Liebherr LH 60 M Port Litronic material handler


An LH 60 M Port Litronic was recently handed over to Aarekies Brienz AG in Brienz, Switzerland. The Liebherr material handler is specially designed for the economical handling of bulk goods and general cargo. The machine will be in operation extracting and quarrying natural sand and gravel in the harbour of the gravel and concrete plant at Lake Brienz. A special Liebherr clamshell with water slots will be used to extract the harbour’s naturally occuring sand and gravel and feed it into the plant.


The Liebherr LH 60 M Port material handling machine will have a very special assignment. It will be assuming a key role in the quarrying and production of the unique Brienzer Sand®, a Swiss natural product. The powerful machine will be handling natural sand and gravel directly at the harbour basin at Lake Brienz, and will also be responsible for the subsequent feeding of the gravel plant.

The machine has just been handed over at the harbour of the gravel and concrete plant. Hans Ulrich Kern and Reto Studer of Liebherr-Baumaschinen AG in Reiden presented a symbolic key for the new Liebherr material handling machine to managing director Dominik Ghelma and the general manager of the gravel plant, Kaspar Thöni.

Coherent overall package

Dominik Ghelma is enthusiastic about the new Liebherr material handling machine: “We used to operate a rail-mounted 1970s-vintage cable excavator in the harbour. When we were looking for a replacement, we decided to purchase a Liebherr material handling machine. Quite simply, the overall package is optimally configured for us. We have found an extremely versatile machine with the right attachments for everyday operations in our harbour.”

This overall package is rounded off by a Liebherr service agreement. “Regular maintenance will ensure a long service life and high level of availability of the machine,” stresses Reto Studer. “The service agreement means that Liebherr will perform the maintenance work on the LH 60 M Port, allowing the customer to focus all his energy on his core operations,” he adds.

Focus on handling performance 

For Kaspar Thöni, handling performance was especially important in the choice of machine which is expected to remove up to 80,000 tonnes of natural sand and gravel from the harbour basin on an annual basis. The harbour has a depth of up to 9 meters therefore it was a requirement that the operator be guaranteed a perfect view of his work area at each of the many different stages of the handling process. The Liebherr LH 60 M in the customer’s configuration meets this essential criteria without problems.

The material handler is powered by a 4-cylinder Liebherr diesel engine with Stage V emissions compliance which, in combination with the standard Liebherr ERC system, delivers an overall system output of up to 322 kW to guarantee maximum handling performance. Moreover, the LH 60 M features specially designed port equipment. The weight-optimised construction ensures that the machine can boast maximum lift capacities. The specially designed port equipment includes a 12.5 m cranked boom and a 10.8 m long stick which easily achieve the required grab depth and reach of up to 21 m. The hydraulic cab elevation can be variably adjusted to the corresponding work situation in the harbour to guarantee that the machine operator always has an optimum view of his working area.

Liebherr GMZ 80 clamshell

The LH 60 M Port is equipped with a GMZ 80 clamshell specially configured to meet customer requirements. The GMZ 80 impresses with its optimum design and good penetration, guaranteeing excellent handling performance. The 1650 mm wide, 2.00 m³ clamshell buckets are equipped with teeth on the cutting edge, allowing natural sand and gravel on the bed of the lake to be easily detached and loosened. The water slots on the clamshell buckets allow the water to drain off efficiently during the extraction and handling process. A reinforcement set on the inside of the wear-resistant clamshell buckets enhances durability and at the same time extends the service life of the clamshell.

This type of grab is primarily used with machines of the 60 to 80 tonne class. During the design phase, care was taken when calculating the forces acting on the components to ensure that the flow of forces was optimised and weight was minimised, enhancing the overall performance. This has a positive effect on the machine’s fuel consumption. The 2-motor Liebherr slewing drive is equipped with a large-dimension anti-friction bearing and impresses with its high torque and lifting force of up to 50 t. This allows the grapple to work effortlessly, even under full load.

Aarekies Brienz AG

Aarekies Brienz AG is a Swiss company based in the town of Brienz. The gravel and concrete plant was founded in 1940 and has been part of the Ghelma Group since 2007. The company’s speciality is the trademark product Brienzer Sand®, whose low calcium content and round grain shape resulting from geology make it unique in the whole of Switzerland. The crystalline stone comes from the Aarmassif and is carried a long distance by the River Aare into Lake Brienz. There, it is excavated by the Liebherr material handler and then processed in the gravel plant. Its special properties have caused Brienzer Sand® to be used for many years in the building sector as the optimum aggregate for floor beddings and mortar. In addition, it is also used for turf-bearing layers and top dressings and for maintaining sports fields, golf courses and riding grounds

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