The pegasus of the white circus

Dazzling sun reflecting off the snow, the faces of the Jungfrau and Eiger mountains that seem to blend into a cobalt blue sky, which is criss-crossed by vapour trails from jets of the Patrouille de Suisse aerobatic team, as they swoop and swirl above a colourful audience watching from the stands and along the edges of the Lauberhorn piste. It is a spectacle that has been repeated every year since 1930 in Wengen, Switzerland, on the opening day of the Lauberhornrennen, one of the most prestigious alpine races of the World Ski Championships. Preparations for holding races on the slopes of the Lauberhorn continue all year round, because everything must be ready, tested and fully functional before the start of the three-day races (held on 18–20 January 2019). We can only imagine the amount of work that goes into preparing the races: some 500 volunteers have been working to prepare the event since September, but certain jobs require experienced professionals. They include the construction of the VIP grandstand, which this year has been entrusted to the Nüssli Group, a company specialising in the construction of temporary structures for major international events. Last September, a team of 22 Nüssli staff began building the VIP grandstand, an impressive structure weighing 150 tonnes and capable of seating 570 people.

It is located next to the piste, right next to the station where the train brings in spectators: this position further complicates the assemblers’ job, as do the sloping terrain, limited space, large temperature fluctuations and unpredictable weather. Arbor AG, DIECI dealer for Switzerland, came to the Nüssli team’s aid by supplying a Pegasus 40.25, which helped to ensure that the grandstand was assembled on schedule. The large incline was no problem for the Pegasus, which is equipped with an excellent self-levelling system, adaptive loading software and an anti-crash system, which eliminate all risks caused by the tricky ground conditions. The large size of the structure and the limited available space also posed no problems for the vehicle. With its maximum lifting height of 24 metres and 360° continuous rotation, our Pegasus could reach every point of the structure as it took shape, precisely and delicately depositing loads up to 4000 kg wherever they were needed. Not even the unpredictable weather and fluctuating temperatures presented a challenge: the 105 kW FTP engine responded well, starting readily even in the sub-zero climate, and the LOAD SENSING hydraulic system was equally reliable. The operator was even able to escape the frigid alpine wind by retreating into the spacious, comfortable cabin and enjoying the excellent air conditioning system…