“The latest 12-cylinder engine on the basis of Stage IV, which no other manufacturer of construction equipment can offer on machines of this size, contributes to remaining low exhaust emissions,” Budesheim says. “We invest in the best technology the market has to offer.”
Finally, Zeppelin equipped K + S’s 992K with a custom-made bucket, designed and manufactured by Cat Work Tools, with a payload of 32 tonnes and a capacity of 22.5 cubic meters. Hinge plates are integrated into the body, increasing load volume and dump clearance, and boomerang plates help prevent blade deflection and cracking. The bucket features a spade edge for better material penetration and retention, as well as special pin-hole covers to prevent material from penetrating the pins and bushings.
A long, careful trip down the shaft
Properly configuring the 992K for its underground assignment was just the first step. To get the 15-meter-long, 5.3-meter-wide, 5.0-meter-tall machine down the Hattorf mine’s 4.5-meter-wide material shaft, workers at Zeppelin’s Kassel branch had to dismantle it, then package the pieces for transport. Large components like the frame, engine and cooling unit were delivered whole. The loader’s custom bucket came in two parts due to its large size.
Ultimately, 20 individual components each weighing more than three tons, plus more than 50 pallets of smaller components, were carefully transported down the mine’s material shaft, where they were reassembled—successfully and safely—by a team of Zeppelin and K + S employees.
“Due to the support provided by the service, it was not difficult for us to choose Cat,” Budesheim says. “Zeppelin ensured fast reaction times, even on the weekend.”