6680 T in municipal use
14,000 people live in the northern German town of Belm near Osnabrück. Belm’s council depot is well organised and operates a fleet of modern machinery. Earlier in 2020, a Schäffer 6680 T telescopic wheel loader was added to the fleet. City council depot manager Nils Kramer explains why they opted for a Schäffer and how the machine has performed so far in day-to-day use.
The eleven staff members at the Belm council depot attend to the public parks and playgrounds, take care of road maintenance and snow clearance and also support public events in the community. They welcomed the 6680 T telescopic wheel loader as the most recent addition to their fleet, and it is proving to be a major asset in all of the above tasks. Delivered by Schäffer’s local dealer Stavermann at Wallenhorst, the machine came complete with a working platform, a soil bucket, a shear grab and a pallet fork. Stavermann specialises in municipal equipment and operates a number of dealerships in the German federal states of Lower Saxony and North-Rhine Westphalia. The experienced dealer is also in charge of servicing the machine in its amber utility livery.
“In the planning stage and before issuing the tender, we invited a number of manufacturers to demonstrate their telescopic wheel loaders”, explains Nils Kramer, the manager of the Belm council depot. “When the public bidding was completed, the council was happy to award the contract to Schäffer. Our partner Stavermann is a reliable specialist who is locally available and on standby to help in the unlikely event of an issue with the machine.”
For a machine to fulfil the council’s eligibility criteria, it must be able to handle a working platform which they use for coppice work and tree trimming. “This application calls for a certain number of safety features for operating a working platform that are mandatory before the machine receives the necessary approval,” explains Nils Kramer. These include the ability to change the current operating mode from a cab-based switch which also activates a number of safety features such as locking the tilting in and out function, reducing the boom’s lift/drop rate significantly and an emergency descent function for the event of a power drop while maintaining the cage level through parallel control.
Further well-used implements in addition to the working platform are the pallet fork and soil bucket. Nils Kramer lists the wide range of applications of the 6680 T: “We use the pallet fork to handle big bags filled with thawing salt and of course to move pallets with paving stones in landscaping. The bucket is used for handling bulk goods like gravel, aggregates and grit for road construction, but we also handle sand for the local playgrounds, wood chips and bark mulch for parks and beds.” Another attachment comes into play in coppice work. “We collect the clippings at our external depot and then shovel them into trucks and trailers with the grab which is also used to compress and heap the branches,” adds Nils. “A particular boon in this context is the fact that the 6680 T is a telescopic wheel loader and not just a wheeled loader. The loader offers a much greater lift height than a wheeled loader of the same size. This means we can heap more material in the available space.”
He is very impressed with the level of operator comfort and all-round visibility offered by the cab. “The spacious operator environment offers excellent visibility all-round and especially of the attachment. The joystick is mounted to the seat and follows its movements.” The council opted for the comfort package which includes air conditioning, a radio and an air-sprung seat: “The air seat is especially important for us in combatting operator fatigue during those long working days.”
The Belm council also opted for the faster 35km/hr transmission over the 20km/hr standard version: “We operate the versatile machine at many different sites – from residential areas where we trim the trees to our external depot where we fill trailers with the clippings and gravel and also at public events. These are just a few examples. In all these applications, it is important that we get to the site quickly and in a timely manner.”
The telescopic wheel loader is powered by a 55kW/75hp Deutz engine, a Stage V unit for significantly reduced emissions. “This is an important aspect for a council machine in terms of protecting residents and staff,” adds Nils.
As for tyres, there is a large selection to choose from to suit the various sites and applications. “The ideal tread pattern for us is the multipurpose tread, because a great deal of work is done on paved ground”, says Nils Kramer. “But then again things can get very slippery at our external depot and in fields and meadows.” The council therefore opted for a multipurpose tyre with an ‘MPT tread’ (Multi Purpose Tires) which offers a massive footprint, optimum stability, puncture protection and a long lifespan. Its reduced rolling resistance also translates into fuel savings.