Specially-adapted Scania truck and platform help French wind power company Joly Location work at extreme heights.
The northern French region of Pas-de-Calais is dotted with wind turbines. Despite the windy day, however, one of the turbines is at a standstill.
Sixty metres above the ground, two blade technicians from the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas are busy assessing the problem and working out which repairs are needed. Meanwhile, a third man, Raphaël Richard, pilots the work basket: “It’s necessary to be precise on the placement of the basket to facilitate their work,” he explains.
Three years’ work to adapt Scania truck
Under the three men’s feet is a Scania P 450 that’s equipped with a 90-metre Ruthmann truck-mounted aerial platform. The special truck is owned by family-run business Joly Location. It took the company three years to develop and assemble this exceptional piece of equipment.
The cab had to be low enough to house the folded platform, as well as five axles for the distribution loads. The design adjustments included tank displacement and several modifications to the after-treatment system, while the chassis is four times thicker so that it can support the crane’s work basket.
The Scania chassis is 15 metres long, with a front overhang of 1.8 metres and a wheelbase of 3.96 metres, resulting in a compact vehicle with three steered axles. This gives it an excellent turning radius and helps their approach to the wind turbine sites.
Joly’s turnover hits new heights
Joly Location has carved out a niche for itself in the French wind power business. Its annual increase in turnover is 25 percent. The CEO, Lionel Joly, explains the secret of the company’s success.
“We are a company that dares to try new things. Very early, we saw to it that our trucks were equipped with a geolocation system, a real co-pilot for our drivers. We were among the first to invest in a 60-metre nacelle wind turbine cover in the early 2000s, and today, we have opted for a 90-metre platform, a machine that my father and I tested before launch,” he says.
Lionel Joly praises his employees’ dedication, but he is also delighted with his company’s equipment and its two suppliers:
“We work exclusively with Ruthmann and Scania, the best two companies in their fields,” he says.
High praise indeed.