Tightrope act 450 metres underground – the ASW Stone Offroad on the way to work
29 October 2018
Disassembled, packaged, lowered down and reassembled deep underground – an ASW Stone Offroad is prepared for operation in the Bernburg salt mine. A true adventure for the assembly specialists of Fliegl-Partners Gress + Zapp GmbH.
Special detachable seams had already been incorporated into the body at the Fliegl factory in Mühldorf, so the two halves could be disassembled neatly. There was no other way it would fit in the freight elevator, which is approximately eight metres long and wide.
The iron door engages and the elevator races down, one hundred, two hundred, three hundred metres under the ground. Finally the elevator stops at a depth of 450 metres, and opens to reveal another world: Neon light illuminates a labyrinth of tunnels and shafts, their walls glittering with salt, and a refreshing odour wafts through the air. From one of the tunnels emerges a MAN tractor vehicle with a Fliegl ASW body. It is transporting explosives. Since 2015 the vehicle has been in service here day after day working on the salt face. But before it was able to go into operation underground, it first had to be disassembled piece by piece into individual parts and lowered down.
Three tries until it worked
"Getting the truck down here was a true adventure," recounts Uwe Müller, operating manager of Gress + Zapp, a service partner of MAN and partner of Fliegl Baukom. "Just taking it apart lasted a week. Three of my assembly specialists were busy with it all day every day." They wrapped up each piece and stowed them in crates. "Then the individual parts were lowered on the hook with no problems," says Müller. "But the real challenges were the driver's cab and especially the chassis. It is more than eight metres long and only a few centimetres smaller than the transport shaft. We tried again and again to find the right angle so that it would not be tilted or rub against the edges. It didn't work until the third time. We were all happy when the chassis arrived safe and sound at the bottom."
Operation in the salt mine
It was still two weeks below in the mine until the truck was assembled and ready to begin operation for the first time.
Underground work involves more than just mining mineral resources and raw materials. In many mines there are now requirements that they must be refilled after mining is complete.
The Fliegl ASW Stone Offroad is in its element here. Push-off technology is known in particular for the low centre of gravity with low unloading height and the fast, problem-free and complete unloading. The lower centre of gravity is the crucial point: Specifically it means a lower overloading edge, less braking output before curves and thus less wear, lower fuel consumption and huge time savings.
Five Fliegl ASW Stone trucks are now in use in Bernburg. But other mine operators also swear by proven Fliegl technology, for example Grube Teutschenthal.
Source: Fliegl Bau- und Kommunaltechnik GmbH