Breaking new ground

Despite the certain uncertainty of Brexit and the economic complications of the US-China trade war, CEO Messe München, Klaus Dittrich, is adamant that the construction and machinery industries around the world are doing very well. He concedes that the most important topics when it comes to facing major challenges is skill shortages and digitalisation.

German Construction Industry Association Chairman, Lüddemann, agrees that the problems of digitalisation and a shortage of skilled labour run parallel. “We face the shortage of skilled workers simply because we try to invest in training because in the course of digitalisation, the working world of employees is also changing. And of course, we also have to take the employees along with them in these changed working conditions.”

According to a recent Messe München study, only four per cent of the respondents said that were among the frontrunners, while 20 per cent did not see a need for action.

Lüddemann suggests that the big challenge is to make the products smarter on all platforms, where appropriate, so that progress in productivity at construction sites can be harnessed to their full potential. “It is of no use to a contractor if three out of 10 machines are networked and the other seven are not,” he said.

Bauma 2019, one of the world’s leading trade fairs celebrating the latest developments in construction and mining equipment, took over the Munich Exhibition Center during 8-14 April.

In the lead-up to the trade show, Dittrich said that it was on-track to break records yet again.

“With an area of ​​614,000 square metres, Bauma has grown even bigger this year,” he said, explaining that there are 3,700 exhibitors from around 60 countries demonstrating their innovations in Munich.

He added that the event attracts visitors from over 200 countries.

Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, said the fair is a figurehead for Germany, while Bavarian Prime Minister, Markus Söder, shared his enthusiasm for the event.

“Highly innovative and impressive construction machines from all over the world show the progress of the construction industry, the latest machines even work fully electronically and emission-free,” said Söder.

“The construction industry is the indicator of our economic performance.” he said.
As key factors for the future of the industry, Söder described the acceleration of approval procedures, the intelligent construction with the help of digital planning and a reasonable management of land conservation and construction.

Calling all components
In line with this vision for the future, equipment specialists from across Europe are actively engaged in the development and implementation of commercial vehicle and trailing equipment innovations.

Gigant exhibited its suite of products, including self-steering axles, disc brake swing axles as well as its low bed trailer air suspension system. Markus Gehle, Managing Director of Gigant said the improved FB100 suspension features a 100mm wide air spring with a new support plate. Gigant’s GL70T suspension for low bed trailers has an axle capacity of 12 tonnes. “This 70mm wide air spring gives us more space and it reduces the weight even more,” Markus says. “With this development we can present one of the lightest 12 to axle sets on the market.”
SAF-Holland – supplier of commercial vehicle parts – presented its hydraulically driven SAF INTRA CD TRAK axle as part of a live demonstration.

“Our additional drive for semi-trailers, which is activated at the press of a button, is an economically viable alternative to complex driven tractor units, in particular for the construction industry,” according to SAF-Holland Vice President Sales OEM & Aftermarket Europe, Alexandre Charpiot.

The additional power of the hydraulically driven axle primarily benefits tippers and vehicles which operate on-road and off-road at construction sites and landfills. The system is optimised for trailers in the nine-tonne standard range. SAF-Holland has been manufacturing the proven and technically sophisticated axle as a standard product since the middle of 2018.

Meanwhile, BPW presented a running gear computer with integrated weighing system. The AGRO Hub running gear computer is intended to make it possible for the operator to determine the weight of a load using a new type of sensor that via a hub wirelessly transmits its data from a drawbar trailer axle directly to end devices as well as an ISO bus interface to the truck driver’s cab. According to BPW, this provides drivers and transport companies with full transparency over mileage and transported quantities – and can also bill by weight.

“The BPW Agro Hub is another example of how innovations from high-tech agriculture are increasingly finding their way into the construction sector,” according to Peter Lindner, Head of Agricultural Sales for Germany and the Benelux countries at BPW in Wiehl. “The new weighing system is particularly robust and quickly pays for itself, even for construction companies.”

Tippers, low beds and more
All of the major trailing equipment OEMs showcased their latest trailer builds, with an emphasis on mining and construction applications. France’s SAE-SMB Industries presented its variety of skeletal trailers, tippers, tankers and low beds, while Gorica of the United Arab Emirates unveiled its latest dealings with materials handling specialist, Palfinger, along with trailing equipment spec’d for Oman’s market.

