170 years of WOLFFKRAN - archive poster
170 years of WOLFFKRAN - archive poster
170 years of WOLFFKRAN - slug bolt connections
170 years of WOLFFKRAN
1225 Broadway (Virgin Hotel), New York City (US)
European Patent Office in Vienna, Austria
Power Gate Data Center, London (UK)

170 Years of WOLFFKRAN: Balancing Tradition and Future

17.05.2024 | News

This year marks WOLFFKRAN's 170th anniversary. A milestone reflecting deep roots in tradition as well as relentless pursuit of innovation and progress. Since its establishment in 1854, WOLFFKRAN has significantly influenced the development of crane technology and continues to represent the highest quality, reliability, and technical excellence.

From the forge to modern tower cranes

From the initial lifting devices produced in the former iron foundry starting in 1870, to the introduction of the revolutionary, quickly assembled tower crane in 1913, to today's highly advanced "WÖLFFEN" – WOLFFKRAN has always been a pioneer in crane technology. This drive for innovation continued in the following decades, including the introduction of the first trolley jib crane with its own electric carriage in 1928, the development of a flexible and climbing tower system and an advanced bolt connection in the 1960s, the modern luffing cranes of the 1980s, the use of frequency-controlled drives, and the development of an electronically controlled horizontal load path in the 1990s.

The new millennium: Technology shaping the future

In the 21st century, WOLFFKRAN continues to emphasize its role as a visionary. Milestones include the introduction of the WOLFF 355 B with its patented dismantlable construction at bauma 2007, the debut of the "BIG WOLFF" – a luffing crane of the 1250 mt class – in 2009, the introduction of the innovative WOLFF 166 B with hydraulic luffing system in 2012, the development of the WOLFF TV 60 tower element in 2020, and the launch of the assistance technology High Speed Positioning System (HiSPS) in 2023. Today, the product portfolio includes about 25 different luffing and flat-top saddle jib cranes as well as various digital assistance systems used on construction sites around the globe.

From Germany to the world: Expanding the WOLFF's territory Since the 1990s, WOLFFKRAN has continuously expanded its sales and service network in Germany. When Dr. Peter Schiefer took over WOLFFKRAN from MAN in 2005, his motto was: Internationality! Into the markets! And WOLFFKRAN carries its spirit of innovation beyond national borders. The establishment of branches in Austria and Switzerland, partnerships in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, England, and France, entry into the US market, recent partnerships in the Czech Republic and Norway, business activities in Asia, and the recent announcement of a new production site in Saudi Arabia are the result of this growth ambition and underline WOLFFKRAN's claim to set global standards. The new owner also continuously expands the rental business. Today, the company owns one of the largest crane rental fleets worldwide with around 750 cranes.

On an innovation course towards the future

"The dynamism with which the founding fathers propelled WOLFFKRAN forward and with which we started the new millennium remains with us to this day," says Peter Schiefer, who handed over the management to Duncan Salt in 2019 and has since served as owner and board member. "From just under 200 employees in the early 2000s, we have now grown to almost 900. The WOLFF is at home all over the world," says Schiefer.

On the occasion of its 170th anniversary, WOLFFKRAN not only looks back on a long and successful history but also looks to the future. "Our goal has always been and continues to be not only to meet the market's demands but to anticipate them and shape them with innovative solutions," says Duncan Salt, CEO of WOLFFKRAN. "At this significant point in our history, I would like to thank everyone who has accompanied us on this journey and continues to do so. Your dedication and pioneering spirit have made WOLFFKRAN what it is today: The Leader of the pack in the world of crane technology."