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Flying Truck

Construction of a new pumped-storage power plant at Nant de Drance in the Swiss Canton of Valais called for a fleet of tough excavator trucks, so the construction consortium opted for a fleet Astra HD8 480 hp, 8×6, 48 tonne trucks fitted with Allison 4700R fully automatic transmissions..
But there was a problem. The only access to the construction site, 2,000 metres above sea level, is via cable railway or helicopter so all the machinery used for the tunnel operations has to be transported using a heavy duty cable railway. Excavators, heavy equipment and the aptly named Astra HD8 trucks are thus ‘flown’ to the site, with the panorama of the Swiss Alps in the background.

The consortium, Groupement Marti Implenia (GMI), which is constructing the tunnel and power plant caverns, as well as processing the excavated material, bought six of the Astras last spring. They proved to be so effective that GMI has ordered four identical vehicles for delivery in April this year. [link]

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