GERMANY: Having landed a rare road-building contract in the Black Forest, a family-run construction firm has taken delivery of the first new-generation Volvo motor grader
New building projects in Germany’s picturesque Black Forest region are few and far between and why engineer Georg Bantle considers it a stroke of good luck that his road construction and civil engineering company has been assigned to work on a new ring road on home turf.
Close to the Bantle company’s premises in rural Bösingen, the new road, with nine bridges and several access roads, will divert the 12,000 vehicles per day currently using the busy B462 that runs through the town of Dunningen to connect the A5 and A81 highways.
Charged with the civil engineering and road-building work for the 6.4km stretch, providing manpower, machines and material, it is a bigger project than usual for Gebrüder Bantle GmbH, which is typically involved in smaller residential building projects such as sewage, civil engineering, asphalt and paving work. But the company, founded in 1956 by the parents and uncle of the current owner, is certainly equipped to rise to the challenge. Within a 50km radius from base, Bantle employs a permanent workforce of 120 people on up to 20 parallel construction sites. It also produces gravel in two of its own quarries, mines raw gypsum for cement production at two other sites and co-owns an asphalt mixing plant.
Volvo construction machinery is an integral part of the 65-strong Bantle fleet, which boasts seven wheel loaders including models L180E and L250G, one A40E articulated hauler, two EW160D wheeled excavators, one EC290C crawler excavator and six compact wheel loaders.
Georg Bantle says he appreciates the high degree of vertical integration, reliability and durability of the Volvo machines and attributes the fact they have been a permanent feature of his fleet since 2002 to a good personal relationship with Tobias Keppler, Managing Director at the authorized dealership Robert Aebi GmbH.
“We can quickly add suitable equipment to our machinery as necessary, or simply cover order spikes,” he says. “For example, we were able to equip ourselves with two Volvo articulated dumpers to transport soil for the Dunningen
With a large stock of demonstration and rental machines, the dealer was also able to help Bantle acquire a new G946B motor grader to cope with extensive earth-moving work on the Dunningen project. With all-wheel drive and 11-speed transmission plus six reverse gears, the triple-axle machine is the first new-generation Volvo motor grader in Germany.
The new Bantle machine is equipped with a grader control unit using a combined Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and tachymeter to bring millimeter precision to earth-moving operations. Georg Bantle explains that an experienced operator using data displayed on the monitor in the cab no longer needs the assistance of someone on the ground to measure areas and quantities. “We are able to achieve perfect compaction values, saving a great deal of valuable mixing materials when creating individual asphalt layers,” comments the Bantle Managing Director.