German trailer builder, Schmitz Cargobull, brought its S.KI tipper semi-trailer to the show, featuring thermal insulation, and a M.KI truck tipper with an electric sliding tarpaulin. To complement its tippers, the OEM has ‘digital helpers’ in the form of trailer telematics system and the S.KI control app.

The S.KI tipper semi-trailer with an aluminium box body is now available with OKULEN plastic body cladding, according to Schmitz Cargobull. Corroded and worn body surfaces make unloading more time-consuming, complex and dangerous, as the load only really starts to move at extreme tipping angles. The body cladding ensures the load slides from the loading surface more quickly, without leaving significant residue. Adhesion of bulk material to the body floor is made more difficult, optimising the unloading process. This enables the use of a lower tipping angle and reduces the risk of the semi-trailer leaning to one side during the tipping process due to uneven discharging of the bulk material. In addition, there are daily savings due to reduced unloading times and less need for cleaning.

For the S.KI tipper semi-trailer with thermal insulation, Schmitz Cargobull’s engineers have paid special attention to weight reduction. To offer the highest payload possible, the thermal insulation for the round steel body has been optimised once again. The innovative insulation material has a reduced additional weight, starting from about 310 kilograms, providing a robust and payload-optimised transport solution.

Schmitz Cargobull now also offers the electrically operated sliding tarpaulin as a factory-fitted option for the M.KI truck tipper body. This is said to offer many advantages, especially when it comes to frequent loading and unloading operations. In addition to time savings, an electrical tarpaulin provides extra safety for the driver.

The tarpaulin can be opened or closed easily and quickly by remote control, either from the driver’s cab or the ground. When opening and closing the sliding tarpaulin, the driver no longer has to climb onto the working platform. Occupational safety for the driver is improved, as potential accidents resulting from frequent climbing onto the working platform can be minimised.

In terms of digitalisation, Schmitz Cargobull enhances all tipper semi-trailer models with the new, third-generation TrailerConnect telematics system as an option. This offers even more operating comfort and, with functions like the brake pad wear indicator or the new tyre pressure monitoring system, its tipper trailers can be optimally configured to meet the demanding requirements of the construction business.

The S.KI control app enables the tipper trailer to be controlled and monitored remotely via a mobile phone or tablet (Android or iOS operating system). The app increases safety and efficiency during loading, as different functions can be controlled from the driver’s cab. The driver saves both time and energy, while receiving reliable data regarding the current status of the trailer and load.
Due to Schmitz Cargobull’s modular system, the body, rear wall, chassis, running gear and additional fittings can be combined in such a way that the trailers are precisely optimised for the specific application.

Another trailer builder set on offering a complete construction package for heavy duty transportation is Germany’s Kässbohrer with its extendable, non extendable low beds and low loaders.

Powered by its motto “Enginuity”, Kässbohrer’s Low-Bed vehicles are equipped with cutting-edge technology for its customers in more than 55 countries.

Kässbohrer offers technical superiority with progressive steering, hydraulic suspension and metalisation and meets the need of its customers with wide range of options including double extension, versatile ramp options and advanced load security for operational safety and efficiency.

For general heavy haulage operators, Kässbohrer’s K.SLA extendable low-bed series offers the most flexible configurations accommodating three-, four-, five- or six-axle options, chassis extensions up to 7,300 mm as well as seven different rear loading ramp options and lateral extension brackets. Equipped with advanced load security features, K.SLA series is said to offer improved manoeuvrability in the toughest working conditions with its self-steering axles.

K.SLA 4 from this product group is designed for usage in heavy goods transportation, such as the construction sector, mining sector and heavy construction equipment transportation.

Kässbohrer engineered K.SLA R, the extendable low-bed semi-trailer with three axles, for the transporters who specialise in the transportation of construction equipment, as well as farming and foresting machinery. Available with wheel recess as standard, K.SLA R is available with excavator arm recess option and a wide range of ramp options to ease the loading and unloading operations.

