The city of Flensburg, home to FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH, has had a comprehensive district heating network since 1969, to which around 98 percent of all households in the city are connected. Older sections of the system are currently undergoing major maintenance by removing the old underground piping and replacing it with modern components. In a very delicate and narrow under path under an active railway crossing the pipes were last renewed over 25 years ago and were already partially leaking. However the risk of damaging the above railway bridge when opening the street below was high.
In order not to have to rip open the whole street, pits were dug on each side of the bridge and the two parallel underground pipes were exposed. It was estimated that at least 30 tons of pulling force would then be required to pull the insulated steel pipe from their flush fitting protective steel tubing.Since the local energy supplier did not have the right equipment itself, FFG answered the call and supported without hesitation, dispatching its Boxer Repair & Recovery Variant (RRV) with its powerful recovery winch to the narrow construction site. After the first 170m long heating line had already been pulled on day 1, the second line was tackled on day 2 using a 2:1 winch pull.
After each pull, the pipes were cut into 12-metre-long pieces so that they could be lifted out of the ground pits in segments and then transported away. It is worth mentioning that the whole operation was mostly carried out during nighttime in a very densely populated area with multi-story buildings either side. This was possible due to the RRV operating in silent mode working only on the Recovery Module’s onboard battery system, while employing its onboard equipment and working lights. FFG’s Boxer RRV demonstrated its tremendous versatility and potential yet again during this special mission.
FFGs Armoured Recovery Module (ARM) for the Boxer combines FFG’s Know-how from decades of experience and development in the field of military support vehicles with modern technology, thus adding the recovery component to the globally successful Boxer. The 20 t crane arm in combination with a 200 kN winch enables comprehensive technical support with the same logistical requirements as the rest of the Boxer fleet. The Recovery Module (ARM) adds modular recovery capability to the GTK Boxer family of vehicles. With the ARM, no additional vehicle or recovery system will be needed in the future to support the existing GTK Boxer fleet. With high logistical similarities, this ensures resource-saving deployment.