Off-road trip? No problem for Nico Habermann
Two new team members are ready to tackle a tough job at Geiger in Germany's Allgäu region: young driver Nico Habermann and the Actros 1843 LS with tipper semitrailer.
The cab tilts to the side. Nico Habermann doesn't always manage to completely avoid the potholes in the roadway. The tyre delves deep down into the hole. But the 21-year-old isn't worried. He won't be getting stuck here. Calmly, he steers the tipper combination back out of the gravel removal area of the Forggensee lake which has run dry and heads back to safe ground in the form of the nearby B16 main road. From there, the freshman trucker transports the gravel to a materials storage facility.
There are two reasons why there isn't much which stresses the young
driver: firstly, the intensive three years of training at the Geiger
group which ensure that the company's trainees get plenty of practice
in complex situations, such as on tight building sites and steep
quarry entrances. And secondly, because of the truck he's driving.
Although the off-road version of the Actros 1843 LS with tipper
semitrailer is optimally equipped to cope with long distances on the
motorway, the truck also has greater ground clearance and a front
spring bracket made of robust steel instead of aluminium. Thus, a trip
to the building site is also a doddle.
"I've always been interested in vehicles. Becoming a professional driver was just the right thing for me."
Vehicles which are equipped for any type of operations and
well-trained drivers – that's precisely what the Geiger group needs.
"We train our staff ourselves, because we want our employees to
always meet the high standards required of drivers nowadays,"
says Andreas Weber who, besides being the Head of Logistics and
Business Development, is also responsible for coordinating driver
training. "The search for drivers is the biggest challenge in our
business sector and thus we're always glad when talented candidates
want to start working with us."
Awaiting the trainees is an exciting training course with joint
team-building events and a whole host of demanding routes. "I've
always been interested in vehicles. Becoming a professional driver was
just the right thing for me," says Nico, who grew up in a small
village near the town of Kempten. During the training which he
successfully completed in summer, he fired off plenty of questions to
his driving instructor Christian Blank. Lars Binnewies from the
Autohaus Allgäu dealership could also feel this curiosity as he
demonstrated the off-road version of the Actros 1843 LS with tipper
semitrailer to Geiger. Rapidly, the two entered into technical
discussions about the equipment of the test vehicle.
Robust through and through.
The truck is specifically designed for the transport of tippable bulk goods, predominantly on-road but also with some off-road use. The vehicle differentiates itself from the long-distance haulage Actros version in that the new one was specifically strengthened for off-road applications. Geiger's Actros is equipped with the straight axle of the Arocs which ensures greater ground clearance. What's more, the vehicle features bumper corners in steel which are ideally suited for use on construction sites. Plus, it is just 70 kilogrammes heavier than the regular Actros semitrailer tractor unit but as many as 150 kilogrammes lighter than a comparable Arocs 4×2 LS. That gives Nico a decisive extra helping of robustness and freedom of movement for driving on both the motorway and in quarries.
A solid vehicle and sound knowledge: a top-class combination for resolute beginners.
Photos: Bernhard Huber