Icarus: the telehandler chosen for the Bèziers arena renovations

Béziers, a picturesque French town located around 10 km from the Mediterranean Sea, near to the border with Spain, has recently allocated considerable funds to restoring and modernising its famous arena. The venue has a capacity of 13,096 seats and hosts numerous events including bullfighting — both the bloody Spanish version and the highly popular local variant known as Corrida Occitana.

During any restoration, preservation or major maintenance work, there is a possibility of occasional setbacks that were either overlooked or underestimated in the planning stage.

Telehandlers are ideal for restoring architectural heritage

For this type of renovation, preservation, restoration and redevelopment, it is absolutely essential to use highly versatile vehicles capable of carrying out diverse tasks in order to make best use of time and space, and to overcome any eventuality.

Certainly in this case, there was no lack of setbacks. The first difficulty to overcome was the location of the work site: the arena is situated in the historical centre of Béziers, which is not easily accessible to construction machinery.

The second drawback was the structural and architectural characteristics of the building, which complicates the movement of materials and machinery. The arena’s design is modelled on that of Spanish arenas, with a circular stepped amphitheatre surrounding a central space where events are staged. The top of the arena is surmounted by a covered portico and the only point of access to the work site is a large portal leading into the central space. It is here that all the building materials are deposited prior to being lifted to the upper levels.

Thanks to their flexibility and reliability, telehandlers can simultaneously perform the role of a forklift, aerial platform and crane. In addition, the telescopic boom can reach higher and further than a forklift truck, ensuring accessibility even on rough terrain and diversified uses thanks to the many accessories available.

Why Icarus

The entire range of DIECI telehandlers are easy and intuitive to use and meet very stringent safety standards, enabling operators to work with peace of mind.

In selecting machinery to be used for renovating the Béziers arena, the contractor and executor immediately identified the ICARUS 40.17 telescopic handler.

Among the various families of telehandlers, Icarus is one of the most suitable vehicles for construction work.

This model was chosen for two main reasons:

  • Lifting height: Icarus can reach up to 16.40 metres in height.
  • Maximum capacity: this telehandler can carry loads of up to 4000 kg.

Inside the arena, the vehicle has been employed in moving, carrying and lifting materials including timber, concrete, scaffolding, precious tiles, sand and water.

Since it is required to operate in a dusty environment, the Icarus family of telehandlers was always the obvious choice, as it is equipped with a  separator pre-filter applied to the air filter, which prevents the ingress of dust and abrasive particles, ensuring greater efficiency and longer engine life.

To enable working through the winter months, the project leaders opted for a telehandler model equipped with a comfortable cab and an air conditioning system that can be upgraded upon request.

Dieci in the world: the wonders of Occitania

Occitania is considered one of the best tourist areas in Europe due to its rich culture, landscapes and activities. It is called a cultural region because it is not delimited by political, national or administrative boundaries, covering almost all of southern France, Monaco, some neighbouring areas of western Italy and the Spanish coast.

Every year in August, thousands of tourists throng to this area for the Feria, a traditional event that includes bullfighting, music and dances performances. The events generate a return in excess of 200 million euros for the region.

In addition, Occitania boasts both natural and man-made heritage that ranges from beauty spots to picturesque villages and towns.

Among the latter, the town of Béziers is situated at the end of the Canal du Midi, a canal in Southern France that connects the Garonne River to the Mediterranean Sea. It is famous above all for the Albigensian crusade against Cathar heretics in 1209 and represents a vital part of Occitan history.

There are many historic buildings and places of interest to visit in the town, not least the Church of Sainte-Madeleine, the Chapel of the Blue Penitents, the theatre and of course the Béziers arena.

Being a place that is deeply attached to its traditions, every year the arena hosts both traditional and Occitan bullfights.

The Icarus telehandler’s active involvement in the restoration of the Béziers arena adds another important chapter to the success story of our vehicles, by contributing to the protection of Occitan history and culture.