Happy discovery in Alsace
MEILLER tippers are robust. Just like the jewel that was offered for sale to Jacky Below, Managing Director of MEILLER Lipsheim, in September 2007 in Alsace: a KAELBLE KDV 22 E 8 from 1963 with a dumper made by F.X. MEILLER. A total of only approximately 50 units of this chassis were built. MEILLER dumpers were built on about half of them, tractor units or special vehicles were produced from the rest. Only a few survived. The vast majority was scrapped after active use or cannibalised for parts.
Our vehicle had also been parked at a gravel plant owner in Alsace who was a vintage vehicle enthusiast. He had bought the truck in a bad condition from KAELBLE in Backnang. KAELBLE produced, for example, wheeled loaders which is the means by which contact was made to the Alsace gravel plant. KAELBLE itself wanted to tackle restoration of the old dumper after it had received one of two similar dumpers from a quarry in the Swabian Alb. But unfortunately the company discontinued operations before the project started.
It was then also clear that more work was required than a little fresh paint. After all, the dumper was in a really bad condition after its last owner in the Swabian quarry. Its sister vehicle was considerably better preserved and still runs today – of course as a vintage vehicle and no longer in daily operation.
So on 20 March 2012 the KAELBLE dumper arrived at the MEILLER main plant at Munich in a sad condition yet in bright sunshine. 17 tons of scrap iron – not roadworthy. Freshly unloaded, the vehicle was firstly towed into an empty hall. A concept was needed to carry out restoration of the vehicles outside of, and in tandem with, the actual core business.