In 1920, when the master craftsman Hermann Roehrs founded a blacksmith’s shop on the plot of land he had inherited in Huetzeler Strasse, moving loads mostly called for a good deal of elbow grease and loads were rarely stored in large volumes. Accordingly, the small company’s field of activity was very different to what we do today. Alongside repairing agricultural machinery, however, the company soon began manufacturing products in-house. Mixing plants were launched to convey diatomaceous earth, which at that time was widespread in our home region (Lueneburg Heath), and the Terra 330 floor sander was also popular with buyers.
In the early 1950s, the company began producing car trailers for horse transport, under the management of Hermann’s son Rolf. The trailers, along with the trade and repair of agricultural machinery, provided further years of success and consistent company growth. In the end, however, the company was forced to realign its machine construction because of increasing competitive pressure and it started operations involving lifts and transport carts for warehouse and conveying applications. In the 70s, inspired by the requirements of an airport operator, Rolf came up with the groundbreaking idea of a man-up high-bay forklift that would make it possible not only to pick orders but also to move entire carriers in and out of storage. The world’s first combination forklift was born, and with it the company Magaziner Lager- und Foerdertechnik.
… to specialist in the narrow-aisle forklifts
Rolf’s son Michael, as the third generation of the company, succeeded in entering the warehouse technology market on a broad basis in the 1980s. Two different models of narrow-aisle forklifts were developed and then used as the basis for the design for two highly powerful vertical order-picking trucks. The vehicles were distributed exclusively via a leading German manufacturer of industrial trucks with a market presence that gave us access to international customer groups. When the exclusive contract was abandoned in the 1990s, Michael was forced to find new distribution channels and the foundation was laid for our diversified distribution and service network, which now includes over 40 countries the world over.
At the same time, narrow-aisle forklifts for specific applications were added to the product range, such as the EK 15 XL and the EK 20. ISO 9001 certification was received back in 1997, allowing the company to enter into professional quality and process management. The new millennium saw our operations focus with increasing intensity on the warehouse technology market, and now almost all of our company’s employees work on the development, production, distribution or service of narrow-aisle forklifts. Thanks to regular model updates, numerous innovative systems and special solutions, we are now one of the 30 largest forklift manufacturers in the world – a remarkable achievement given that we have specialised in our product unlike any other of our competitors. In summer 2017, the fourth generation entered the company with Michael’s son Hendrik, paving the way for ongoing progress.