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RUTHMANN CARGOLOADER ®: the efficient transport system at the Siemens gas turbine plant in Berlin.

Since the 1970s, Siemens AG has been manufacturing gas turbines for power stations on the former site of the AEG turbine factory in Berlin-Moabit. Some of the assembly hall buildings are historical landmarks. At the gas turbine plant in Berlin, there are 4 different operational sites within a 10 km radius. Siemens relies on the CARGOLOADER ®, made by RUTHMANN, to transport goods efficiently, quickly, safely, and ergonomically. The CARGOLOADER ® special transport vehicle is the best and most economical way to move goods from one location to another, according to Andreas Tobies. Mr. Tobies is the Commercial Manager of the Site, Logistics & Solutions Department at the SIEMENS gas turbine plant in Berlin.


The gas turbine plant in Berlin employs approx. 3,500 workers. There are a total of 13,000 SIEMENS employees in Germany’s capital city. Huge turbines are manufactured at four different operational sites, which in part consist of historic assembly halls. The massive turbines are capable of generating more than 375 megawatts of electricity. They are used in power plants around the world. SIEMENS is world leader in this area and makes the largest and most powerful gas turbine in the world – the SGT5-8000H. The huge machines must be made with the greatest precision because turbines can only operate with clockwork precision.

Each of the four operational facilities serve different logistic and production purposes. In order to facilitate the most efficient way to transport goods between these sites, Andreas Tobies started doing some research 4 years ago. At that time, goods were shuttled back and forth using conventional trucks with tail lifts. The merchandise distributed with trucks often wound up at interim outdoor storage locations. This logistic method had several obvious drawbacks. For one, goods had to loaded and unloaded with tail lifts and hand pallet trucks. This is a time consuming and relatively unsafe procedure. The other major problem was that goods stored outdoors, if only briefly, were subject to inclement weather conditions.

The existing buildings and logistic strategies were not to be altered, in part because of the landmarked assembly halls in Berlin-Moabit. This prompted Mr. Tobies to search for a new vehicle/storage logistic system. This new system was to eliminate the disadvantages associated with the previous one and satisfy all existing demands and requirements. Andreas Tobies ultimately discovered the decisive advantages of the RUTHMANN CARGOLOADER ® system.

CARGOLOADER ® features enable lowering of the entire cargo area to ground level within seconds. The entire cargo area can also be smoothly raised to accommodate loading ramps of up to 1.6 metres in height. This lifting/lowering function facilitates fast, convenient, and safe loading/unloading of the cargo area, regardless of the loading conditions. Repetitious raising and lowering of wobbly tail lifts are a thing of the past. Furthermore, the cargo areas/containers can be exchanged following just a few simple steps. While a container is unloaded by warehouse personnel, the driver of the CARGOLOADER ® can carry out another assignment with a different cargo area. Under Andreas Tobies, the entire internal logistic system has been converted to the CARGOLOADER ® concept. “The CARGOLOADER ®’s interchangeable cargo area system has also solved our outdoor storage problems,” a satisfied Andreas Tobies affirmed.

Mr. Tobies added, “It is very important that the special SIEMENS transport containers, euro-pallets, loose bundles, canisters, or packages are transported quickly and safely between operational sites. The CARGOLOADER ® takes care of all these aspects brilliantly. The CARGOLOADER ® is even able to deliver forklifts and other inventory in a highly-efficient manner. Items big and small can be loaded and unloaded in the least amount of time.”

From Monday to Friday, the CARGOLOADER ® vehicles carry out 10 to 20 assignments on a daily basis between the four different operational sites of SIEMENS’ gas turbine plant in Berlin. The special transport vehicles are in constant use even though the sites are only approx. 5 – 10 km apart. Mr. Tobies went on to explain, “While searching for the best transport system, part of my research also included an overall cost structure analysis. As an example, I compared personnel costs of the previous system with offers from external logistics companies. We soon discovered that typical transport companies were not interested in our daily tasks because the total number of kilometres   travelled in a year only amounted to about 10,000 km. Actual transport (travel) time is minimal compared to the constant loading and unloading procedure.”

When comparing the costs of a CARGOLOADER ® to a truck with tail lift and identical payload, Mr. Tobies soon discovered that the truck was considerably cheaper to buy than the CARGOLOADER ®. The noncommittal CARGOLOADER ® presentation, offered by RUTHMANN, and subsequent transport and handling analysis, soon convinced Andreas Tobies that the higher purchase price was irrelevant. Mr. Tobies added, “Because of enhanced loading/unloading convenience and safety as well as highly-efficient use of the interchangeable cargo areas, I was able to calculate an almost 50% increase in overall efficiency. Efficiency cannot be realized by purchasing an inexpensive truck. Efficiency clearly lies in optimum utilization of human resources.  We have been using the CARGOLOADER ® system for some time now and are happy to say that efficiency results are even better than originally anticipated.”

RUTHMANN has developed a special calculation tool for similar situations. In addition to an on-site CARGOLOADER ® presentation, the German company offers potential customers a free logistic target-performance comparison. Based on the results, customers can decide whether using a CARGOLOADER ® between two or more locations will pay off.

CARGOLOADER ® vehicles comply with all current regulations of the German road traffic licensing authority (StVZO), emission standards, and technical features (ABS, etc). CARGOLOADER ® vehicles can carry out their assignments in the heavy traffic of Berlin without any restrictions.

SIEMENS has opted for the RCP 155 CARGOLOADER ® model. This model has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 15,500 kg and features a 7,680 kg payload. The Mercedes Benz Axor truck provides the necessary power, even on longer trips.

RUTHMANN GmbH & Co. KG has enjoyed national and international success in the special transport truck sector since 1949. CARGOLOADER ® vehicles were once known as Niederflurhubwagen. Then and now, these vehicles are a highly-efficient method of transporting and distributing goods the modern way.

Source: Ruthmann GmbH & Co. KG