Chosen by bulk and high load haulers, Kässbohrer’s low-loader semi-trailer series K.SLL are perfect solutions for heavy duty transportation. Kässbohrer’s Low-Loader K.SLL 2 and K.SLL 3 have been re-engineered with the most technological systems and components.

K.SLL 3 is the lowest low loader with a ground clearance of 100 mm, accommodating the maximum height on heavy-haulage transportation. K.SLL 3 with three axles comes with detachable gooseneck shortening the loading operations of bulky goods while enhancing operational safety with the front loading capability. With its strong chassis and robust construction, K.SLL 3 is designed for the reliable and on-time transport of heavy-haulage and abnormal goods. K.SLL 3’s load capacity is 54 tonnes. On the other hand, K.SLL 2’s load capacity is 44 tonnes.

Kässbohrer sets new standards for operational flexibility for fleet management in heavy transportation with its K.SLS series.

Kässbohrer reengineered the non-extendable three-axle low-bed semi-trailer, K.SLS 3, for setting new standards in heavy goods transportation with its three different variants based on its king-pin and axle capacities, and by minimising the tare weight with its lighter chassis design starting from 7,700kg to increase the payload as well as to enable energy-efficient and eco-friendly heavy goods transportation.

Engineered with hydraulic steering axles and remote control, Kässbohrer launched K.SLH series in the beginning of 2019. The series with five-six-eight axle option offers maximum manoeuvrability and flexibility in the toughest road and working conditions and is developed especially for the special haulage industry in the fields of manufacturing and construction.

Kässbohrer’s extendable hydraulic steering six-axle low-bed semi-trailer, K.SLH 6, with 102-tonne transport capacity, is designed for all types of heavy-duty transportation. Providing a gooseneck capacity of 30 tonnes and extendable up to 17.5 meters thanks to its double extension. K.SLH 6 is developed for the extreme heavy duty transport. On the other hand, eight-axle low-bed semi-trailer K.SLH 8 is designed with 36-tonne gooseneck capacity and hydraulic suspension system offering an effective and secure load distribution.

On the tipping front, German OEM, Kögel, brought its Kögel Trucker Tipper (KTT) along to the show. The manufacturer said the KTT is designed for high payload gains and better user-friendliness for vehicle operators.

“The starting point for the KTT was the payload and weight-optimised frame and body and a tipper trough incorporating a clever mix of materials,” according to Kögel.

The three-axle tipper trailer with 24m³ loading volume on show displayed the variant with a four-millimetre-thick floor, made of tempered SSAB Hardox 450 steel, side walls, made of a highly wear-resistant, five-millimetre-thick aluminium sheet, as well as a back wall, made of a highly wear-resistant, seven-millimetre-thick aluminium sheet – making it ideal for carting construction materials such as crushed rock and gravel.

Compared to a Kögel tipper trailer with four-millimetre-thick steel side walls and a four-millimetre-thick steel back wall, the new aluminium side walls and back wall enable a saving of up to 430 kilograms in tare weight.

When designing the KTT, the OEM focussed on achieving maximum user-friendliness through a combination of parts fitted as standard and an extensive range of accessory equipment. For example, the wheelbase of the KTT has been optimised so that the load is distributed as effectively as possible, resulting in better driving and manoeuvring characteristics, as well as increased stability while tipping on difficult terrain. In addition, the tipper body overhang of the tipper trailers has been extended by 170 millimetres.

Kögel said an optionally attachable chute is therefore no longer necessary, which will not only save money, but also weight. The optional angular plate on the underride guard and locking device, which can be swung upwards, combine to prevent soiling during tipping. The locking catches automatically retract into the rear end during unloading, protecting them from soiling and damage. In addition, this tailgate lock ensures that loose stones cannot get in the way during closing and allows the side walls to join smoothly with the rear wall gate.

The KTT exhibit was fitted with the optional Kögel LUXIMA multi-chamber LED tail light with integrated rear monitoring, which took third place at the international ‘Trailer Innovation 2017’ awards. To save space, the rear monitoring sensors were installed in the Kögel LUXIMA LED multi-chamber rear lights and the licence plate holder. This dispenses with the need for additional installation space at the rear of the trailer.

