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Contractors World International
2012 Vol 3 No 5
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Bobcat + Boomlader - the perfect combo

The Boomlader consists of a conventional, rigid Bobcat telescopic handler with working cage attachement, from which the boom can be operated in the raised position. Bobcat + Boomlader - the perfect combo

Deep below the earth’s surface, in Germany’s Werra valley, K + S KALI GmbH extracts potash and magnesium crude salt. The mining district encompasses approximately 1,500 square kilometres. The “white gold” is extracted anywhere from 500 - 1,100 metres underground and is used in the production of pharmaceutical salts, speciality products for industrial use, and a large variety of different fertilizers.

K+S mining operations in the Werra valley extract and process the mineral at three locations: Hattorf and Wintershall in Hessen and Unterbreizbach in Thuringia. In Thuringia, the Merkers mine (now on care and maintenance) has been a popular tourist destination since 1991. The Merkers Adventure Mine attracts more than 80,000 visitors a year. With over 4,300 employees (including 300 apprentices).

Safety a top priority

Safety is a top priority in the mining industry. To check rock mechanics and roof safety, inspection holes are drilled at selected locations. Checking inspection holes on a regular basis enables early detection of any possible changes to rock mechanics.

If any changes have occurred, appropriate countermeasures must be taken immediately. The inspection process is time consuming. There are now 80 km of mine tunnels that need to be checked and secured. Wherever crude salt is extracted, 5,000 inspection holes must be checked every four weeks. In addition to inspection holes, anchor bolts must also be examined.

To carry out this assignment in the safest, fastest, and most cost-effective manner, K+S managers looked for suitable machinery. Having seen the Boomlader at a trade show, it was clear that this work platform concept would be able to carry out a variety of tasks at the same time.

The Boomlader consists of a conventional, rigid Bobcat telescopic handler with working cage attachement, from which the boom can be operated in the raised position.

Bobcat dealer development

Bobcat dealer, Meis Baumaschinen developed and launched this piece of machinery independently. It did so partly because there was no other supplier that offers such a unique concept and also because the machines converted by Meis have to have the necessary German TÜV safety certificate and comply with all CE standards. The special feature is that the operator of the telescopic handler can remain in the working cage when moving to the next working position. The machine does not have to be returned to base position prior to moving it.

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