The PST/SL-E self-propelled module towing the ferry on the upper cradle ashore
Previously, the vessels weighing up to 130 t, 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.
With the introduction of heavier hybrid ferries (approx. 180 t) and on the basis of an economic assessment for upcoming refurbishment measures on the approach to the shipbuilding hall, it was decided that a wheel-based transportation system on a level surface would be preferable to replacing the rails.
The self-propelled transporter ready for positioning under the upper cradles prior to the hydraulic pick-up
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 8-axle module manufactured by Goldhofer. The self-propelled transporter also features electronic multiway steering, which makes it possible to maneuver the vessel in the confined space of the shipyard and set it down with pinpoint accuracy. The only adjustment required to the ship was a modification of the upper cradle of the shiplift to permit the self-propelled module to be positioned beneath it so as to pick up the load with the help of the hydraulic axle compensation.
The Nobiskrug drop-ramp inland ferry, which can carry up to 45 tons, 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 t. It was brought to the Rendsburg shipyard to undergo maintenance and a basic overhaul following a regular inspection.
Precision +control and steering for the journey to the inspection facility using a radio remote
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.