Tunnel vision

24 April 2008



Use of four volvo a25d 4x4 adts is helping a new spanish tunnelling contractor to maximise efficiency on the construction of more than 10 km of tunnels in the mountains surrounding Bilbao, Spain.

Investment over the last decade has transformed Bilbao into city renowned for its architecture, which includes the Guggenheim museum of modern art. But the city's investment focus is now shifting from architecture to infrastructure. One of the main targets of the city's 10 year plan is to improve transport links but as Bilbao is surrounded by mountains, this calls for tunnels.

Newly established tunnelling contractor Geotunnel is already working on 10 km of tunnels and is in line to win contracts for another 20 km later this year.

Geotunnel's Volvo ADTs - part of a € 15 million of investment in construction equipment for the work - are being used to carry blasted rock away from the tunnel face. Traditionally six wheel drive ADTs are used for this work but, according to Geoteunnel director Antonio Bonaechea, the four wheel drive machines better suited their needs. “We wanted haulers which were strong enough to carry the loads but short enough that they could turn in the tunnels as having to reverse for hundreds of metres is difficult and inefficient.”

Geotunnel's A25Ds have been specified with extension panels which increase the load by 0,5 m3 to give a 24 tonne capacity - the same as the six wheel version.

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