Transporter No. 20 000: Whoever sells this much has got something!!
Within a short time, we were celebrating special anniversaries on all different Aebi production lines. In a loose series, we have shown where the vehicles have gone to and how they are used. To conclude the series, we follow the 20,000th transporter, an Aebi TP 470 Vario, to France.
You believe Yvon Blanc immediately when he says, tanned and with a typical "imprint" from the sunglasses on his face: "In winter we go skiing", only to immediately add: "And we take care of the cows". Yvon and his son Jean-Baptiste are the proud owners of the 20,000th Aebi Transporter - a TP 470 Vario. A year ago, they visited the plant in Burgdorf, Switzerland, took a look at the prototype, were thrilled and immediately signed the purchase contract. The reason? Quite simple: "The technology," says Yvon. The joystick, the handling, especially the hydropneumatic suspension, for comfort, but also because the Blancs have so many different jobs to do. It is important that the tipper, dung tedder or pressure barrel, for example, can be changed quickly. Indeed it can be done in seconds: Insert the supports, release the locks, lower the vehicle hydraulically, drive away, drive under the next implement, raise the hydraulics, fix it, done.
Ski slopes and snow transport
Although the work with their 50 dairy cows is the most time-consuming, many assignments in the ski resorts of Les saisies, de Flumet, Notre Dame de Bellecombe and Praz sur Arly require flexibility and efficiency. When Yvon talks about skiing it does not mean primarily that he skis himself. It’s rather in the context that he and his son make skiing possible. Because the ski slopes need care long before it snows for the first time here in this region, which has already hosted the Winter Olympics twice. The family business "Blanc Débroussaillage" prepares the slopes for the start of the season. The two large terratracs of the Blancs are mainly used for this. "We have two, one for each, so there's no fighting," laughs Yvon. One of the two Terratracs is equipped with an overhead winch to secure the vehicle on extreme steep slopes, where, for example, the perennials that have grown back in summer have to be removed. Without the winch, the mowing work on the black runway of the Olympic track would be far too dangerous. The areas of the wide slopes are often much larger than the agricultural areas - and the work falls within a relatively narrow time window, so speed and performance are required. Every year, shortly before the opening of the ski season, also the transporter is in action. Where there is too little snow, the Blancs transport artificial or natural snow to the neuralgic spots. The Blancs can also count on two transporters for this work. The second transporter, an Aebi TP 1000, is already considered an old-timer, but still performs well and regularly.
Happiness about the anniversary transporter
Father and son Blanc are particularly happy that they have now acquired the 20,000th transporter. The TP 470 Vario is ideal for their versatile work, in the yard, on the ski slope and also for clearing snow. For this purpose, they have equipped the vehicle with a three-point hydraulic system at the front. Thanks to the central tube frame and central swivel joint connecting the cab and the rear carriage, the entire vehicle can turn by up to 30 degrees and becomes extremely tilt-resistant. This has characterised Aebi transporters for decades. Compared to the predecessor models, the TP 470 Vario scores with significantly more power, more working safety and greater working comfort. While the all-wheel steering supports effortless driving in tight bends as well as on steep slopes, the hydropneumatic suspension not only enables quick implement changes but also makes the difference between a modern transporter and a tractor.
Suspension like in a racing car
Thanks to the hydro-pneumatics, the TP 470 Vario travels at a brisk pace over the cross-cuts in the natural roads. This is less stressful on the driver's back on the one hand and saves a lot of time on the other. The number of farms in the mountains is steadily decreasing, but the land area remains the same. The remaining farms therefore tend to become larger and the distances driven significantly longer. In areas with long distances, the time saved makes it possible to bring an additional load down to the valley on a hay day. And in the late evening, it may still be possible to squeeze in a transport of building materials with the tipper. The hydropneumatics include the elaborate suspension, which is otherwise only found on expensive limousines or racing cars. Nothing is reminiscent of the bumpy rigid axles that are still typical of standard tractors today. The wheels hang individually from double wishbones. They keep each individual wheel always exactly square and with the entire contact surface to the ground. There are hardly any unsprung masses, which ultimately also protects the natural roads. Finally, the suspension is also a kind of life insurance in steep terrain. Because all four wheels always have perfect contact with the ground, the risk of accidents is reduced.
"I buy the Aebis because of Jacques".
For versatile operations like that of father and son Blanc, the complex suspension allows for more utilisation, more productivity and a more profitable use of the vehicle. At the same time, the hydro-pneumatics ensure that sensitive loads, be it animals, building materials or snowmaking equipment, are transported gently and that the driver or operator gets out painlessly even after a twelve-hour day. Even though Yvon Blanc emphasises how much he appreciates the technology of the TP 470 Vario, he then says in a second sentence: "I buy the Aebis because of Jacques". And he doesn't buy just any, but always the latest ones and often the first. His TP 470 Vario is also the first in France. Jacques Glairon-Mondet and his brother have expanded their father's agricultural machinery business into a kind of agricultural supermarket over the past 30 years. Four years ago, they handed over the business to their sons Quentin and Bastien. The company provides everything you need in the yard and garden in a mountainous region with lakes, art nouveau villas and high mountains: lawn mowers, animal feed, DIY supplies and professional agricultural machinery. Jacques Glairon-Mondet is particularly proud of the mobile milking parlours he developed and built himself. He knows everything about the region, knows everyone and everything and is the first point of contact for his customers. "If something doesn't work, I call Jacques and then he gets it done," laughs Yvon. Glairon-Mondet employs around 56 people in the region. Between aperitifs and lunch, Quentin orders another TP 470 Vario - as a demonstration machine. "You don't sell anything if you can't show anything," he laughs. Because he has several other customers who swear by Aebi technology - and by him and his team at Glairon-Mondet.