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Schaeff, an American manufacturer of lift trucks, is reputed for producing one of most comprehensive lines of electric, stand-up, counterbalanced forklifts for the material handling industry with lifting capacities ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 pounds (1,361 to 2,722 kg).[1] At one point, the company also produced a line of construction equipment that included wheel loaders, loader backhoes, and excavators.


[edit] History

The origins of Schaeff trace back to the establishment of the North American Manufacturing Co. founded by Elmer Hansen in 1947. Elmer Hansen was a Nebraskan farmer who moved to Sioux City in 1946 after inventing a self-loading wagon in 1941. He set up a factory in a garage and began producing his self-loading and bulkhead feed wagon known as a “Grain-O-Vator.”[2] By 1955 Hansen was also producing a bulk feed handling highway truck called the Bulkanizer.[3]

[edit] Namco Lift Truck

During the 1950s Hansen’s business began to grow and production increased beyond his plant’s capacity. Overcrowding made it increasingly difficult to maneuver any type of mobile equipment inside the plant. Hansen looked into acquiring a lift truck but most of the lift trucks on the market were too big to work in his plant. He designed a smaller-sized lift vehicle that would address his needs and soon realized there was a national market for his vehicle as well. He refined his design and made changes to improve it. The new forklift was named NAMCO. By 1962, after three years of testing the first NAMCO lift truck—available in gasoline, electric, and propane models—was unveiled.[4]

[edit] Branching Out

By 1973 Schaeff was producing 10 different versions of its self-unloading wagon, including a model brand labeled for John Deere. The company also manufactured a chassis for International Harvester’s motorhome and multi-stop delivery trucks. In 1978 the company was taken over and renamed NAMCO Inc. It continued to manufacture both farm equipment and forklift trucks.[5]

[edit] Schaeff Buys Namco

In 1981 the German-based company Karl Schaeff GmbH purchased NAMCO and the two companies were merged together to form a new entity, Schaeff-NAMCO. Schaeff-NAMCO added a line of construction equipment that including a backhoe attachment for tractors. In 1987 the company was renamed Schaeff Inc.; it sold off its line of farm equipment to Four Star in March 1998.[6]

[edit] Building a Concrete Division

In 1992 a new management team was brought in to build Schaeff into a market leader as an industrial and construction supplier. The company was soon marketing an entire range of construction equipment including rubber-tired wheel loaders, loader backhoes, excavators, walking excavators, rough terrain forklifts, and scrap handlers to the North American market.[7]

[edit] Expertise in Warehouse Forklifts

In the mid-1990s Schaeff introduced its Warehousing Series of electric, stand-up counterbalance lift trucks. The forklift was the result of years of research. It came with electric steering, an ergonomic workspace, upgradeable software features, programmable controls, and built-in run-time diagnostics.

In 1996 Schaeff introduced its W90T Turret electric, stand-up counterbalanced lift truck. The truck’s turret attachment was able to pivot at 180 degrees, providing side-to-side access in narrow aisles. The Echo 3,000 TM, an electric, stand-up counterbalanced forklift designed to lift up to 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg) and reach as high as 15.8 feet (4.8 m) was then introduced in 1999, rounding out the company's line of forklifts. Schaeff also decided to reintroduce the NAMCO forklift to the market in 2000. It remains one of the smallest-sized forklifts on the market.[8]

[edit] Terex Takeover

Terex Corp. acquired Schaeff Inc., the parent company of Schaeff GbmH, in 2001. As part of the takeover, Terex relocated Schaeff’s operations from Sioux City, Iowa to Bridgeview, Illinois in November 2003. Crane and Machinery continued to operate under a contract with Terex. The same month, Quantam Value Mgmt. acquired both Crane and Machinery and Schaeff Inc. from Terex Corp. [9]

[edit] The Company Today

In October 2008 Schaeff Lift Truck was acquired and now operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manitex International Inc., another manufacturer of engineered lifting solutions headquartered in Bridgeview, IL.[10]

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. About Schaeff Inc. Schaeff Official website. 03-02-2009.
  2. Schaeff Company History. Schaeff Official website. 02-03-2009.
  3. Schaeff Company History. Schaeff Official website. 02-03-2009.
  4. Schaeff Company History. Schaeff Official website. 02-03-2009.
  5. Schaeff Company History. Schaeff Official website. 02-03-2009.
  6. Schaeff Company History. Schaeff Official website. 02-03-2009.
  7. Schaeff Company History. Schaeff Official website. 02-03-2009.
  8. Schaeff Company History. Schaeff Official website. 02-03-2009.
  9. Schaeff Company History. Schaeff Official website. 02-03-2009.
  10. Investor Relations. Schaeff Official Website. 03-02-2009.

[edit] External Links