Workshop keeping building site up and running

Anyone who thinks that winter might be a quiet time for those employed in the construction industry is mistaken. And it's certainly not quiet for the teams in the workshops. When the ground is frozen, and snow and ice cover the excavations and the construction vehicles, almost all construction projects grind to a standstill for a few weeks a year. Which is when space gets tight in and around the workshop. All equipment and vehicles need to be serviced. Larger repairs are done and everything is made ready for the upcoming season, which is just around the corner!

The Rädlinger group has three workshops and a number of mobile construction units. It is an often underestimated area in terms of size, explained Josef Späth, who as head of scheduling provides an interface between construction site and workshop. With several hundred cars, buses, trucks, construction vehicles and small appliances, Rädlinger probably has the largest repair workshop in Cham and beyond. There are three separately-run workshops at the company sites in Cham, Selbitz and Vilshofen. Christian Dobmeier, Cham's workshop manager and foreman is supported by foreman Martin Weinmann among others with orders, procurement of spare parts and the coordination of jobs. Every year their 27-strong team of skilled mechanics, mechatronics technicians and refinishers deal with a variety of orders. The teams in Aunkirchen (Vilshofen) and in Selbitz are smaller. Despite this, Ernst Jungwirth, workshop manager of Josef Rädlinger Ingenieurbau GmbH in Vilshofen, manages no less serious repairs along with this 9-strong team; as does foreman Armin Zitzelsberger with his four employees at Rädlinger Straßen- und Tiefbau GmbH in Selbitz. The workshop employees call on external assistance only the rarest of cases, as they deal with maintenance, customer services and engine, hydraulics, pneumatics, or electronics problems. In this respect, the team is able to rely on good cooperation between the workshops and the mechanical engineering department. It's only when the electronics don't play ball that difficulties arise, according to Vilshofen workshop manager Jungwirth: "The electronic equipment used in construction machinery and other vehicles has become much more sophisticated, complicated and, in particular, completely different from one brand to another."

In addition to technical ability and craftsmanship, the job demands flexibility in particular, said Armin Zitzelsberger, a foreman in Selbitz: "With the multitude of different vehicles, from passenger cars to large excavators, and the wide range of brands and innovations, you need to be flexible and familiarise yourself with new machines time and again." Apprentices, gaining an education in agricultural and construction machinery or mechatronics in automotive mechatronics, also learn this at Rädlinger. There are currently in three trainees based in Vilshofen and eight in Cham. "There is no such thing as a regular working day for the employees at the Rädlinger workshops," explained Christian Dobmeier, workshop manager in Cham. During the construction season, the mechanics are often out with the mobile workshops, because each machine is required on the construction site around that time, and faults and damage must be quickly rectified, and usually there is no time to bring the vehicles into the workshop at the company site. Therefore, for large projects, our own container workshop becomes an important part of the building site. Currently, there are ten mechanics waiting to work on major construction machinery, who ensure that downtimes do not last long. In order to carry out repairs in an emergency on the construction site without delays occurring, they also all have a 'workshop bus' equipped with the most important tools, spare parts and testing equipment.

Whether it's winter, spring, summer or autumn – the workshop teams have a large, important task to do whatever any season: keeping the construction site up and running!

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