The City of Kriens Is Counting on a Trio of Aebi Transporters
Kriens, situated at the foot of Mount Pilatus in central Switzerland, is the second-largest city in the canton of Lucerne and home to around 27,000 residents. It was still considered a municipality in 2018, but the spring of 2018 saw the residents decide to give Kriens city status with effect from 1 January 2019. The Kriens public works office employs 20 individuals with a wide range of responsibilities. ‘We’re responsible for more than just keeping the road network, which spans approximately 80 kilometres, clean,’ says Hans Fankhauser, Head of Facility Maintenance. ‘We also maintain and manage the nearby greenery and plants and ensure that the 80 kilometres of hiking trail and 16 rest spots in the hiking area remain in pristine condition. This area extends as far as Fräkmüntegg at an altitude of 1,469 metres, where you can find the way station of the renowned Pilatus cable car. During the summer season, we’ll head up there at least once a week to empty the rubbish bins and check on the fire pits. What’s more, we’re in charge of cutting hedges in public areas, looking after streams, biotopes and bodies of water, providing support as needed with work on public facilities such as schools or sports grounds, and ensuring the technical upkeep for the Sonnenberg funicular railway. Last but not least, winter maintenance within the city area is one of our most important jobs.’
In addition to running a large truck and several small tractors, the public works office has been relying on Aebi municipal transporters for six years now. The first Aebi VT 450, which still has mechanical gear shifting, cut an impressive figure during an invitation to tender in 2013. ‘Our range of responsibilities isn’t just highly diverse; it’s topographically challenging too. To do our job, we need to tackle 1,000 meters of height in the hiking area and sometimes need to move heavy loads, so our vehicles are subjected to huge stresses in all types of weather conditions. So we need more than just high quality; reliability and robustness are absolutely essential too.’ The Aebi vehicles’ outstanding level of spring comfort and stepless drive make completing these tasks safely and comfortably an absolute breeze.
The first Aebi VT 450, which has been in use for some time, is fitted with a loader to collect grass clippings. Another Aebi VT 450 – this time with Vario transmission – was added to the fleet in 2017. Although initially sceptical, the public works office was won over by the pleasant driving comfort and safety when driving on steep terrain thanks to the stepless power-split transmission with permanent traction. The fleet was expanded in 2018 to include yet another new latest-generation Aebi VT 450 Vario. This one features a Euro 6C engine that complies with the latest exhaust emission standards. Both Varios are equipped with a hook unit, which allows them to switch between an extremely wide range of attachments such as salt spreaders, flatbeds or various other skips in next to no time.
A compressed air braking system that’s built into all three Aebi VT 450 machines is needed to operate a trailer weighing 10 tonnes in total and used to transport small diggers or heavy material, for example. ‘This was an important factor for us, since it allows us to be more flexible when scheduling drivers. Because you don’t need a special truck driver’s licence for the Aebi VT series, any colleague can drive the Aebi vehicles,’ explains Hans Fankhauser.
He and his team also appreciate the proximity to the local service centre, which is managed by the Aebi dealer Leo Schallberger AG, and the excellent cooperative relationship with the manufacturer in Burgdorf.
We’re sure the trio of Aebi transporters will get the team at the Kriens public works office safely to wherever they need to be for a long time to come.