Baumann has unveiled new improvements to its 120-volt ELX Series, including additional reach capability which could dramatically increase customer storage capacity.
The 2021 ELX will feature 150mm of outreach beyond the truck chassis, meaning operators will have more visibility and space to reach out to loads and customers can potentially choose a narrower bed machine for additional storage, without sacrificing lifting capacity.
The improvement comes without the need for changes to the truck dimensions. Other new features include refined cabin controls and road-legal LED lights as standard.
Baumann UK managing director, Jason Reynolds, believes the latest developments will further increase the popularity of the electric range. Said Jason: “The extra outreach will add load security and make it easier for operators to choose a narrower machine, which also reduces costs. We have already seen our electric ranges grow in popularity. We are now producing more as a company than ever before, in fact for the first time in over 50 years, Baumann is producing more electric sideloaders than diesel models. Over 65% of deliveries to Europe are now from the 120V EGX and ELX ranges.”
Baumann sideloaders has seen a resurgence in recent years, thanks to investments in overseas markets and innovations in areas of handling accuracy, higher capacities and electric truck capabilities.
“Of course, we want to keep moving forward, and our success comes with its own pressures,” adds Jason, “but we have been fortunate to be in a position where we are investing and growing, even during these difficult days.”
The Baumann factory has recently added extra capacity, including a new production hall and a 15% increase in the workforce, whilst investing in additional parts storage and testing facilities, and a 550,000kw solar array to take advantage of its enviable location in Cavaion Veronese, near Lake Garda.
Customers such as Galante Fratelli, a family timber business in Condino, northern Italy, are typical of the kinds of businesses Baumann has seen switching to electric. Established in 1964 by Alessandro Galante, together with his sons Carmelo and Narciso, the family sawmill is now in the hands of cousins Catia, Elisabetta, Luca and Stella, nephews of the founder, and the team responsible for the business’ future. “The challenge is to continue investing in quality,” says Catia, “as our fathers and grandfather have always taught us. The quality in the production processes and in the choice of raw material is the real added value.”
Ties to the area then are deep rooted, but it hasn’t always been an easy road. Decades of steady growth, as well as the occasional setback, followed. In 1993, a fire caused by a malfunctioning machine destroyed half of the plant.
The company had just been restructured and the damage was enormous. Rebuilding from scratch, they were back up and running within months, and without laying off any workers.
“We are a traditional business,” adds Luca. “but change is important. In 2013, to expand the offer and be more competitive, we started the production of lamellas for doors and windows. We had to open up to markets, differentiate ourselves and make better use of the most valuable part of the timber. It was an important economic commitment at a difficult time for the economy. Consequently, we are committed to training the personnel and to recruiting them.”
If any company is well placed then to handle the post-Covid challenges, Galante Fratelli is one. Investing is continuing, with the latest acquisition a 120v electric ELX sideloader from Baumann.
The model is the most compact of its kind ever produced, measuring less than four metres in length and 750mm in deck height. Used to maximise the available storage space (the site is 24,000m2) but certain areas require the flexibility of the small turning radius.
As raw material from company forests in Trentino Alto Adige is used for the production of glued laminated timber, it is stored in narrow runs, whilst larch and fir are also sourced from “the best forests of Austria and Scandinavia.”
“The ELX is a model we are very proud of,” says sales manager, Andrea Zuliani. “We reduced the overall length and improved the turning circle without sacrificing the mast or well width, clearance and low bed height, whilst the combination of 120 volt power supply and 2.5 tonnes weight reduction is expected to increase battery performance by up to 30%.”
With Luca being hands on in the business, he’s well aware of the machine’s capabilities. “As you might expect for the location, our yard is uneven in places. The Baumann keeps the load level even when we are on an incline, which great for our productivity and peace of mind.”
Designed and built from the ground up, the ELX followed two years of painstaking research and development, and features a completely new chassis, battery and power train configuration. The operator cabin was also designed from scratch, maintaining the company’s reputation for comfort and uncluttered operability, all within a reduced footprint.
“The war against weight was won,” says Baumann Technical Director, Riccardo Bove. “By looking at every component, every system and every material, three tonnes, a huge amount for a small machine, was saved. It allowed us to add weight back in to improve weight distribution and operability.”
With less power needed to achieve high levels of performance, running time between charges has been extended. A specially designed intelligent system developed in conjunction with Midac can be paired with a charger system to re-energise in mid-shift without damaging the cells and a battery change option.
“The size, battery integration and cabin were all big challenges,” adds Riccardo, but the overall results add up to a truck that is much more than the sum of its parts.”
For Galante, the result is a productive machine that allows the business to efficiently move forwards. “It’s a fairly large site, with a lot to fit in the available space,” concludes Andrea. “There’s no danger of overheating or tyres delaminating. It has the quality associated with Baumann and if we can play a small part in the business being a success for another 50 years, we will be proud to be part of the family.”