Similar to other trailers builders, Poland’s Wielton Group has been on a special assignment, perfecting its tippers spec’d for mine-related freight tasks. The Master Mine ZW23SEM is a tipper body designed for transport in mines. Its durable construction allows for long use even in these particularly difficult conditions. It is said to be perfect for transportation of materials such as chalk rock, mining output, dolomite and granite.

Master Mine SEM has a dropside body with a capacity of 23-24m³. Its tailgate is opened by steel ropes, and the hydraulic ram with a chrome-plated sleeve surface is fully dust-resistant. The strength of the vehicle is increased by the use of wear-resistant SSAB Hardox 450 steel, 8mm thick walls and a 15mm thick floor. The tipper is equipped with an intermediate frame adjusted to the chassis of the total weight of 54 tons.

Due to the assignments meant for this vehicle, the standard equipment of Master Mine SEM tipper also includes wheel blades, which prevent a tyre from damage as well as steel covers for fuel and air tanks. As the reinforced tipping axles are used, the body gains strength and stability. This significantly improves its safety and durability, which is particularly important when working on unsurfaced roads as well as when loading and unloading large volumes.

Wielton also took the opportunity in Munich to flaunt a redesigned M2 version of its Strong Master tipper. The upgraded design has made the tipper floor more resilient to abrasion, ensuring a longer equipment lifecycle. The key change to the Strong Master – according to Wielton – is the elimination of side members and construction bars from under the box shed, and the use of a 6mm thick floor that has been further reinforced in the back wear area. The thicker floor as well as a higher and stronger rim profiles to ensure greater rigidity in the box.

The tipper has retained its characteristic conical shape; its dropside body will be available in various cubic volumes (22-38m2). Wielton also offers two semi-trailer frame versions: one as a standard build (SL) and the other as a reinforced build (HD) intended for use in more demanding conditions. Other options include a back flap door and a hydraulic door.

Meanwhile, Langendorf demonstrated the versatility of its selection of low loaders.

The wide range of low-loader trailers produced by Langendorf allows the fast and economic transport of construction vehicles on wheels and chains, finishers and milling machines, road rollers and operating platforms as well as containers. The hydraulic platform in the low bed is the specialty of the SATH low-loader trailer series, according to Langendorf.

Due to their very low ramp angles, vehicles with little ground clearance such as for example road finishers can be easily transported with these trailers. The whole loading bed has a length of 6,300 mm, 2,500 mm of which are lifted hydraulically by around 400 mm directly at the axle assembly. Due to this, there is the very low angle of less than 8° at the passage of the axle assembly into the loading bed.

The vehicle shown is extensively equipped. Despite the many options, a low empty weight of less than 15,000 kg could be achieved. All three axles are hydraulically steered and can additionally also be steered by means of a radio remote control as manoeuvring steering. An ECAS Smart-Board with lift and lower function and the automatic driving height control from 30 km/h on complete the chassis.
A further highlight is the neck to be adjusted hydraulically, which can take a one-axle dolly additionally by this. Therefore, a fifth wheel load on the dolly of up to 25 tons is possible without exceeding the permissible axle load of the tractor.

The structure has rubber metal layers on all ramp slopes. The rest of the floor is covered by Keruing hardwood. Thanks to this flexible combination, the highly stressed ramp slopes are perfectly protected against wear whereas on the storage spaces the lighter hardwood is used.

For loading and unloading, the structure is supported by hydraulic supports in the area of the loading ramps. The hydraulic loading ramps – both designed as spreader ramps, are also covered by rubber metal and can be shifted hydraulically to the side.

Between the axles, there is a recess for the excavator arm. The front platform is surrounded by collapsible/plug-in side walls. Here you will also find the electro-hydraulic pump assembly with which all hydraulic functions of the trailer are supplied with oil independently from the tractor. A time-controlled lubrication system provides around 60 greasing points regularly with grease.

The low-loader trailer has a very wide equipment regarding the possibilities of load securing. There are 17 pairs of rigid lashing rings with each 10,000 daN on the vehicle. These ones are complemented by the award-winning Vario-Lash system only available at Langendorf. These ten additional lashing devices can also take up to 10,000 daN load.

