To the right, the view drops deep into the valley of the Biggesee, a
lake in Sauerland’s Olpe. Beyond the windscreen the road climbs
mercilessly. 26 tonnes of draff steam in the dumper semitrailer on
this misty, enchanted morning. Björn Berges carefully depresses the
accelerator in his new Actros 1863. Without losing speed, the 40 tonne
combination reaches the summit. “Was that a hill?” Berges calls out, laughing.
The reason for this almost playful effortlessness is the powerful
6-cylinder inline OM 473 engine. Its almost never-ending power
reserves are essential for Berges. As a driving businessman, the
46-year old does not know what challenges await him tomorrow. Berges’
main business: draff. Annually two million tonnes of it are produced
in Germany as a bi-product of beer production. The boiled malt grist
that remains after beer has been brewed has a high nutritional value.
The farmers in the Sauerland region save on expensive concentrated
feed by giving their cattle draff to eat.
On passably asphalted roads, hardly wider than the Actros, Berges
travels the last few kilometres to the farmers’ silos where he unloads
the barley mash with his dumper semitrailer produced by the body
manufacturer Lück. Or he reverses with a load of limestone to a
helicopter landing site next to a mountain summit from where the
forestry workers in the region take off for lime dusting operations.
“There’s no getting around it, I have to go there and the 460 kW are
an enormous help. I don't even have to think about whether I will make
it or not.”