Excluding the city states, the Saarland is the smallest state in the Federal Republic of Germany with a total area of 2570 square kilometres. It stretches over parts of the Hunsrück, the Lorraine Scarplands and the Saar-Nahe Uplands. This region is connected by an excellent highway and road network. It is maintained and repaired by the state-run business for road construction, the “Landesbetrieb für Straßenbau” (LfS). It uses eleven Fendt tractors.
The Landesbetrieb für Straßenbau is an institution in the Saarland. The enterprise turns over some 120 million euros annually for an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly highway and road network. More precisely, that amounts to 240 km of highways, 300 km of national roads, 1430 km of state roads, more than 490 km of cycling and walking paths and 1,900 buildings, which all need to be maintained and repaired. Some 560 employees at twelve subsidiaries throughout the entire state are working on that. “A very important prerequisite for a functional economy is unlimited mobility,” explains Hans the require Mosbach, highlighting the significance of the road construction business. The automobile mechanic has been with the company since 1980 and has been managing the central workshop of the LfS in Theley for 20 years. No wheel turns without him and his 18 employees. All machines and implements come here for inspection, maintenance or servicing in the ultramodern workshop: from the smallest power saw to big trucks. All repairs are carried out here. That is why Hans Mosbach also has a decisive word when new purchases are made.
Based on good experience with tractors for road work in other states, the Saarland thought about using tractors. “Honestly, I was very sceptical at the beginning. Tractors on the Autobahn? How is that supposed to work?” recalls Hans Mosbach. Before a decision was to be made, he had a suggestion: He wanted to test the tractors from all the well-known manufacturers. The Saarland started large-scale testing: five employees thoroughly tested tractors for five weeks. “Then we quickly agreed,” he admitted grinning: “Fendt was ahead of the pack!” The main reason was their profitability. “That plays a decisive role in a state-run business like the Landesbetrieb für Straßenbau, considering the tight budget,” said Mosbach. With increasing Europeanisation, the amount of traffic in high-tech countries like Germany is increasing steadily. Particularly because the Saarland is located in the geographical centre of Europe. With increased wear on the roads, not only ments for roadside maintenance are growing, but also those for the vehicles, machinery and implements used. That is why all the machinery and vehicles that belong to the LfS are managed, tested and compared in a performance directory. Mosbach’s employees document all the costs that accrue for the machine, starting with its purchase. “For Fendt those are primarily inspections and the replacement of normal wearing parts. Now they already have ten years of running time or 7,000 to 10,000 work hours behind them,” sums up the workshop manager. In the meantime, there are now 15 Fendt tractors, including a 714 Vario and a 200 Vario, at work on the roads and pavements in the Saarland to keep them safe for traffic. In the summer, these services primarily consist of mowing work, in the spring and autumn, cutting brush.
One advantage of the Fendt 209 F is its manoeuvrability.
Hans Mosbach (l.), Head of the Central Workshop and Bernhard Brischwein, Fendt Factory Representative..
The Fendt 209 F Vario is used to repair walking and cycling paths.
However, not only safety on roads for drivers, but also for the workers in the tractors are of major concern at the LfS. Especially because the tractors are travelling on public roads and highways. Together with Fritz Obermaier, the former Fendt Sales Manager ISU – Intelligent solutions for industry, roads, environment – they found a solution where the driver seat is equipped with a three-point safety belt and headrests like in an automobile. The company König Komfort- und Rennsitze GmbH, headquartered in Ilsfeld, has been manufacturing driver seats that meet these demands and are also compatible with Fendt tractors since 2010. That shows that good collaboration between companies in the Saarland and Allgäu regions functions well – especially in matters regarding safety. The RWZ Agrartechnik Lebach, represented by Managing Director Christof Poth, plays an important role here. Besides the employees from the ISU division in Marktoberdorf and Bernhard Brischwein, Fendt Factory Representative for this region, is the primary contact person regarding agricultural equipment. Good prerequisites for the new challenges for the Landesbetrieb für Straßenbau in the Saarland. The list of new tasks is long. In addition to maintaining the roads, which also includes the road accessories such as signs, road markings, light signals and crash barriers, this also includes planning as well as new construction, modification and expansion of national and state roads. They are controlled and managed from the headquarters in Neunkirchen, eight Autobahn and road maintenance depots, a telecommunications maintenance depot, a traffic centre, a bridge maintenance depot and the central workshop. The LfS spends three million euros every year for new machinery purchases alone. The old vehicles are auctioned off after seven to twelve years, depending on area of application, model and running time. Hans Mosbach is tending towards purchasing further Fendt tractors in the upcoming years, since they meet the requirements of road construction very well.