Road maintenance with 6680 T
In replacing their wheel loaders with high-tip buckets, five German road maintenance depots in Torgau, Oschatz, Delitzsch, Eilenburg and Dahlen in the Free State of Saxony opted for the Schäffer 6680 T. Chairman of North Saxony County Council, Kai Emanuel, took delivery of the new machines which had emerged as the best option in a pan-European tender.
The five road maintenance depots are tasked with maintaining about 1,265 km of national, federal and local roads. The new wheeled loaders will primarily be used to handle thawing salt in winter service operations. During the summer months, they will be busy handling pallets on the depot premises and various types of materials on the road construction sites. The five Schäffer loaders are taking over from five machines of other brands, four of which are 4W-steer models and one an articulated machine.
David Hoppe, who is in charge of the maintenance depots in North Saxony, explains why they opted for Schäffer and the artic-steer telescopic wheel loaders: “Our loaders had become a little long in the tooth. In the past few years, our maintenance costs had increased significantly, especially for the 4W-steer machines. Track rod ends were one of several regular issues. They just couldn’t cope with all the salt. We then decided to invite tenders for artic-steer telescopic wheel loaders with rigid axles. Their advantage is the solid axles that offer great stability. Another plus is the boom which is high-reach even without a high-tip bucket. The 6680 T has a lift height of 4.95m, which is high enough to effortlessly fill any spreader.” Six bidding manufacturers were invited to a demonstration, with Schäffer being one of them. “The Schäffer machines turned out to be the best match,” explains David Hoppe. “We particularly liked the standard-fit and oil-immersed multi-plate disk brakes in contrast to the open disk brakes on the competitor machines. We require all machine components to meet certain quality standards. Otherwise, they will not withstand the thawing salt in the long term.”
Before the 6t loaders were delivered, they received an extra treatment in preparation for their winter service jobs. The telescopic boom was sealed to prevent ingress of salt and grit. A special anti-rust primer was applied to all steel parts before they received the finishing coat. Finally, a film of wax was applied to all parts except the glass surfaces for additional protection against the aggressive salt and grit. “Reliability and longevity are the be-all and end-all for us,” explains David Hoppe. “If a machine goes down, we can’t fill our spreaders; and if these can’t go out and spread, we’ll have a huge problem.”
During the hand-over event, county chairman Kai Emanuel emphasised the environmental and ergonomic aspects that also played a role in the purchase decision: “The engines had to meet the latest Stage V standards, of course. We also sought better working conditions in terms of work health and work safety for our operators.” The 6680 T is powered by a fuel-efficient 75hp and new-generation Deutz engine. The modern and spacious cab provides operators with a comfortable working place where they enjoy a superb panoramic view from an air-sprung and heated seat.
The machines are supplied complete with a bucket and a pallet fork. “We may consider adding further attachments to increase the versatility of these machines so we can also use them for snow clearance and coppicing work,” adds Herr Hoppe.