Multifunctional, agile and boasting a large load capacity
Holder MUVO multifunctional municipal vehicle in the Upper Bavarian municipality of Riedering
25. October 2016
Riedering, September 2016 – "Between mountains and lakes" – this idyllic location is what attracts so many visitors to the Riedering area in the Rosenheim administrative district. The Upper Bavarian community with 5800 residents has committed itself to "soft tourism" and entices visitors with a close-to-nature experience, including swimming in Lake Simssee and the Tinninger See, as well as tours along the excellent network of cycle paths and hiking trails, such as the recently opened "Riederinger Rundn". Riedering's location on the edge of the Alps and its focus on the tourist market mean that the municipal authority's council depot must handle a wide and diverse scope of duties. These range from maintaining roads and buildings, providing a winter road clearance service and securing the water supply and sewage systems, to putting up signs, right through to looking after rainwater retention basins, pumping stations, 200,000 square metres of green areas, as well as hiking trails, playgrounds and bathing areas.
The person responsible for coordinating all of this is Thomas Bauer, head of the community's council depot, who is supported by up to eight employees. One of the greatest challenges is maintaining the rainwater retention basins, as Bauer is keen to stress. "This is already very intensive work and is getting more intensive all the time, as we are seeing more and more heavy rainfall." The key here is to keep the outlets clean at all times. "It all needs to be mown and well-maintained. We must perform tree care and remove dead wood. We cannot afford any blockages." The community received one additional basin last year, and another is to be added this year. "This kind of maintenance is not easy, as we often have to work on very steep slopes. This obviously requires special equipment."
The Holder MUVO
The council depot, mayor and local council members decided to go with the Holder MUVO, a compact AWD municipal vehicle that promised both great performance and excellent manoeuvrability. With its tight turning circle, three steering modes for maximum flexibility and 109 hp engine, the MUVO is capable of handling slopes of up to 55% and was therefore the ideal choice for the community. The MUVO is out and about in Riedering whatever the weather, and its versatile attachments make it suitable for all-year-round use. With deployments for maintaining green areas, a winter road clearance service, road sweeping, cleaning rainwater retention basins and transportation, it is in use more than 500 hours per year.
Maintaining gravel roads is becoming increasingly challenging
Riedering's network of roads, trails and paths also includes numerous gravel roads, which are maintained with the MUVO. "When making our decision, it was important to have a relatively large loading area, so that the vehicle could carry a certain amount of gravel for repairing the hiking trails. The same applies in winter – when we must be capable of transporting enough salt to complete entire circuits without having to return to base for more," explains Thomas Bauer, head of the council depot. Yet maintaining the gravel roads is becoming increasingly difficult due to the extreme weather being encountered more often. Perhaps the most severe issue is heavy rain, which damages the unpaved trails. "If we get 50 litres over two days, that is no problem, but we often encounter 50 litres per hour here. This sheer volume of water makes it very hard to maintain gravel roads, which is becoming a major issue. We may even have to start considering paving these roads," explains Mr. Bauer. Many communities are battling this kind of issue. "Storms and bad weather are also on the rise," his colleague Martin Alt comments, also warning of the potential dangers. They have already surfaced two roads and this is a job that Mr. Alt would ideally also like to tackle with the MUVO. "Maybe something could be developed for the gravel roads? One idea would be to fit a tar sprayer to the MUVO, allowing tar to be applied to the gravel trails."
Selecting a machine that best matches the local conditions
So far, the employees of council depots are very happy with the vehicle selected and the various attachments, such as snow ploughs and spreaders. "It is perfect for maintaining the green areas. You really can get into all the tight areas, as it is highly manoeuvrable, summarises Martin Alt. "It is perfect in winter and the front sweeper also makes light work of cleaning tasks," adds Thomas Bauer.
Günther Radlmaier, the specialist dealer who also advised the Riedering community, was keen to stress that many factors (such as the width of pavements, maximum vehicle dimensions, permitted weights and, perhaps most importantly, all necessary tasks) had to be taken into account to ensure that the machine selected was genuinely capable of handling the local conditions. Measuring 4 metres in length and 1.5 metres in width and boasting an infinitely adjustable hydrostatic travel drive and 2-person cab, the powerful MUVO is capable of travelling at up to 50 km/h and ultimately proved the most suitable vehicle for the kind of work to be performed in the community. "For a municipal service provider that offers all services, as is the case here in Riedering, it would make absolutely no sense if we turned up here with a 30 HP vehicle," explains Radlmaier, adding that "nobody would be satisfied with this. At the other end of the scale, large and cumbersome vehicles are clearly unsuitable for use in tight town centres. So what do we really need? You often only realise during demonstrations that certain vehicles simply will not fit through certain gaps or that the equipment is too small and not up to the job. In fact, it is more or less impossible to sell a vehicle from the catalogue without first doing demonstrations and allowing the future owners to try it out."
Comfort and health protection
The decision to purchase the Holder MUVO was also taken during an extensive demonstration. Alongside the performance data and attachments, emphasis was placed on comfort here. "This is a workplace, where I might be sitting for 8 to 10 hours or even longer in winter. As such, everything needs to work properly and I must feel as though I am in good hands," comments Mr. Bauer, stressing that it should also be safe and include both an air conditioning system and a radio. The comfort cab of the MUVO clearly impressed staff at the Riederinger council depot the most, as it also offers a ventilation and heating system, as well as a heated windscreen and wing mirrors, all-round visibility, an on-board computer, ergonomically designed pneumatic suspension seats and single-handed operation via a multifunction joystick. "The two-man cab of the MUVO is just great. It is absolutely watertight with very little noise pollution. Not all manufacturers can say the same here."
A vehicle should be capable of performing its duties in Riedering for a period of ten years. Rust protection is therefore an important topic – particularly in light of the rather harsh local climate. "The MUVO was sparkling clean as it performed its duties during the demonstration. It had underbody protection with sealant. The other vehicles had problems in this regard. For example, one vehicle had been standing outside throughout the year and was already starting to rust. This was the main reason why we were no longer keen to go for vehicles of this kind again," explains Thomas Bauer.
"The two-man cab of the MUVO is just great. It is absolutely watertight with very little noise pollution. Not all manufacturers can say the same here."Thomas Bauer
"In winter, having any vehicle broken down for even half a day can be a real catastrophe"
Riedering's proximity to the specialist dealer network has proven extremely useful in day-to-day operations, as spare parts are never far away in the event of an emergency. "Parts often break when mowing, this is normal, but I have the benefit of being able to drive to Radlmaier or asking him to bring parts to us. After all, you need to get the work done as soon as possible as there may be a storm on its way or particular celebrations may be coming up in the next few days. Having parts in stock and being able to repair the vehicle on the same day is extremely important," explains Mr. Bauer. This is even more important in winter, where losing half a day of spreading or clearing can really be a catastrophe. Staff at the Riedering council depot also consider it the manufacturer's duty to keep certain amounts of products in stock and provide both support and advice. Although price-performance is often the most important factor at first, aftersales service is just as important.