In 1958, Alfred Böcker founded a company for steelwork and appliance construction in the Westphalian town of Werne in Germany, from which Böcker Maschinenwerke GmbH emerged active all over the world in the meantime. Innovative strength and tradition have characterized the company history right from the beginning. Below we have compiled the highlights of more than sixty years of Böcker.
The founding years
From a blacksmith’s shop to the first hydraulic lift with double knee joint
The history of present-day Böcker AG began on 1 August 1958 with the establishment of a metalworking and forging workshop in the Westphalian town of Werne founded by the blacksmith Albert Böcker 34-years of age at the time, who became master blacksmith later.
The steelwork and appliance construction workshop started its production in a rented barn in Werne-Schmintrup.
At first, the company concentrated on the production of farming implements: Lattice wheels fitted with easy-to-use quick-release fasteners and...
... feed fences with practical feeding stations made of wood or steel.
Moreover, Albert Böcker developed the construction lift with knee joint for the transport of roofing tiles. In 1959, the innovative B-E/D lift was presented for the first time during the suppliers’ exhibition in Cologne on occasion of the German roofing contractors’ association meeting.
In the middle of 1961, the head office of Albert Böcker Stahl- und Gerätebau was relocated to Horster Strasse in Werne.
The first production hall with office rooms was build behind the residential house of the Böcker family.
The production hall was expanded to permit the manufacture of rubble chutes for the building industry.
The first delivery to a foreign country was made to Austria at the beginning of 1962. The B-E/D lift was presented during the spring fair in Vienna.
Moreover, Albert Böcker delivered the first speed lift as single-axle trailer to Munich in 1962 as well. Böcker speed lift can be set up by a man in a few minutes, and depending on the type can be extended by up to 16 metres. The brick platform adjustable in size ensures safe transport of the bricks. Corrugated sheets can be transported to the roof by means of an attachable flatbed.
The thousandth Böcker lift was sent to the German town of Schöneberg in September 1964.
At the beginning of June 1965, the company moved to its present head office in Lippestrasse 69 in Werne. By means of the new hall, the production area is increased to approx. 3,000 sqm. The total factory area is about 10,000 sqm.
The total Böcker product range including accessories was presented at the Hanover Fair at the beginning of May 1966. Little King, the first construction winch was part of the programme now.
The festivities celebrating the tenth company anniversary coincided with the roofing ceremony of the expansion of the production area to 4,630 sqm in 1968.
The factory hall which at a size of 100 by 31 metres provides a workplace for a staff of fifty was expanded by an office building and a new storage and assembly hall of 90 x 20 metres.
The first Böcker hydraulic lift was presented at the suppliers’ show in Bremen at the beginning of May 1968. Due to the double joint, work can be carried out not only up to the roof ridge ...
... but on the rear side of the roof as well.
The first Böcker type S-L-30 speed lift fitted on a lorry chassis was supplied to Switzerland in July 1969. Due to the extensible pair of rails made of aluminium, the lift can be extended up to 30 metres.
The four thousandth Böcker lift was delivered to Cologne in 1969.
Expansion and growth
On the way to the Olympics and into the world
The five thousandth Blitz lift was supplied to Freiburg in June 1970.
Due to the new expansion of the production hall, Albert Böcker had a factory floor area now of over 6,000 sqm, and offered a workplace for a staff of 80.
In 1970, the new fully hydraulic Böcker lift helped building the roof of the Munich Olympic Stadium which in “Olympiapark” covers the Olympic Hall, the indoor swimming pools and parts of the stadium, which as a listed building is a landmark of Munich.
The six thousandth Böcker lift was supplied to Wanne-Eickel in June 1971.
In 1972, Albert Böcker Company not only sold its seven thousandth lift, but also increased its export business: In the meantime, 25 percent of the sales were made outside Germany. In July, the first container went on its journey to New Jersey, USA - with 21 lifts on board.
At the end of 1972, the renamed Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG now offers a workplace for a staff of 110. This is enabled by extending the previous office area by two levels of over 500 sqm and by building Hall 4 with an area of 8,000 sqm, which increased the production area to 15,000 sqm.
