A specially designed heavy-duty forklift, a double-girder bridge crane and electric chain hoists from Konecranes helped reputed German tent builder Pletschacher get all the tents and stands up well in time for this year’s Oktoberfest in Munich.

Preparations for the Oktoberfest began early at Pletschacher Group’s headquarters in Dasing, Bayern. Beginning August, 44 trailer trucks left the tent builder’s premises daily to make sure that everything was ready for the start of Oktoberfest 2018. The company builds nearly all of the large party tents and stands for the world’s largest folk festival in Munich.

Konecranes supplied their specialised lifting equipment to the Oktoberfest outfitter to make sure that everything that was important reached the festival grounds on time.

The party tents at the Munich Oktoberfest could shelter the inhabitants of an entire city with room for at least 119,000 people. A significant amount of effort is required each year to set up the tents and stands on the festival grounds. As one of Germany’s largest tent builders, Pletschacher was once again responsible for erecting the tents in 2018. With everything from heavy wooden beams and tarpaulins, to planks, wall elements and huge beer mugs required to be stored and loaded, it was critical to ensure all the elements were in place for the opening in Munich on September 22. To transport the tent elements quickly, safely and reliably, Konecranes designed a double-girder bridge crane with 2 x 5 tonnes capacity, electric chain hoists, as well as a 10-tonne heavy-duty forklift for the Pletschacher Group.

The new equipment is used in Pletschacher’s new storage area in Dasing where all the elements required for the Oktoberfest tents are stored in four halls on a total surface area of 16,500sqm. Approximately 1,500 container loads fit inside the halls with room for 500 additional containers outside.

Double-girder bridge crane – fast and sensitive

Pletschacher uses the four new halls to store material on Euro pallets as well as in skeleton containers and up to 5-metre-long transport boxes. The loads, which weigh between 100 kilograms and 5 tonnes, must be moved and loaded inside the hall with speed and precision.

“Any delay costs Pletschacher and its customers a lot of money. On days like this one, just before the Oktoberfest, the work pretty much never stops,” says Walter Fischer, Sales Manager at Konecranes.

The new Pletschacher crane must, therefore, be able to lift quickly and continuously, must be easy to operate, and must be able to load large wooden elements with precision. For this reason, Konecranes designed a customised double-girder bridge crane and electric chain hoists for Pletschacher. The crane has a span width of 18.5 metres and transports loads of up to 10 tonnes inside the hall. In order to be able to move bulky components, there is a distance of 3 metres between its two hoists, and it is equipped with Synchro-Hoisting hoist synchronisation. It ensures identical hoisting speeds even in the case of different loads.

Furthermore, the hoisting and travel speeds of the crane can be adjusted continuously. The system can be controlled remotely with precision via joystick. Konecranes Service ensures high levels of availability.

“We manage globally approximately 740,000 assets, always with the goal of improving the safety and productivity of our customers,” says Fischer. “On the basis of this comprehensive know-how, we have developed an individual service concept for Pletschacher, consisting of accident prevention checks, service, and maintenance.”

Heavy-duty forklift – agile, compact, and powerful

Pletschacher stores large quantities of material also outside the new halls – and these must be moved securely.

“As a rule, we stack up to three containers on top of each other and place them close to each other in order to save space,” explains Ulrich Pletschacher, managing director of the Pletschacher Group.

“When designing a heavy-duty forklift for these tasks, the focus is on maximum performance with a compact size,” underlines Uwe Höß, Sales Manager at Konecranes Lift trucks.

Konecranes has made a heavy-duty forklift especially for this demanding environment. The SMV 10-1200 C lifts up to 10 tonnes with a load centre of 1.2 metres. With its wheelbase of 3 metres, it is approximately 25 centimetres shorter than normal, allowing for a smaller turn radius. This means the driver is also able to manoeuvre it in narrow circumstances.

Safety thanks to height sensor and solid rubber tyres

The exceptional safety of the forklift is ensured by a height sensor that automatically warns via acoustic signal in the cabin if the load is lifted at a height that exceeds 2.8 metres.

Höß says, “It is possible to lift loads at a height of up to 6.5 metres, but the Pletschacher hall entries are significantly lower. Thanks to the height sensor, the driver can be sure of always reaching the right height for the gate entry.”

An accumulator in the hydraulics systems also ensures a very gentle ride. The air suspension dampens bumps, protecting the goods being transported and the lifting system of the heavy-duty forklift from damage and wear. The solid rubber tyres are also very durable.

“You never know when there is a metal piece or a screw lying around,” says Höß. “Solid rubber tyres aren’t affected by these and last a lot longer than pneumatic tyres.”

An electronic weight indicator in the ergonomic, sound- and vibration-insulated Optima cabin allows safe transport and a precise loading process. The studless front window of the cabin also provides the driver with a very good overview, while the heated seating and air conditioning create a pleasant environment for several hours of work.

Customised solutions and comprehensive service

Ulrich Pletschacher is happy with the result of this joint project: “Thanks to the good connection between the Konecranes experts and our technicians, we now have solutions that are well-suited for our requirements.”

In addition to the equipment, service training and the handover of the SMV 10-1200 C in Sweden were also included.

“Our new crane with electric chain hoists and the heavy-duty forklift already prove their value now, during the intense period of preparation for the Oktoberfest and, thanks to Konecranes service, they will serve us for a long time to come.”

Konecranes is one of the world’s leading brands in Lifting Businesses and supplies production enterprises and process manufacturing, shipyards and harbours with innovative lifting technology solutions. Besides productivity-increasing lifting solutions, Konecranes also offers customised services across the whole spectrum of lifting machinery. Konecranes employs 16,200 people across 600 locations in 50 countries.

Beginning in 1948 as a one-person operation, Pletschacher today builds almost all of the large party tents and a majority of the smaller stands at the Oktoberfest event. Headquartered in Dasing near Augsburg, the company also supplies several major folk festivals such as the Gäubodenfest in Straubing, the Cannstatter Wasen, and other Oktoberfest events.


[Photo 1] Everything under control: The new double-girder bridge crane with electric chain hoists from Konecranes lifts loads up to 5 tonnes for Pletschacher. The two crabs, at a distance of 3 metres from each other, also lift bulky transport goods for the Munich festival grounds.

[Photo 2 + 3] Compact power pack: The heavy-duty forklift, SMV 10-1200 C from Konecranes Lifttrucks, transports containers up to 10 tonnes for Pletschacher – and is 25 cm shorter than normal with its 3-metre wheelbase.

[Photo 4] So everything that matters reaches the festival grounds: The new heavy-duty forklift from Konecranes Lifttrucks loads the 44 truck tractor trains that are currently driving every day from Dasing to the Oktoberfest in Munich.