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There are days the tractors don’t ever get cold.
Wolfgang Freimoser & Dietmar Schürholz, building contractor and managing director, Germany - 516, 828 Vario
There are days the tractors don’t ever get cold.

Tough mission at the Königssee

Taking the electric boat of the Bayerischen Seenschifffahrt from the landing place in Schönau provides a breath-taking, postcard view as one glides silently for three-kilometres to the dock in St. Bartholomew at the other end of the Königssee. The lake only has an area of five square kilometres, but is more than seven kilometres long. On its shores, rugged cliffs, hundreds of metres high, reach up into the white-blue Bavarian sky. Although the water is very clear – the Königssee is considered the cleanest body of water in Germany – one can only see the bottom in a few places. This is because the cliffs go down into the deep water just as steeply as they reach out of the water: a stone would sink 190 metres to the ground, if it is dropped into the water in the deepest spot.

In autumn 2015, a construction troop advanced into this idyllic setting with heavy machinery to build a transformer station and set up an antenna mast for BOS radio one hundred metres away. BOS is a radio network that is reserved for emergency and rescue services. The expansion of the radio network in the national park ensures that help can be called in case of emergency, even in the farthest reaches of the park. A prerequisite for this was to expand the electricity network over St. Bartholomew up to the southern end of the Königssee. To lay the cable, a flush bore was set from the shores to about 120 metres out into the lake.

Wolfgang Freimoser from Ruhpolding planned the construction and hired his colleague Dietmar Schürzholz from MayerTrans. A whole lot of gravel was needed to bank up the ground for the three-tonne transformer station. Dietmar Schürholz loaded twelve tonnes into the trailer, which he brought to St. Bartholomew with his Fendt 516. Of course, there is neither a path nor road that leads there. That is why the tractor and the trucks with the transformer station had to be brought to their final destination across the water. It was a tough and adventurous undertaking:

Wolfgang Freimoser organised a fourpart pontoon ferry in Hamburg with a carrying capacity of about 200 tonnes. It was to be used to transport both trucks and the Fendt tractor together across the lake. Twelve heavy-load vehicles were required to bring the pontoon parts all the way across Germany to the national park.

Before transporting the vehicles across the lake, a 3150-metre long, 31-tonne underwater cable was laid down on the ground of the fjord-like lake. Specially trained expert North Sea divers from Hamburg and a team of underwater cable layers from Scotland conducted the work.

3150 metres of cable laid down on the bottom of the lake in 24 hours

“Please, don’t let there be a storm!” that was the biggest wish Wolfgang Freimoser’s team had. Because five years ago, when the first underwater cable was laid, a storm came up during the night and caused the cable to overturn. But the cable laying team was lucky and within 24 hours, the cable was in its final place.

On a foggy Friday morning, the most spectacular part of the undertaking was to take place: the transport of the transformer station and both vehicles on the ferry to St. Bartholomew. About a half a dozen employees from the Bayernwerk AG came to the landing place near the bob and luge track with a bright red transformer express from Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm. A truck loaded with gravel from Bernau am Chiemsee and Dietmar Schürholz with his Fendt and another twelve tonnes of gravel in the trailer, were also ready. It was precise work and the ferry tilted alarmingly, as the gravel truck drove onto the heaving pontoon at a snail’s pace. An hour later, the transformer express was also on board. Now it became clear, however, that there was no space on the ferry for the Fendt 516 Vario and its trailer. Because the trip takes about three hours and the return trip also takes time, a passage on the same day was not possible. It was only on the following Wednesday that the Fendt and its trailer could be shipped to St. Bartholomew.

When construction work takes place in pathless terrain, Wolfgang Freimoser almost always calls on Dietmar Schürholz and his Fendt tractor. Like when the biathlon stadium, the Chiemgau Arena, was built in Ruhpolding. It was also the case when setting up the BOS masts on the Untersberg near Ruhpolding, on the Jenner and the Reiteralm in the Berechtesgadener Land, on the Kneifelspitze, on the Wendelstein…

“We couldn’t manage these kinds of projects without reliable partners,” emphasises Freimoser. With his company BBT (snow-making and lighting technology), the electrical engineering technician already realised dozens of such spectacular projects. Contrary to the specifications of the planner, he pushed through the use of glass fibre for all electric cables when connecting the site for the Chiemgau Arena. Without this technology, nothing would be possible today.

Wide operating spectrum in difficult terrain

We wanted to know from Dietmar Schürholz: Can you really live from such spectacular operations like at the Königssee? “Of course not!” counters the 48-year-old and counts off the range of applications for his Fendt tractors. In the summer they are used primarily for building and maintaining forestry paths and for torrent control. In the winter, operations start at 3:30 am, when the machines set out to clear the roads and spread salt for the municipality. “There are days the tractors don’t ever get cold.”

Schürholz founded the MayerTrans company with two other partners in 2001. Since then, in addition to three trucks and five largescale implements, there are now two Fendt tractors in the fleet of the 17-person company. The first was a Fendt 380 GT Turbo, the newest is a Fendt 828 Vario. Schürholz raves about the 800 Vario series: “That is a quantum leap. A top speed of 60 km/h is a huge advantage for us.” The tractors are in operation for five years and about 10,000 hours at MayerTrans before they are replaced. “The used machines are in demand with farmers and do their work there for many more years,” reports Schürholz.

“With Fendt, we want to do something good for our operators,” says Schürholz, explaining why he decided for the brand. “They work 2,000 hours a year on the tractors. It is therefore important to have a machine that is easy to operate and has optimal ride comfort.” The overall package, including the services of the BayWa in Traunstein, are unbeatable. The competitors may have caught up, “but everything else is just not Fendt.”

Wolfgang Freimoser adds that for him, no other partner comes into question other than MayerTrans, when difficult equipment must be moved from A to B in pathless terrain and under the most extreme conditions, for example, when building floodlight masts or snow-making facilities.