Liebherr – Overview and History

Liebherr is a German-Swiss equipment manufacturer based in Switzerland. It has over 130 companies organized into 11 divisions that produce mobile trains, tower cranes, earthmoving, mining, concrete technology, aerospace, maritime crimes, transportation systems, and machine tools; it also produces automation systems, domestic appliances, and components.

The workforce has expanded worldwide, with over 42,000 people working on manufacturing Liebherr products. Having started its operation in 1949, it had become the world’s largest crane company by 2007. It is a family-owned business still run by the Liebherr family. Forbes magazine listed this family as a billionaire in 2005, while the Franklin institute awarded the founder with the Frank P. Brown medal in 1974.

History of the Liebherr Company:

If we talk about the discovery of the tower crane, we can say that it is synonymous with the birth of the Liebherr Company. The first decade of this company was all about the construction of small products developing into well-established machinery and other technologically sophisticated manufacturers.

Birth of the Tower Crane

It was about the post-war in 1949 when many parts of the country needed to be rebuilt. At that time, Hans Liebherr managed his parents’ construction firm in South Germany. That’s when he recognized a shortage of tools and machinery for domestic construction and the building industry. He coordinated with tradesmen and design engineers to develop the first mobile tower crane in 1949.

This first tower crane was a TK10 that could be transported conveniently and was simple to set up at the construction site. It was the beginning, and the successor models followed, and the Liebherr company turned into a manufacturer of construction machines that it is still famous for.

By the end of 1950, gear wheels were needed to manufacture gearboxes. Hans Liebherr depended on no one and started making hobbing machines to produce gear wheels to produce cranes.

Liebherr Crane

First Hydraulic Excavator

He hired a cable excavator in 1953 and noticed the poor power-to-weight ratio. Once again, he took responsibility and produced the first hydraulic excavator in Europe 8 months later- the L300. It was four times lighter than the machine he had hired earlier, leading to the production of powerful machines in 1954.

Refrigerator Production

In 1954, Hans discovered that a refrigerator-making company was up for sale. He instantly examined the product, the sale value, and the market. Hans realized that only one out of 10 households in Germany had a refrigerator, which was calling for a rising demand. He didn’t buy the company but built his production facilities to produce the refrigerators that began in 1954.

Machinery to Transport Concrete

In 1956, he started producing machinery for the transportation of concrete. The company produced a Liebherr parts catalog for construction machines and heavy duty products to ensure customer satisfaction. Given the size and complexity of the machinery that Liebherr produces, this is an important piece of maintaining a machine.

Expansion of Crane Types

The company started expanding its production facilities outside Germany. To that end, the product line extended from tower cranes to container cranes, special cranes, and shipyard cranes. He set the road map for the international group direction once the first company located outside Europe.

Hans Liebherr’s visions knew no bounds as he shifted to aircraft technology at the end of the 1950s. He aimed to develop and manufacture prototypes in-house to make the company advance from a license holder to the manufacturer of its components and systems.

The Recent Progress of Liebherr Group:

The company has started building affordable tower cranes in addition to aircraft parts, chiller displays, and freezers. Liebherr also manufactures the T 282 B, the world’s largest truck. It received the development of the year award for being the world’s most powerful example for a machine like LTM 11200 with the telescopic boom.

Liebherr Parts Catalog
Liebherr Parts Catalog

Famous Products by Liebherr:

We can write pages until they form many books if we talk about the products that Liebherr is producing at this point. It includes:

  • Construction machines include earthmoving like wheeled excavators, crawler loader excavators, crawler tractors, pipelayers, attachment tools, etc. It also provides mining equipment, trucks, dozers, draglines, and mobile / crawler cranes like LTM mobile cranes. Futhermore, there are military cranes, fire service cranes, mobile crane technology, LR crawler cranes and others.
  • Material handling technology includes mobile material handling machines, electric material running machines, and crawler material handling machines.
  • Aerospace and transportation systems include products and solutions in both categories.
  • Maritime cranes include powered equipment such as mobile harbor cranes, ship-to-shore container cranes, portal cranes, rubber tire gantry cranes, rail-mounted gantry cranes, reach stackers, and dockyard greens. It also covers the category of ship cranes, maritime technology, and transshipment solutions.
  • Gear technology and automation systems include gear-cutting machines like gear hobbing machines, gear shaping machines, gear skiving machines, ChamferCut, etcetera.

Core Values of the Company:

The Liebherr Group has developed great core values, being a family-owned company. Their values include independence, trustworthiness, innovation, the consideration of high quality in everything they do, the value of their employees, and accepting responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Liebherr?

Liebherr is a privately-owned, independently-run company, managed by 2nd and 3rd generation family. As a result, the company has maintained a long-term focus and commitment to innovation. This is often identified as a key factor in its success in the construction and mining equipment industry.

What is the Liebherr family worth?

Isolde Liebherr has a net worth of $5.06 Billion

Liebherr engines- where are they made?

Liebherr engines manufacturing plants are in Switzerland and France.

What crane is SpaceX using?

It is believed that Space X may have used a Liebherr LR 11350 is the assembling of spacecraft in Florida. However this has been neither confirmed nor denied by either company.