F should we start with a number? It has nothing to do with the feeling of slightly sweaty hands and the pounding heart in your throat as your foot rises two feet on the first step of the ladder to the driver's cab. But it helps the imagination move in the right dimensions. And that's what a dump truck is about: dimensions. The number? Twelve. Twelve horsepower. That is: the performance of the starter.
The 19-liter diesel has black soot from the rear of the loading recess - it is heated with the help of the exhaust pipe so that the wet cargo does not freeze to the steel in winter. The engine heats up for minutes and gurgles with its 62 liters of oil. In the driver's seat there is no noticeable vibration, nothing to hear of roar. Actually quite tame.
Dump truck with an empty weight of over 40 tons
Two hand movements change that. The first goes to the front right to a round, red button. A short, dry pull releases the parking brake. Moved backwards, the hand falls on the T-knob of a small lever that sets something in motion: the gear stick. Ready? Just a moment! Is your foot on the brake? Okay, let's go. Take a deep breath, lift the safety catch on the automatic lever with your index and middle finger and slide it forward to D.
For half a second, nothing happens, but then it knocks the wheels together in the gearbox. 40 tons sway and sway back and forth. When a torque is reached that feels as if it could turn the earth with the little finger in the other direction, the cattle leaps forward. For a moment the whole world gives way to one feeling: that of brute force and all-conquering power. Once again! Lever on N, lever on D - twenty-one - traction, shock, earthquake.
And immediately it goes back to reality: It is freshly tarred and should be six meters wide. But from above, the street looks like a cycle path. In front of the upright windshield, the hood of the Orenstein and Koppel 40 falls steeply down, on the left the eye finds a railing that roughly marks the edge of the vehicle, on the right this edge must be a meter beyond the barrel-sized air filter. In any case, it cannot be seen, and the railing cannot be relied on either. The perspective at the wheel does not correspond to the space four meters below.
With the turning circle of a Volvo station wagon
The foot is still pressing firmly on the brake pedal. As soon as the shoe lifts millimeters, the beast pushes forward. Hit the gas 'Timid, cautious, down with the tip of your toe, up with the speed. 1,000 tours, 1,200, and there they are, the vibrations, it swells up, the roar. Right in the middle, Mathias Klein warns:' Further left. 'The specialist from Monster Park Rattelsdorf stands in the door to the driver's cab for safety and knows exactly what happens to everyone in the first few meters: You can't handle the dimensions, you can't see the edge of the road on the left and would correct it to the right until, oops, stuck in the embankment .
Far above the apex, the front pushes itself into the first curve until the instruction comes: 'Now turn right in one go. Go on, go on. It fits, 'says Mathias Klein. It looks different. As if one were to tip straight into the ditch with the steel nose first. But it actually fits. The turning circle is no larger than that of a Volvo station wagon, and one hand cranks the steering wheel without effort from left to right as far as it will go, no idea of man-high tires and fist-sized tread blocks.
The steel body weighs around 10,000 kilos
We hear, hooked on this gigantomania, with one small number on? 13.
It only takes 13 seconds until the hydraulics have turned the trough almost vertically upwards at 190 bar working pressure and over 26 cubic meters of overburden have rushed out.