Atugboat and floating pontoon have been used to deliver a Volvo L260H wheeled loader across Lake Thun in the Swiss Canton of Bern to a quarry owned by AG Balmholz.
The 35-ton Volvo L260H wheeled loader is the first machine from Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) for the Swiss quarrying firm – and the machine was very quickly put to work.
The location of the quarry, in the Bernese foothills of the Alps, on the steep northern shore of Lake Thun, makes transportation of goods and mining materials to and from it a challenge. Although accessible via the winding lake road that runs between Thun and Interlaken, the route (which is popular with day trippers and motorcyclists) is limited to loads of 34 tons. This mean the wheeled loader could not be transported by road.
The quarry is just one of ten in Switzerland to provide a valuable source of a special dense, compact and high pressure-resistant hard rock. Every year, the workforce at AG Balmholz extract around 250,000 tons of hard rock, which is processed into blocks for hydraulic engineering, railway ballasts, chippings and crushed sand.
Much of this material is transported to customers throughout Switzerland on ships across the water to Thun, where it is offloaded and then transported by rail. AG Balmholz plans to use the wheeled loader for around 1,000 operating hours per year for the next ten years, before it will be time to replace it.