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The Flatliner – the vehicle for special transportation requirements

In the open-space-area FN 827/1 the Waltrop-based manufacturer with long tradition presents a vehicle from the SB series to the specialized trade professionals. The completely revised Flatliner impressively shows the range of possible missions.


The inloader of type SB-19 H 95/81 is used on all continents under the name Flatliner. An important advantage is the loading and unloading that needs no aids like a crane or lift truck, as the Flatliner must only take in a pallet (flat) that already carries the load on it.

The shown inloader was subjected to an extensive revision. In the process, many details have changed, resulting in more customer benefits altogether, without changing the globally unique low weight.

The most important innovations include: The door retainers are now significantly more robust - an important safety aspect when loading and unloading on uneven terrain in strong winds.

All side storage compartments have been redesigned and are now even better protected against the ingress of spray water.

The operating elements have been redesigned from an ergonomic point of view and - as the inloader is in use worldwide - provided with universally understandable lasered operating pictograms.

Maintenance openings in the shaft inside now allow a more comfortable access to the slack adjusters. Thus, the care and maintenance of these important components is much easier.

The worktop on the two long girders - also called girder grate - now consists of GRP. Long-term tests have shown that GRP is less sensitive to soiling and thus significantly increases the safety of the driver.

Other visible changes include the rear portal. The hinged underrun protection is now made of aluminum and – with the same strength -  does not burden the driver during the folding process as strongly as the previous steel design. In addition, the 270 ° rear door can now be retrofitted with minimal effort into a combi-door. This was not possible before.

The sum of the changes has many effects on the daily operation with minimal design changes of the vehicle.

The handling of the vehicle for the driver is more comfortable, the entrepreneur can always retrofit many options without much effort. That was previously only possible to a limited extent.

Intended for use behind two- or three-axle tractors, the empty weight could be reduced to approx. 9,500 kg. Thanks to the technically advanced single-wheel suspension, the loading shaft has a length of 9,500 mm and a width of 1,550 mm. This makes it possible to transport loads that are more than 9 m long and up to 3.7 m high in the loading shaft.

Loads of these dimensions are generally transported with low-loaders, although due to the load height or width a special permit is often required. Most of the time, these transports are also linked to conditions. With the inloader, these requirements are frequently dropped, thereby providing maximum flexibility to the carrier.

Owing to the hydraulic lifting arm, no special technical requirements are needed on the tractor – any commercially available articulated truck can be used.

The hydraulics are self-sufficiently operated with the electric engine built in the trailer. The same engine also operates the fixing devices hydraulically. They can be adjusted horizontally and vertically so they can be flexibly adapted to the most varied loads and can be displaced in longitudinal direction on angled rails.

In addition, a telescoping of the fixing arms is now possible. Therefore, the operation is fully possible from the ground and thus ensures the safety of the operating staff.

Up to five flat pallets can be taken in empty runs. To minimize tire wear and tear, the first and third axle can be lifted. There is also the load restraint tested by TÜV Nord in May 2008 acc. to VDI 2700.

The driver must only take in the pallet, secure it with the bracing device and can leave immediately. This means that the full loading process, including load securing, is completed in less than 10 minutes – TÜV-tested and -certified. In addition, the vehicle is equipped with seven pairs of lashing rings on the longitudinal beams and every lashing point can be loaded here with 7.000 daN.

The flat pallets necessary for this (also named flats) can be manufactured in the most varied ways for every type of load to ensure optimal travel within the supply chain. Just three flats make a continuous transportation chain possible.

In the front platform above the fifth-wheel coupling, on a length of about 3,000 mm, there is plenty of room for accessories, toolboxes and other auxiliary materials. The back wall and the two sidewalls of the platform are made of one piece and detachable, two pairs of lashing rings with 5,000 daN allow the load to be properly secured here as well. A left and right access ladder ensures safe platform access.

The single-wheel suspension in swinging execution is hydraulically operated for lowering it. The axle compensation of the axles among one another also takes place hydraulically and is cushioned by integrated hydro-pneumatic accumulators, thereby allowing a complete stroke distance of 430 mm.

Since the entire vehicle is hydraulically lowered for loading and unloading, all three axles have a built-in safety device to protect against an uncontrolled lowering when driving on the road.

An on-board electro-hydraulic pump assembly supplies the hydraulic restraining devices, two or three of them on each side, and the locking mechanism of the hydraulically locked tailgate. Built-in batteries allow operation independently from the tractor.

Spare wheels, accessories, a central lubricating system and other equipment items are stored under lock and key behind the full continuous aluminum enclosure. Working lights in all important points, pluggable rotating beacons and outlets for additional lighting complete the equipment of the concrete inloader.

Source: Langendorf GmbH