Kiel Canal Waterways and Shipping Authority has deployed a Goldhofer PST/SL-E 8 heavy-duty vehicle to handle ferries at a yard in Rendsburg.


Image source: Goldhofer

The Goldhofer combination was used for the first time as a faster and more practical method of moving vessels ashore for inspection purposes.

Previously the vessels, weighing up to 130 tonnes, were maneuvered onto a shiplift consisting of a lower and upper cradle, which was winched ashore and along the rails leading to the shipbuilding hall.

Following an economic assessment for upcoming refurbishment measures on the approach to the shipbuilding hall, and the introduction of heavier hybrid ferries weighing up to 180 tonnes, it was decided that a wheel-based transportation system on a level surface would be preferable to replacing the rails.

The plan was to use a heavy-duty vehicle to pull the vessel ashore, pick it up and transport it between the shiplift, the wash yard and the shipbuilding hall, and set it down there. After a thorough study of the options available, the Waterways and Shipping Authority chose a heavy-duty self-propelled eight-axle module manufactured by Goldhofer.

The self-propelled transporter also features electronic multiway steering, which makes it possible to manoeuvre the vessel in the confined space of the shipyard and accurately set it down. The only adjustment required was a modification of the upper cradle of the shiplift to allow the self-propelled module to be positioned beneath it.

The Nobiskrug drop-ramp inland ferry was the first vessel to be handled using the new system. The ferry has a total length of 32 m and a total width of 9.8 m and weighs around 130 tonnes. It was brought to the Rendsburg shipyard to undergo maintenance and a basic overhaul following a regular inspection.

The ferry was positioned on the shiplift and brought ashore on the slipway using the Goldhofer PST/SL-E self-propelled transporter as a tow tractor.

The self-propelled transporter was then positioned under two upper cradles and picked up the ferry using the transporter’s hydraulic axle stroke and moved to the shipbuilding hall for the inspection and maintenance work.