CC Global: Piling Rig On Tour – 21st Century Medieval Battering Ram

Van Schie - Volvo FM 10x4*6 - Broshuis - Junttan - 1

In transit, a piling rig at rest and a tall cabover tractor don’t go well together, for obvious reasons. That’s quite a front overhang, by the way. A much lower conventional heavy haulage tractor would be the most logical choice for such a job. But factory conventionals went the way of the dodo bird around here, many moons ago.

The best alternative is opting for the heaviest and most powerful chassis-cab version of a truck maker’s mid-size model range and then have the rear part of its cab roof flattened, among multiple other things. Case in point, Van Schie’s 2018, 550 hp Volvo FM 10×4 tractor.

It arrived in the Netherlands as a factory 8×4*4 chassis, Terberg Techniek added a steering axle ahead of the drive axles and the Estepe company flattened the cab roof. The batteries, air tanks and fuel tanks were placed behind the cab. A nice detail are the tractor’s long, monobloc fenders.

Van Schie - Volvo FM 10x4*6 - Broshuis - Junttan - 2

The 2018 Broshuis low loader carries a 2000 Junttan PM 20LC piling rig, capable of ramming concrete poles into the ground with a maximum length of 19 meters (62’4”). So it’s a kind of ram after all.

The whole nine-axle combination, with the 60 tonnes Junttan aboard, weighs around 98 tonnes (216,000 lbs). It takes heavy machines to haul heavy machines.

Van Schie - Junttan piling rig

The piling rig at work. Wonderful, ancient and modern technology, captured in one picture (photo courtesy of Van Schie Mijdrecht).

1985 FTF FS-10.30 DSS 8x4*4 heavy haulage tractor

Some 40 years ago, give or take a decade, Dutch companies mostly contracted with domestic truck maker FTF to build a dedicated heavy haulage tractor. Like this 1985 FTF FS-10.30.DSS 8×4*4 with a lowered cab and flattened roof, powered by a Detroit Diesel 8V92T. A true forerunner, all the way. Buying something similar from a ‘mainstream’ manufacturer? Impossible, back then.

In the meantime, FTF -defunct since the mid nineties- has achieved cult status here. The brawny tractor above was fully restored and is owned by a Van Schie employee, I caught it at a show in the summer of 2016.

1981 FTF FS-7.20 D 6x4 tractor - Detroit Diesel V6

For comparison purposes, here’s a 1981 FTF FS-7.20.D 6×4 tractor with the standard Motor Panels sleeper cab. The numbers in the model designation reflect the factory axle weight ratings, so for this tractor that’s a 7 tonnes front axle and a 20 tonnes tandem.

Now back to the 21st century, this must be the maiden voyage of the MS Volvo-Broshuis. And that brand new Liebherr tracked excavator certainly looks less menacing than the Juntthan. Liebherr just seems to be a more kind-hearted type of guy.