In 1974 during the Hanover Fair, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG received the order for the ten thousandth lift from a customer from England. In the meantime Böcker is supplying products to twelve countries world-wide: England, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the USA and Australia.
Together with a forwarding company in Duisburg, Böcker managed to manufacture the first furniture speed lift in 1974. With a boom length of up to 47 metres, the product novelty permitted an easy transport of furniture through windows on higher-up floors.
In May 1977 during the suppliers’ exhibition in Karlsruhe, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG celebrated the sale of over 12,000 lifts to all over the world.
In 1978, a test tower was erected on the company premises on Lippestrasse in Werne, which in 1993 was extended to a height of 54 metres in order to be able to test the highest inclined elevators as well.
Innovation on the advance
From ALP lift to the market introduction of the first lorry-mounted crane in aluminium lightweight design
In 1980, the fifteen thousandth lift left the company premises of Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG.
In 1980 during the “Roof and Wall” fair in Hanover, Böcker presented innovations again: the new vertical scaffolding lift, ladder elevators, the new mobile tele rubble chute as well as the fully hydraulic telescopic inclined elevators.
In May 1981, the first HD lift with folding guide rail was presented during the “Roof and Wall” fair in Nuremberg.
In 1981, the delivery of the sixteen thousandth lift coincided with the roofing ceremony of the new storage building of 5,000 sqm in size. On account of the larger production area of almost 22,000 sqm, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG can now employ a staff of 150.
The 25th company anniversary is celebrated in 1983. Since 1958, 179 young people have been trained.
Albert Röcker’s son Robert set up Robert Röcker GmbH in 1983 which at first sold ALP passenger and ALP good lifts. Seen here with his son Alexander in front of the first head office in Langern.
In 1987, Robert Böcker GmbH presented the first compact PH type passenger lift which can be used for safe work within buildings replacing a ladder, but which is also suitable for use on house walls.
The first delivery was carried out by the company-owned VW LT Transporter...
...starting from the new domicile in Horst.
To the great joy of the roofing contractors’ trade, Alfred Böcker GmbH & Co. KG developed the first mobile lorry-mounted crane in aluminium lightweight construction in 1989. AK 25/650 stands out for its light aluminium telescopic profile, and at a total weight of only 7.49 tons permits an extension length of up to 23.5 metres and a loading capacity of 650 kg.
Certified quality made in Germany
The second generation entered the family-owned companies
In 1990, Robert Böcker became the successor of his father and took over the management of Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG.
Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Böcker founded a company-own service base in Leipzig in order to ensure the usual Böcker service quality in the former GDR.
With about 170 employees and customers, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG celebrated the production of the twenty-five thousandth lift.
In 1994, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG developed an independent octagon aluminium crane profile, which increased the maximum load capacity of lorry-mounted cranes to 1,000 kg. In order to shorten the total package length, the telescopic mast package consists of seven single pipes which are extended by means of the internal triple telescope cylinder. The new octagonal aluminium profile was used first in AK 27/1000.In 1996, AK 32/1000 following, and in 1997 the AK 36/1000.
After intensive preparation, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG received the certificate in conformity with DIN EN ISO 9001 ff. in February 1996. On account of the transparent procedures, the certification of quality management since then has ensured high trust in safety, quality and performance when it comes to products as well as service.
After the successful market introduction of the lorry-mounted crane, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG presented another innovation, i.e. the world-wide first aluminium crane on a trailer - AHK 27/700.
Shortly after, Böcker started production of AHK 27/1000 in series. On account of its light construction, the trailer crane can be pulled by a passenger care, and proves to be especially flexible also in narrow building site situations.
In 1999, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG managed to introduce to the market the world-wide first aluminium crane with a load capacity of two tons. During the “Roof and Wall” fair in Stuttgart, Böcker presented AK 32/2000 lorry-mounted crane with PLC control.
The densest service network
The top-job employer set up new branches in Germany and Europe
During the “Roof and Wall” fair in Nuremberg in the year 2000, the new AK 36/2000 was presented. At the same time, the new Böcker hire and service centre was opened on Lippestrasse 73.
