had to cross a mountain river at 1,500 m above sea level near Sölden in the Ötztal, Austria.

To add an extra element of difficulty, the last part pf the journey had to be approached in reverse, the company said. It had to manoeuvre the cargo in reverse towards the discharge at the construction site located next to a mountain river. The last mile of the transport was additionally stabilised by a hydraulic excavator to secure the entire mass against the danger of slipping off by erosion of the path.

Reinhard Hämmerle, senior managing director at Hämmerle and BigMove board member, said, “Paths on sloping hillsides can be tricky. Caution is warranted, but checking the route in advance is even better. But how do you check in advance whether such a small path can hold a total load of 70 tonnes? You definitely need extensive experience in the alpine area and additional security for the load driving though.”

For the final metres of the transport, the seven axles had to move very slowly, with walking companions watching the load consistently, the company said. Hämmerle explained that the road had previously been compressed by another heavy piece of equipment, so erosion was ultimately minimal and the unloading was achieved safely.

Because some of the serpentine through the Sölden Ski Resort on the way to the final dispatch were so narrow and steep, the telescoped 43 m machine had to manoeuvre several times at its physical limits while twisting the vehicle’s frame to the max – complete road blocking included, the company said.

Road crests and swells of the road came so close to the bottom side of the vehicle, that steering angle and steering corrections had to be transmitted via mobile phone from the outside walking escort into the cab.

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