DB Schenker, the official logistics partner of the Czech biathlon, is ready for the upcoming season. The biathlon truck has covered almost 10,000 km between the World Cup and the World Championship. Like the Czech competitors, it will be home by the Christmas holidays.
This summer’s break was used to work on minor modifications to the technical equipment of the semi-trailer and to fine-tune the exterior and interior. “After an assessment of the previous season we have changed how the skis are stored. Modifying the layout of the ski racks has created space for another 40 pairs of skis and makes them faster to handle when greasing and testing them,” said Ondřej Rybář, sports director of the Czech biathlon. Variable shifts have been added to the exterior access steps, keeping them stable on uneven terrain.
Professionals for professionals
The Czech biathlon truck is one of the few trucks in Europe with a professional driver behind the wheel. “In the biathlon logistics is not just about driving the truck, but also includes ferry crossings, customs clearance, and obtaining permits for areas that are difficult to access. As we handle this side of things, the team can better concentrate on races,” comments DB Schenker director and Czech biathlon fan Tomáš Holomoucký.
This time the team is also supported by to experienced drivers, Martin Žák and Jiří Smolík. Thanks to their many years of experience they enjoy driving with a special cargo in unusual mountain conditions. “What I like most about it is that we drive to places that normal trucks don’t go. I like driving in the snow and, thanks to our special M+S tyres for northern and mountain conditions, I don’t have to worry about getting stuck anywhere,” says Martin Žák with a smile.
At the race both drivers strive to encourage the team’s success with humour, a good mood and a helping hand. The truck itself has become a crucial part of the team, and so it is no wonder that it will be the setting for short videos entitled “A Chair for the Guest”, which fans of the Czech biathlon can watch on Facebook.
Special equipment for extreme conditions
En-route between the World Cup stops the special semi-trailer will carry tons of material and, with its special extendable legs, it can be perfectly anchored on the unpaved surface at the World Cup site.
DB Schenker chose the Volvo 500, one of the most powerful trucks meeting EURO 6 emission standard, for the semi-trailer the stars of the Czech biathlon are to ride in. The standard chassis with large wheels allows the truck to be driven in bad weather and snow in the mountains, while Volvo is highly reliable and has wide service coverage in Scandinavia and throughout Europe. The extensive network of DB Schenker branches also offers another backup if things do not go according to plan.
Other equipment boasted by this special includes anti-freeze additives for the diesel and air system, as well as insulated clothing with reflective elements.
First south, home for Christmas, then north in March
The biathlon truck will travel some ten thousand kilometres on its World Cup and World Championship journeys. This year it will compete in races in Slovenia and Austria. Just before Christmas, races will be held in Nové Město na Moravě, followed by Germany and Italy in January, after which the truck will return home to Jablonec nad Nisou, where it is based in the SKP training centre. At the beginning of March the truck will then head to the World Championship in Sweden and will then end the season at the final of the World Cup in Holmenkollen, Norway. 2018/2019 Biathlon World Cup season
WC stage I - Pokljuka, Slovenia, 30 November – 9 December 2018
WC stage II - Hochfilzen, Austria, 10 – 16 December 2018
WC stage III - Nové Město na Moravě, CR, 17 – 23 December 2018
WC stage IV - Oberhof, Germany 7 – 13 January 2019
WC stage V - Ruhpolding, Germany 14 – 20 January 2019
WC stage VI - Antholz, Italy, 2. – 27 January 2019
WC stage VII and VIII - Canada and USA (no trucks competing)
World Championship – Oestersund, Sweden 7 – 17 March 2019
IX - Holmenkollen, Oslo, Norway 18 – 24 March 2019