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Smart: the new compact Merlo used in East Frisia

09 June 2020

10-metre compact telescopic handler with aerial work platform for anti-flood protection at the construction material warehouse of NLWKN in Aurich

 
Weather conditions in the East Frisian region are surely not a joke. You can see it in Aurich, where a group of people works to prevent north Germany from being submerged. The collaborators of Niedersächsischen Landesbetriebes für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz (the Lower Saxony Company for the water management and the preservation of natural and coastal heritage) are responsible for a draining area of 12,000 hectares surrounding the Ems-Jade canal. In addition to the classical machines, they are helped in this massive undertaking by the new Merlo Panoramic 30.10 which lifts 3 t up to 10 m and works with an aerial work platform.
 
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From left to right: Gerhard Behrens (blacksmith), Harm Saathoff (carpenter), Hannes Lamberti (carpenter), Karl Hinrichs (Hedemann company), Thomas Rodenbäck (hydraulic engineer)
 
 
Aurich: the NLWKN (Niedersächsischer Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz) in Aurich is responsible for the water management and engineering structures, such as bridges and sluices. An area of 12,000 hectares must be drained there through the Ems-Jade canal. 
 
“Every day is different from the next”, tells Rodenbäck, deputy manager of the warehouse. “Besides our main tasks, there are no fixed jobs to be done. Faults do happen, and so you have to put the team together. We have carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, blacksmiths and water engineers to drive machines”. They drive trucks, excavators, tractors, boats with barges and the new Merlo Panoramic 30.10.
 
Especially following bad weather conditions, the situation becomes stressful for the operators in Aurich. They must comply with the law provisions on road traffic for the bicycle paths on the Ems-Jade canal. They have to free the path and cut deadwood. This is one of the main tasks they perform with 2x2m Merlo with platform.
 
The Panoramic 30.10 model belongs to Merlo’s stabilized range. It has a width of 2.10 m and a height of 2.12 m. In the version with low suspended cab, there is Panoramic 30.10 L (=low) model, which reaches a height of 2.02 m. When fully operating on the two front stabilisers, the machine moves its maximum lifting load of 3 t to a height of 10 m. This explains the 4-cylinder 55 kW / 75 HP engine. The hydrostatic transmission characteristic of Merlo and the three steering ways allow a great work and manoeuvre sensitivity. This relatively small machine can be equipped with a 2-seat platform, which makes it particularly interesting for construction and municipal companies. 
 
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Telescopic handler performing a maintenance intervention on a bridge using the aerial work platform 
 
As confirmed by Rodenbäck, the compactness of Merlo equipment is an essential element during daily works. Operators have to apply the multifunctional lubricant WD-40 on the bearings of several scaffolds positioned at a height. In the past, simple aerial work platforms were used to reach them and half of the roadway had to be closed. “Now you can reach them with Merlo equipment, without the need for great works to close roads or mount installations. The job is faster. You arrive at the site, go up after having worn the helmet and activated the emergency warning light and you can go back after a quarter of an hour”.
 
Prior to Merlo, tractors were used to unload materials, including large sized pieces, such as the wood used to build the door of sluices. This pushes tractor to the limit. Rodenbäck tells that such loads were so heavy for the old 150 HP tractor that the weight stressed the axle so much that it prevented steering. 
 
The Panoramic 30.10 is used also for loading and unloading operations of boats. Every day, large sized pieces, such as 30x30 cm bulkheads with a length up to 6 m, were loaded onto a pontoon or onto a work boat. “With the Merlo we don’t need a special mobile crane. It is also an economic matter”, he adds.
 
This warehouse of construction material located in the port of Aurich was built in the Fifties. Nowadays, old boats, an old smithy, machinery and tools work closely with modern technologies. Merlo has recently helped, for two months, in the evacuation of the outdated stock located in the roof space of the construction material warehouse. The roof of the building must be rebuilt. The blacksmith, Gerhard Behrens, says that without the telescopic system, the material would have been brought down using a narrow and steep staircase. “It is great to have this tool: it makes the work lighter!” 
The company of the East Frisia had never had a telescopic handler before Panoramic 30.10. At first, they thought about purchasing a forklift, but they didn’t deem it to be suitable for loading and unloading operations of boats. Merlo was chosen among various competitors. Karl Hinrichs, of the company Hedemann GmbH (Wiesmoor) which is 25 minutes away, immediately persuaded them to choose the green telescopic handlers. Together, they went to visit the near company offices of Merlo Deutschland importer in Bremen, where they were impressed by the automatised warehouse with high shelves. Special techniques and components are often used in the field of hydraulic engineering. Sometimes the waiting times for spare parts are long. Currently, the Merlo warehouse in Bremen has 10,000 spare parts for Merlo telescopic handlers covering the last three decades. On request, they can be delivered the following day by overnight courier.
 
Karl Hinrichs, Merlo Sales Department in Hedemann, adds that: “For the last year and a half we have been selling the green telescopic handlers to industrial and construction companies in the area with postal code 26. Our promise is that of reaching the customer premises within 4 hours from the assistance request. The service we offer for the machines also includes UVV tests (checks on accident prevention regulations) automatically planned by our programming service and other required maintenance interventions”.
 
Practical tip: in a video on Merlo Deutschland Youtube channel, the operators show how to install an aerial work platform on the 30.10 from A to Z, as well as their construction material warehouse in East Frisia.