Tankers forge through snow in Germany

The winter has in earnest come to Germany. Heavy snow covers the roofs, and avalanches and slippery roads are common. In parts of the dairy collection area of Bavarian dairy Berchtesgadener Land, there is chaos on the roads, where tanker drivers collect milk from the farmers in the mountains between Watzmann and Zugspitze. The most dangerous thing is, when the vehicle starts to slip.

“Winter is a dangerous time for me as a driver,” admitted dairy driver Franz Foisner. “I have to go up over 1,000 meters, on narrow roads that are partially or not cleared.”

In two days, he and his colleagues collect around 1.6 million litres of milk from 1,700 farmers, some of whom are in remote areas along the German Alpine Road. Foisner stops at many small farms, some of which only deliver 25 litres of milk.
Strong gradients, huge gradients and the sloshing milk in the car are even more challenging with snow and ice. But the vehicles are equipped for the extreme tours, with anti-skidding measures and snow chains.

“The farmers rely on me to bring the milk to the dairy in good condition,” said Foisner.  “If we did not pick up the milk at many stations, many farmers would stop, because the expense of their own transport would not make it worth it.”

Nevertheless, he loves his job: “We like doing that for our farmers. Agriculture is still practiced with love in our country. “

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