The Estonian Biathlon Federation earlier this year took delivery of an innovative ski service truck that has quickly become an irreplaceable tool and sparked other teams' attention.
The truck, bought with support from the Estonian Olympic Committee, has been in use for close to four months and the feedback is very positive. "The maintenance team's working environment and competitive ability have improved in the few months we've had the truck," said Hillar Zahkna, secretary general of the Estonian Biathlon Federation.
It takes under 30 minutes to unpack and set up the compact truck. "This allows the team to concentrate on its main tasks and spend less time packing and unpacking its gear. This matters because world cup events are held in consecutive weeks," Zahkna added.
The truck offers 32 square meters of usable space when unpacked and comes with a base grinding machine that constitutes a major step forward. "The maintenance team's working environment is considerably healthier as the space is well-lit and ventilated," the federation president said. "The grinding machine allows us to change the grade on the skis based on snow conditions."
The truck's minimum interior height of 2.2 meters allows even the longest cross-country skis to be stored in an upright position.
The ski maintenance truck was built by MDSC Systems OÜ. "It was the first ski service truck we have built, as well as the largest vehicle we have rebuilt," said Holger Annus, head of sales for the company. The truck is built on an Iveco Daily frame and combined with Rolling Unit XL solutions. "The truck competes with large national teams' maintenance trucks, yielding almost the same working area at only a fraction of the cost. Using a smaller base vehicle helps keep the carbon footprint down compared to solutions based on heavy trucks," Annus added.
The compact service truck has caught the eye of many IBU world cup participants. "Around ten teams have come to see our truck, including representatives of major skiing nations," Zahkna said. "What draws attention is the vehicle's considerably lower initial and transport costs compared to 18-wheelers."
The truck can be operated by a driver with a C1 category license.
Holger Annus said that they have had some foreign interest. "While there are no orders yet, we have been contacted by U.S. and Finnish teams and a private team from Sweden," he added.
Editor: Marcus Turovski