10 years of Heavydrive GmbH

The transport and lifting specialist celebrates its anniversary

The history of the transport and lifting specialist started with a brilliant idea and only two employees. Today, 10 years later, Heavydrive GmbH is one of the world's leading companies for glass assembly equipment. And the expansion continues: In 2016, the company will move and there will be many national and international large-scale projects. "We are very proud to have established so successfully on a fiercely competitive market in the last few years, and we look to the future with new innovative assembly solutions", says managing director Guenter Uebelacker.

Taking the market lead with one idea

In 2005, mechanical engineer Guenter Uebelacker finds a market niche in glass assembly: Existing mini crawler cranes on the transport and lifting market were able to lift and position loads. What they could not do, however, was drive under load. He developed a light, stable transport device, which through its clever construction guarantees stability thanks to the transported goods themselves. The product series HDL was born, and shortly thereafter a patent was granted by the German Patent Office for this innovation. Demand was tremendous: The new HDL series took the company to global leadership within just a few years.

The company's foundation

In 2006, Guenter Uebelacker founded the company Heavydrive consisting of two employees in Pfreimd in Upper Palatinate. With a vacuum suction system by Woods Powergrip, an assembly crane SLK 25, a HDL 800 and a transporter the company expanded in the renting area and laid the foundation for the Heavydrive rental park. In November 2006, the company moved to Donauwoerth.

Thanks to increasing turnover, the company was able to increase its team to six employees. Being present at international trade fairs such as glasstec in Düsseldorf, Frontale in Nuremberg, BAU in Munich or the window construction trade fair in New Delhi, Heavydrive has soon become known as an all-in-one provider of lifting and transport solutions.

From Swabia across the world

In 2007, the first large-scale international project followed: Putting glazing on the façades of seven high-rise buildings in London City. Heavydrive was responsible for the complicated static calculations for the building shells, supplying a Helm rail system from the product series HSS and MKZ. The company completed the project within the deadline of a few months, achieving a turnover of just under 115,000 euros.

One year later, Heavydrive once again demonstrates its competence in the next large-scale project. Heavydrive takes on a job that involves moving two complex pieces of art made of steel and glass for an exhibition in the Guggenheim museum in New York, taking care of everything from packaging to transport. The largest element of these pieces of art is a glass pane measuring 3.20 meters in diameter. For a safe and timely transport by sea from Bregenz to New York, company founder Guenter Uebelacker developed special racks. This project earned Heavydrive a turnover of more than 100,000 euros.

The reliable single-source service provided by Heavydrive is also much in demand on the Arabian peninsula. For the construction of the second highest building of the world at the time, the Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the company developed seven different MRK cranes in 2009. The cranes with special overhead manipulators are build in a way that they can lift extremely heavy glass panes even at considerable heights. This way, a 3-axle manipulator in form of a basket, which is attached to a truck-mounted crane, makes it possible to install the heavy glass panes weighing 1,800 kg on the outside of the building even at a height of 560 meters. Within only six months, Guenter Uebelacker managed to develop and produce this new equipment in Japan, Italy and Germany, including the time-consuming certification process carried out by TÜV Nord. With this successful project, the company reached a turnover of one million for the first time.

Use of the VSGU 2500 at the Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Heavydrive continues to expand

Heavydrive has secured a foothold in this sector thanks to its customised assembly and transport solutions for any construction site situation. The company expands its product range continuously. Increasing demand calls for expansion: In 2010, the company moved to the 10,000 square metre factory premises in the Küsterfeldstraße in Donauwoerth and increased its team to eight employees. The rental park has also steadily increased: The company's range of products includes different MRK mini cranes by the manufacturers Maeda and Unic, various vacuum suction systems (VSG) with a capacity of up to 2,500 kilos, glass fitting equipment (GMG), motor chain hoists (MKZ), glass transport wagons (HDL) as well as assembly lifts (ML). The company also rents out all-terrain telescopic forklift trucks (GTS) and lifting platforms (GTB and SB).

At its headquarters in Tapfheim, the company offers professional servicing and repairs on machinery and has its own wash facilities for both small-sized and large-scale equipment. Here, trained staff perform maintenance and repair work on company-own and external equipment and guarantee 100% machine operation. A dedicated test area enables employees to check the equipment's vacuum power and adjust the vacuum suction systems for each construction site situation accordingly. Now with an even bigger fleet. In 2013, adding to the existing transporters and twelve-tonne trucks, managing director Guenter Uebelacker invested in a new fleet of Iveco Daily vans that come with 3.5 tonne trailers to transport loads in the 2.5 tonne range.

The increase in staff to 12 employees called for an increase in office space. In December 2013, Heavydrive expanded its administrative building by 300 square metres. The office employees moved into newly renovated offices with a large staffroom, and the workshop and assembly employees got a new lounge room and a master office.

Presentation at the in-house fair in 2015

Visions for the future

Today, Heavydrive GmbH offers a wide range of products that have helped make the company a market leader in a sector which promises strong growth. Managing director Guenter Uebelacker has a clear vision: "Whenever I cast my net, I always do so with a view to the future. I do things nobody else has ever done before me. And we never lose sight of the goal: To be better than the market expects us to be."

That is why Heavydrive always develops new, innovative special machinery for all the different construction site conditions. A 2015 highlight: The product series "Heavy suction systems for capacities of up to 6,000 kg" with suitable heavy lifting equipment. This way, the company reacts to the use of façade elements continuously growing in size and complexity. The systems are adaptable with the VSG counterweight 7000 truss and guarantee an absolute accurate and safe positioning of extremely heavy elements with a reach of up to 20 meters.

In spring 2016, Heavydrive GmbH moves his headquarters to Tapfheim. With 18,000 square meters, there is now even more space for the continuously growing machinery and the 16 employees. The company will present its latest innovations at the great anniversary presentation on 2 July 2016 on the new company premises in Tapfheim and again at the BAU 2017 trade fair in Munich. At the moment, Heavydrive GmbH has a turnover of more than two million euros.

The new Heavydrive company premises in Tapfheim

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