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Safe handling at natural ice bob track thanks to HUBTEX

HUBTEX Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG
Thursday, 22 Feb 2018 ( #860 )
The multidirectional sideloader featuring a loading platform.
In a bid to increase efficiency and reduce the strain on employees, the management of the world’s oldest bob run have been using Hubtex’ MQ 30 electric multidirectional sideloader since December 2016.

When the snow starts to fall in Upper Engandine, Switzerland, this November, staff at the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic bob run will get to work again on the world’s last-remaining natural ice bob track. In the space of three weeks, the team in South Tyrol will turn 15,000 m³ of snow and 7,000 m³ of water into the world’s largest snow sculpture. The Olympic bob run is not only used in a professional capacity, for instance as a venue for world and European championships and training, it is also open to visitors. The four-man bobsleighs have to be brought into position each day for the 1,722 metre run on a natural ice track that starts 1,852 metres above sea level in in St. Moritz at and ends 130 metres lower in in Celerina.

Hubtex developed a customised solution for the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic bob run.

A total of 75 bobsleighs are stored in a new warehouse featuring a customised two-level rack system.
New warehouse for storing 75 bobsleighs
Prior to the winter before last, the Olympic bob run used to store the bobsleighs in five different buildings. Four members of staff would then transport around 20 bobsleighs a day to the start of the track. With the goal of enhancing storage and handling efficiency, the management team decided to build a new bobsleigh garage in St. Moritz. Situated underground and spanning 60 metres by 15 metres, the garage was built in summer 2016. Each bobsleigh has its own designated "parking space". A customized, two-level rack system is used to store 75 bobsleighs in total. To reduce the strain on the Olympic bob run staff, the organisers decided to deploy an industrial truck. "Our most important requirement was to ensure that the bobsleighs can be transported safely and without damage in the tight confines of the warehouse. Given their expertise in delivering customised solutions, we opted to go with Hubtex and Rohrer-Marti," reports Damian Gianola, Managing Director of the Olympic bob run. The manufacturer of customised industrial trucks and its Swiss partner were brought on board during the planning phase for the new building, and they also gave the Managing Director advice on the rack system. After the garage was completed, the compact, electric multidirectional sideloader MQ 30 featuring a loading platform reached its destination in Switzerland.

The bobsleighs are pulled onto the platform by a gripping system.
Grabbing arm for different bobsleighs
"When developing the vehicle, we faced the challenge of coming up with a solution that took into account the individual dimensions of the loads being handled, and developing a load handling system that could independently pull the bobsleighs," explains Elmar Krenzer, Project Manager at Hubtex. While industrial companies normally use multidirectional sideloaders to transport long and bulky loads, the Olympic bob run handles 2- and 4-man bobs with different dimensions and designs. To enable the safe, damage-free handling of the bobsleighs, Hubtex manufactured an additional loading platform featuring a push and pull system for the MQ 30. Depending on the type of bobsleigh, the system either pulls them by their guard or grabs a tow hook to remove them from the rack and place them on the loading platform before they make their way to the natural ice bob run. "Since we switched to the multidirectional sideloader, transporting the bobsleighs has been a much more structured and speedier process. The sideloader driver only needs about one minute to pull a bobsleigh onto the loading platform, and then just another two minutes to get it to the start area," says Gianola. This new procedure only requires a quarter of the staff, as now only one person is needed to drive the MQ 30, as opposed to the four members of staff required in the past.

The driver needs around one minute to get the bobsleigh onto the loading platform.

The sideloader is used to transport the bobsleighs to the start line.
Safety for bobsleighs and staff
The focus placed on the careful handling of the bobsleighs is also clear to see in the MQ 30’s equipment. The standard multidirectional steering system of the Hubtex sideloader also ensures maximum manoeuvrability in the underground garage. In addition, the driver can keep an eye on the bobsleighs when removing or storing them with the help of two integrated colour video cameras featuring line lasers. One of the cameras installed on the loading platform is pointed in the direction of the pulling arm for the guard, while the other is pointed at the tow hook arm. A monitor in the driver’s cabin shows the load being transported, while two additional LEDs below the level of the bobsleigh provide light. The Hubtex Load Manager ensures that the driver knows how high the lifting arm needs to be. The system can save 99 different lifting heights that are measured via laser sensor, enabling the driver to do his job in a reliable way. A special feature of the system is that the four-level lifting frame enables the safe removal of bobsleighs from the rack system. When fully extended, the lifting height of the mast without load stands at 6,440 millimetres. With the loading platform attached, it comes in at 7,070 millimetres.

In conclusion, the Olympic bob run benefits from the structured storage and optimized handling of bobsleighs thanks to the electric multidirectional sideloader. In addition, the MQ 30 can be used without the loading platform for regular palette handling and renovation work during the off-season from April to October. "By consolidating our storage capacities and deploying the MQ 30, we have made our processes more efficient while also reducing the strain on staff. Ultimately, it enables us to spend more time doing the important thing: Ensuring that visitors have an unforgettable experience riding the last-remaining natural ice bobsleigh track in the world," says Olympic bob run Managing Director Damian Gianola.

The Olympic bob run is not only used in a professional capacity, it is also open to visitors.

For more information please contact:

HUBTEX Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG

Mr. Michael Röbig
P: +49-661-8382-219
E: send an email
SF: view the Hubtex ShopFront

Industriepark West
Werner-von-Siemens-Straße 8
36041 Fulda, Germany

About us
HUBTEX has taken a leading position in the materials handling equipment and logistics market for many years. HUBTEX take over where the manufacturers of standard products finish. Core business of our company is the manufacture of customized industrial trucks, side loaders and special equipment for handling difficult and bulky goods. In manufacturing and distribution the world over our machines are designed to facilitate the efficient material flow and  turnover of goods, even in very narrow aisles. Our trucks are tailor-made to exactly match the end users specific needs and characterized by their longevity and funcionality. Our concepts are characterized by highest flexibility and functionality, as the case may be.

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