Fliegl presented a variety of trailers at Bauma 2019, including low loaders, platforms and a tandem three-way tipper.

Fliegl’s TSK 210 tandem three-way tipper has a loading height of only 1,100mm, a robust loading space in original Hardox 450 capable of taking even heavy loads, tipping options on three sides and the transportation of construction machines. The focus of this particular design is on multifunctional use.

“Right from the start, the tandem three-way tipper trailer was one of the most successful models to leave the production line in Triptis,” said Fliegl. “Its most important feature is its low unladen weight of only 4,200kg. This allows the platform, with its extremely robust steel side panels, a length of 5,000 mm and a width of 2,420 mm, to accommodate loads weighing more than 16,800kg.”

By increasing ground clearance, it minimises the potential for damage during offroad use. Fliegl routed the connection lines in and through the drawbar as an additional durability measure.

The air suspension is tailored to off-road use and equipped with a raising and lowering valve, thus offering increased safety during the loading of construction machinery.

A tipping angle of 470 to the rear and 500 to the sides for smooth discharge, even of cohesive loads, and a support for an excavator scoop on the bulkhead; these are just a few of the many features of the newly designed three- way tandem tipper TSK 210 T from Fliegl. A further advantage is central locking of the side panels.

A payload of over 16,800kg is possible and can be used both for the transport of bulk materials or small construction machines. Aluminium ramps with a load capacity of 10,000kg are provided to allow problem-free loading and unloading of self-propelled machines in any location.

The tipper body is designed for continuous use even under tough conditions and scores with a wealth of practical details such as 10-tonne lashing. A through-running tipping shaft on the rear transfers all loads smoothly to the steel chassis. This ensures the long service life of the tandem tipper.

The five-stage hydraulic cylinder is supplied with oil by the tractor vehicle. The continuous steel folding side panels are swing-mounted and equipped with central locking. Return springs on both side panels facilitate closing for the driver. Bulk materials are enclosed by side panels with a height of 600mm.

The two-section, swing-mounted rear panel is ideal when using the TSK 210 T for the transportation of construction machinery.

The second strong point of the trailer is revealed here. Two aluminium ramps can be carried in a protected compartment beneath the loading area.

They can be quickly and easily fitted in order to load a construction machine onto the tandem tipper, according to Fliegl. Their high load-bearing capacity of 10,000kg per pair and a length of 3,600mm allow realisation of a flat drive-up angle.

These details, according to Fliegl, show that great emphasis was placed during the design process on ensuring a broad range of applications. Despite its many ingenious and user-friendly details and options, the new TSK 210 T weighs only 4,200kg and has a permissible total weight of 21,000 kg, allowing problem-free use of the three-way tandem tipper to transport small excavators and other machines. The easy-to-operate folding rear support guarantees safe loading and unloading – even without a tractor vehicle attached.

Calling in from Austria, Hangler presented its Mega telescoping platform semi-trailer.

The coupling height of a Mega provides even greater flexibility when the load is not just wider or longer, according to Hangler. The SDS 390 Mega telescoping platform semi-trailer from Pramet in Austria provides a length of up to 21,000mm. The highlight of this design is the low coupling height of only 950mm, which allows even more flexible application of this semi-trailer. When coupled to the corresponding tractor unit, the height of the loading edge is only 1,060mm – leaving plenty of room above for the load. The low unladen weight of only 9,000kg in the basic version also gives the operator a high degree of flexibility when it comes to loads. In retracted position, the semi-trailer is only 13,500 mm long, which means that it can be driven without an exemption certificate.

The high-quality steel box frame can be extended in a total of 17 stages and can be locked pneumatically and conveniently in position at every stage. This is done via a valve on the semi-trailer but is also possible via a switch in the towing vehicle.

Intermediate inserts provide a continuous floor even when the trailer is fully extended. This is an advantage when loading several small machines on wheels or tracks right up to the bulkhead.

The frame in the rear area has been bevelled by 80 over a length of 500mm to allow machinery to be driven on even with low clearance angles. The telescoping rear supports guarantee safety during loading – even of heavy machinery. This means that the trailer can hold construction machinery weighing up to 24t. A continuous U-profile in the rear allows the secure attachment of ramps.