On account of the new construction of the crane assembly hall, the mere production are was extended to a size of over 26,000 sqm.
New neighbours of Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG: Robert Böcker GmbH transferred its company headquarters to Lippestrasse.
Opening of Böcker Mitte branch in Fuldabrück-Bergshausen near Kassel, and Böcker Süd in Alling near Munich.
In 2002, the company celebrated the delivery of twenty thousandth ALP load lift.
In 2003, the subsidiary company Böcker Belgium NV was founded with its headquarter in Aartselaar near Antwerp.
Presentation of the first ALP passenger lift PHC HI. On account of the installation of an integrated lifting carriage no additional boom was required anymore. The PHC-HI can be set up even in the most narrow confined spaces.
In 2005, H. Steinweg GmbH & Co. KG was taken over, and in this step the Steinweg-Böcker-Baumaschinen GmbH was founded.
Along with this, the product range was expanded by rack-and-pinion hoists, masonry technique and construction machinery.
In the international field, the network is expanded by setting up Böcker Schweiz AG in 2005.
In 2006, Böker Nederland B.V. was founded with its head office in Velddriel.
Böcker AG was founded in 2006 as well. Home of Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG, their branch offices and subsidiary companies, Steinweg-Böcker Baumaschinen GmbH, Robert Böcker GmbH as well as Böcker Immobilien GmbH & Co. KG.
Shortly after the development and presentation of the new AK 41/6000 PLC lorry-mounted crane, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG sold the thousandth aluminium lorry-mounted crane.
Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG received the Top Job Award 2007, and at this point in time employed a staff of 200...
...amongst them there were 24 trainees. Together with Robert Böcker GmbH, a total of 304 jobs could be offered.
In 2008, the new training centre for rack-and-pinion lists was opened in Baaken in Werne.
In 2009, Böcker’s Südwest branch was set up in Waghäusel near Speyer.
Third generation on its way to new heights
Innovative crane technology in aluminium steel construction
In 2010, Albert Böcker GmbH & Co. KG, Steinweg-Böcker Baumaschinen GmbH and Robert Böcker GmbH amalgamated and was renamed Böcker Maschinenwerke GmbH. The location in Werne covers an area of approx. 75,000 square metres with 33,000 square metres covered with buildings.
In 2010 as well: Reopening Böcker’s Ost branch in Berlin-Spandau...
...as well as Böcker France SAS in Margerittes...
... and Böcker Italia s.r.l. in Verona.
In 2014, Alexander Böcker became the successor of his father Robert, and took over the chair of Böcker AG as well as the management of Böcker Maschinenwerke GmbH. The family-owned company was in the hands of the third generation.
For the 25th jubilee of Böcker Krantechnik, three new crane models appeared on the market: AHK 36/2400 as well as AK 37/4000 and AK 46/6000. The combination of the proven aluminium component with a steel mast package is new, due to which it is possible that AHK 36/2400 manages to lift up to 2,400 kg at a permissible total weight of 3.5 t. At a maximum extension of 46 m and a maximum load capacity of 6 t, AK 46/6000 was the most powerful Böcker lorry-mounted crane up to that time.
In 2016, Böcker Maschinenbau GmbH for the first time mounted the new AHK 36/2400 on a caterpillar vehicle, and presented the caterpillar crane RK 36/2400 at the Bauma fair. This innovation ensures an equal distribution of ground pressure which permits unproblematic work even on gravel, sand or wet lawns.
Boeker UL Ltd. was founded in Dudley near Birmingham on 1st October 2017.
During the “Dach+Holz” fair in 2018, Böcker presented the most powerful aluminium steel lorry-mounted crane up to now in the 26 t lorry class with a maximum load capacity of 12 t and an extension length of up to 55 m: AK 52.
Another innovation is the new work basket of the AK 52 which can be extended to a range of 3.5 m and is designed for 600 kg payload.
Another innovation is the first trailer crane with personal security system, on account of which the AHK 36 now can be used for work at heights requiring fall protection for persons.
Employees and customers celebrated the 60th company anniversary at the first Böcker Christmas market during the Krantage+.