News story

Telehandler works high in the Alps

Thursday, 27 July 2006 ( #270 ) - LAKE BAITONE, Italy
A Merlo telehandler has travelled 1,700 metres by cable to help repair a 30-year-old dam that provides electricity to the Italian region around Lake Baitone.

Merlo SpA, of Italy, provided a ROTO 40.25 MCSS to an electricity supplier at Lake Baitone, in the middle of the Italian Adamello National Park, in the Rechtiche Alps. The dam is 2,300 metres above sea level and 10km from the nearest village.

Dam contractor Alessandro Gelmi said the dam's parapet had to be refaced with 2,500 cubic metres of concrete. The Merlo telehandler was considered the easiest equipment to take to the site and the safest and most practical to work with.

"The work depends on the machine selected. We knew we must choose a machine that is robust, reliable, easy to drive, compact, maneuverable and, above all else, safe.

"The site is a long way from any help and safety has to be our number one consideration," Gelmi said.

Work would be conducted on the highest point of the dam, 37.9 metres -high. The machine needed to be positioned with the stabilisers partially extended and yet be safe.

A Merlo statement said the telehandler featured Merlo's merlin continuous slew safety system (MCSS), which matched the digital control of the merlin network to an electronic sampling device that continuously monitored pressure in the outrigger pads.

As the machine's stability was monitored in 'real time', the outriggers need not be fully extended. Audible and visual warnings of imminent instability were followed by a full motion lock if the operator continued, the statement said.

The four tonne capacity, 25 lift height ROTO had to be broken down into sections no heavier than six tons and transported via a 1,700 metre cable up a 700 metre ascent.

The dam work is expected to finish in the northern autumn of 2007.

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