The pull-out width extensions with which the width of the loading area can be increased to a total of 3,000mm are accommodated in the closed outer frame.
With its low loading height and flexible telescoping function, the SDS 390 Mega can also be used for the transportation of containers. This is possible without interruption of the continuous smooth loading surface due to floor-recessed container locks for 1 x 40’ or 2 x 20’ containers. The 50mm floor, made from special wood, ensures a high load-bearing capacity.

It goes without saying that the securing of the load is also an important feature. The trailer is equipped with 11 pairs of side post pockets in the outer frame. Each side post pocket contains a multi-function opening for the attachment of lashing chains or straps. Three side post bars are welded in flush with the floor and allow the positioning of additional side posts.

Five pairs of lashing eyes in the front frame neck and 11 pairs of folding lashing rings in the outer frame round off the equipment. Special feature: the folding lashing rings in the outer frame are suspended and swivel-mounted, which means that they can also be used for extra-wide loads. Nevertheless, these folding lashing rings are designed for a load of 10,000 DaN.

The bulkhead has a height of 1,200 mm, is also equipped with lashing eyes and has steel corner posts enabling it to absorb high forces.

And of course, all fastening material can be stowed away safely on the vehicle when not in use. There is an open compartment on the bulkhead for the removable side posts, while further material can be stored, secure against theft, in the toolbox.

The attachable aluminium ramps have a load-bearing capacity of 24,000 kg and can be stowed away safely and space-savingly in a lockable transverse storage box under the chassis.

The last axle is a steering axle, ensuring high manoeuvrability even on narrow construction sites. The steerable trailing axle with automatic reversing lock and the offset axle spacing ensure excellent handling characteristics. Axle load detection via the CAN bus allows the values to be displayed in the tractor unit. The automatic lift axle, which can also be operated via the tractor unit, can also be used as an approach aid. Lifting the axle increases the semi-trailer pressure, giving the tractor unit sufficient grip, even on slippery ground. The full LED lighting – including the warning signs for extra-wide loads and the additional working lights.

Austrian OEM, Schwarzmüller, has a portfolio of over 50 vehicle types for the construction industry. Four of them, plus the development arising from a cooperative partnership, were on show at Bauma, including thermally insulated bodies, steel segment bodies, low loaders, tandem tippers and the Benzberg Tridem tipper body.

The TÜV-certified thermally insulated body means that no thermal bridges will occur while vehicle is in use, and that the OEM abides by the DIN standard. Schwarzmüller has achieved thermal resistance (R value) of 1.80 m2 K/W, which
exceeds the prescribed value of 1.65 m2 K/W by more than 10 per cent. Other advantages offered by thermally insulated bodies include the ability to control a variety of practical applications via remote or smartphone. This includes, for example, comfortable operation of the electronic air suspension with lifting and lowering. The controls can also be used to raise the lift axle and to activate the paver brake, which also means simultaneously lifting by means of air suspension. That means tipping into the paver is safe.

The electrical sliding covers can also be opened and closed via remote control or smartphone. The lightest Schwarzmüller thermally insulated body weighs in at an empty weight of 4.7 tonnes. The optimised payload reduces both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, which in turn reduces transport costs and helps protect the environment.

With its lightweight construction torsion-resistant steel frame, the hydraulic axle for the steel segment body is the classic option. It has an empty weight of around 5.3 tonnes, pairing extreme robustness with a comparatively low empty weight. Torsion boxes and tubes installed horizontally into the frame, together with the four-point tipper cylinder, improve the tipping stability of the steel segment body by up to six per cent, according to the OEM, ensuring increased safety.

Schwarzmüller’s four-axle low loaders feature excavator shovel recess and roller buttresses to complement construction operations. These trailers feature and empty weight of 7.95 tonnes and above, a loading height on the low bed of approx. 0.87m and a drive-on and offset frame section over the bogie, allowing for the trouble-free transport of tall and overwidth machinery.

The engineers at Schwarzmüller have also come up with a few extras for this low loader: with its flat ramp angle of just eight degree

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