A job for the pros

The Semmering Base Tunnel is one of Austria's biggest post-war transportation infrastructure projects. And the new Farmtech Gravis 2000 heavy-duty tipper is right in the middle of it.

November 12, 2014

The Semmering Base Tunnel is one of Austria's biggest post-war transportation infrastructure projects. And the new Farmtech Gravis 2000 heavy-duty tipper is right in the middle of it.

We're at the Fröschnitzgraben section near Steinhaus at the Semmering pass, in Austria's Styria region. We're headed through a narrow valley that seems like it will close up entirely at any moment. But contrary to expectations the valley opens up and we see a huge construction site. It's the "central attack" of the Semmering Base Tunnel. From here drilling machines will chew their way towards the two tunnel ends. The machines will be let down 400 metres into the mountain through two 12 metre wide shafts. At the bottom they'll be assembled, and set to work removing five million cubic metres of stone each day. 

A gigantic project
The tunnel will have two bores and extend over 27 kilometres. Starting in 2024 trains will travel through it at up to 230 km/h, linking Austria's capital city of Vienna with the south of the country and the rest of southern Europe. The total cost is projected at 3.1 billion euros. One of the companies working on the project is Profiteam Holzer from nearby Neuberg Mürz. A family company with 20 employees, Profiteam specializes in forestry and mountain road reconstruction, ski slope reconstruction, clearing and recultivation. For the tunnel project the company was contracted to lay a 2.2 kilometre roadway for the conveyor used to remove the excavation rubble. The huge rubble tip is to the south of the construction site on the slopes of Stuhleck, a mountain made famous by the Women's Alpine Ski World Cup held there.

Heavy loads
"The order extends over a year through to the spring of 2015," says Profiteam Director Thomas Holzer. The cleared wood, including rootstocks weighing over a tonne, needs to be moved into the valley.

"For this kind of transportation we naturally needed a tough tipper," Holzer continues. "We compared all the tippers on the market and the Gravis 2000 was simply perfect for the job," he says, praising the robust construction of the tipper and the good service from Farmtech dealer Steinkellner Landmaschinentechnik in Obdach. "The minute you lay eyes on the machine you can tell how sturdy it is. We're very happy that we chose this model," Holzer adds. "It delivers ideal value for money."

That's high praise, which the Gravis 2000 will have to live up to in tough daily use.