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The rediscovery of the Scraper

The first Zeppelin Scraper-days convey the leading representatives of the branch when the use of the machine pays off Dissolving, loading, transportation and embedding of material with just one machine – those four different requirements normally necessitate different construction machines like excavator, loader and dumper or lorry.

But it wasn’t always like that. Until the end of the 1970´s, large earth moving projects, particularly in the new development of highways, have been done with scrapers. With its lowered bucket, a scraper explores ground, transports it to the point of installation and embeds the loading in planar coats. After the 1970´s, the machines have fallen into oblivion because they had been displaced by other construction machines. But scrapers are real all-rounder. Across certain distances they work faster and more efficient than other earthmoving machines. Roland Redlich from Zeppelin consulting service clarified in his speech within the scope of the Scraper-days that it is necessary that the material and the routes of transport comply with the requirements for the operation. The Scraper-days have been arranged by Zeppelin and hold with the companies Leonhard Weiss and Stetter at their building site in Sinsheim for the first time.

More than a hundred representatives like executive directors, foremen or chiefs of the technical department of the leading german construction companies came to the press conference at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena in June. This time, the meeting was not about goals on a football pitch, but about the different CAT Scraper like self-loading or double-engined scraper and about their construction and use. „There was a sudden high interest in this topic, we never had anticipated that. There hasn’t been such a top-class filled event in this form before. “, sales director Reinhold Kramer is sure. Volker Krauß, the executive director of Leonhard Weiss, got to the point and said in allusion to the venue and the attendants: „ Today we don’t play in the Bundes League, today we play in the Champions League.“

Zeppelin abstractor Roland Redlich from the consulting service made clear, at which time the use of a scraper is profitable: at earthmovings from 300 000 cubic metre material upwards. „Maybe also development stages from 200 000 cubic metre can be profitable. Anyway, it is profitable to check that in a calculation, “he told to the experts. He opposed different examples for the use to back the economic aspect. For example he compared the conventional earthmoving by Cat diggers, dumpers or dozers to the alternative solution with scrapers plus dozers. His conclusion was: „ If there are equal prerequisites it is visible that the scraper is more profitable from 400 metre up to 2,3 kilometres and it causes the lowest costs per cubic metre raised material. Any other machine is like that. “But there are barriers for the use caused by the material, the state of the track like fall or roll resistance or the teamwork. The insert of scrapers must happen in a logical progression. „For the drivers that means that they have to pay attention. They have to distribute the material they embed until the end of the track or the area may be not equal. "The drivers of the scrapers have to be team player“, said Redlich.

On the building site next door the attendants were able to see how the teamwork between the drivers, who are experienced professionals, could go ideally. They were also able to exchange experiences with the Scraper-drivers after those had graduated a performance test. The company Stetter, which is a specialist in soil stabilisation, is a subcontractor of Leonhard Weiss. Stetter has to excavate and reintegrate 100 000 cubic metres humus with 4 Cat Scrapers 627 G nearby the new football stadium of TSG Hoffenheim because there is arising a new industrial area (the “Deutsches Baublatt” reported on that already in the December issue 2008). Altogether there are 650 000 cubic metre to be moved at an area of about 50 hectare. The attendants were able to get an idea of the building site and the scrapers. Some of the attendees had seen the machines in practice for the first time there. “This also has been a novelty which you can see just very seldom. Thanks to the company Leonhard Weiss, the building site was open to the public and we were able to present our goods and services to the attendant companies. We were able to talk to a lot of attendants who wanted to be informed about the insert of Scrapers especially in regard to their briefly upcoming projects”, said Otto Mailänder, executive director of Stetter.

The company knows how to take advantage of the Scrapers even though they can be seen very seldom at german building sites. “We can work significant more effective and efficient with the Scrapers than with other construction machines. The operating conditions are ideal for a Scraper: there are large areas, easily solvable grounds and routes of transport that are several hundred metre long. The Scraper does not only fit to our concept of soil stabilisation combined with earth moving, which are our core competences, but the experience at the building site also showed that we need significant less binder. In Sinsheim, the loess-loam-ground is very sensitive to water and it has to be purified with some spreaders and soil stabilisers of Cat. In this connection we use the method my father developed. The binder, which has been attuned to the ground, is distributed with the help of a special spreader, milled in, mixed and consolidated at the preset area. Thanks to the Scrapers, we do now need significant less binder than we primarily calculated. The builder can benefit from that”, explained executive director Markus Stetter. The other representatives of the branch recognized at the first Scraper-days what a potential there is in the Scrapers. Maybe there will be more machines like that in use in the foreseeable future.

 

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