Mercedes report

A van with depth: the Sprinter 4×4 as a mobile measuring station

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 311 belonging to the geologist Walter Beck contains all of the equipment he needs to assess the quality of wells – down to a depth of 600 meters.

Measurement on-call: somewhere in the middle of nowhere

Walter Beck’s Sprinter easily ploughs through the mud until it reaches a small clearing. There, deep in the forest in the municipal area of Markt Abtswind near Würzburg, there is a 78 meter deep hole. This is a well and his job is to inspect it carefully with his measurement equipment on behalf of the township. “In Kosovo I worked at wells that were more than 400 meters deep”, explains the freelance geologist proudly and steps off his white first-generation Sprinter 4×4.

“Water is life”

His company Fontus Logging Service, run by Mr. Beck and his wife Maria, primarily focuses on drinking water. “Water is life. Today, customers want good quality wells. With our well drilling and inspections we guarantee and protect this valuable resource”, he explains. In order to guarantee optimum water quality, Beck measures numerous factors such as gamma radiation, electrical resistance or the conductivity of the material surrounding the well. His Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has space for all of this equipment.

Highway, forest road, muddy track

Mr. Beck’s Sprinter has higher ground clearance so that it can reach even the most inaccessible locations. “Optimum ground clearance is essential for me. Apart from that, the vehicle is in original condition – naturally with all-wheel drive”. New wells are often drilled in remote locations. “Some days my work takes me along muddy tracks, over fields and on the highway within the space of only a few hours. My van provides me with safety and support on every terrain.” This is where the Sprinter’s full capabilities come into play, says Beck enthusiastically. And if he ever should get stuck, he always has a machete on board so that he can cut wood to push underneath the wheels. “In situations like that you need to stay calm. And avoid taking too many risks”, he recommends.

Always in touch with HQ

The borehole winch is his vehicle’s key piece of equipment. “I have four different types. The main winch is equipped with 600 meters of measuring cable. We use this winch to hang probes into the borehole.” Mr. Beck also has a mobile data processing centre – namely PCs and measuring equipment along with printers so that he can discuss the results with the engineers directly on-site. Generators provide the necessary electricity in the event of an emergency. “Generally there is always a plug socket at the well”, explains Beck and laughs.

Off to the next well

Mr. Beck’s inspection of the drinking water well in the forest in Markt Abtswind shows that the cleaning he carried out was successful. Satisfied, Walter Beck moves onto the next well – he and his Sprinter are in demand when customers need clear, high quality water: I have a few interesting projects coming up at Nuremberg Airport, on the US military base in Rammstein and with a renowned mineral water manufacturer in northern Bavaria.”