Kässbohrer – Spirit of Enginuity
As a leading trailer manufacturer, Kässbohrer develops the highest-quality semi-trailers to push the boundaries of innovation.
“Enginuity”, a portmanteau of engineering and ingenuity, defines what Kässbohrer is about. Kässbohrer develops vehicles and services for customers in over 55 countries, boasting the widest product range in Europe with eleven different product groups, including Curtainsider, Platform, Container Chassis, Swap Body, Reefer, Box, Silo, Tanker, Low-Bed and Tipper semi-trailers and Special Vehicles, as well as more than 1,000 different products.
For more than 125 years, generations of transport companies have associated Kässbohrer with innovations and the latest technology in vehicle construction
Kässbohrer’s innovations have been rewarded by the sector’s prestigious Trailer Innovation Awards. Ranging from Chassis to Smart Trailer, from Safety to Component, Kässbohrer’s range of innovation parallels its competence in designing and manufacturing the widest product range in Europe.
In recent years, that innovation has seen the company recognised in the “Safety” category of the Trailer Innovation 2017 Awards with its Safety Bitumen Tanker K.STS F 32 and the “Chassis” category in the Trailer Innovation 2019 Award with its Multifunctional Container Chassis K.SHG AVMH. In Trailer Innovation 2021 Awards, Kässbohrer proudly is the winner in the category “Component” with its Multifunctional rear underrun protection device RUPD-5K1, which has taken the second place in the category “Body” with first and only 45 ft. Coil Swap Body K.SWAU CC and has taken the second place in the category “Smart Trailer” with K-ADAS, Kässbohrer Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
Across Kässbohrer’s four production facilities in three countries, respectively Goch and Ulm, in Germany, Tula in Russia and Adapazari, Kässbohrer offers Europe’s widest product range to serve all logistics sectors in 55 countries.
“’Enginuity’, engineering excellence and a customer-centric approach allow us to not only to expertly manufacture the widest product range but develop products that offer increased capacity, advanced safety as well as easiest serviceability,” states İffet Türken, Kässbohrer Board Member. “A selection from our widest product range showcases these traits, including the first and only 45 ft coil Swap Body, award-winning Container Chassis vehicles for the transportation of all kinds of containers, a modular aluminium Tipper offering robustness as well as the lowest maintenance cost, a steel Tipper that is 1 ton more than a conventional 2 axle tipper semi-trailer, a Low-Bed vehicle with the lowest ground clearance, the reliable and durable Silo series and Tanker vehicles for the transportation of dangerous goods, food and waste.”
With its complete construction range with platforms, tippers, silos and tankers, and transport-specific low-bed vehicles, Kässbohrer provides a full service for customers who need to address more than one transport need in their operations.
“Our complete intermodal product range for environmentally-friendly intermodal transportation with the lightest swap body in the market K.SWAU CL, the first and only 45-foot coil swap body K.SWAU CC, newly introduced silo container K. CON S 40 and award-winning multifunctional container chassis K.SHG AVMH offers the complete solution set for intermodal companies,” says Türken.
Synonymous with Innovation
From the beginning, Kässbohrer’s name has been synonymous with innovation, with R&D activities and investments forming a core part of their business culture.
“Kässbohrer is the inventor of the kingpin that changed the course of trailer building in 1931, is the manufacturer of the first low-bed with 12-ton capacity in 1934 and the first tank semi-trailer in the early ‘30s,” says Türken. “As a result of its heritage full of inventions, research and development and finding new ways of doing business continue to be top priorities for Kässbohrer.”
Kässbohrer works on new concepts and new ways of doing business according to industry dynamics within a wide ecosystem full of long-term, reputable stakeholders. There is intensive communication with these stakeholders to increase creativity and prepare Kässbohrer for the rapidly changing business environment.
One of those changes came in April 2019 when the European Parliament voted to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new trucks by 30% as of 2030, compared to 2019 levels. This new European regulation includes an interim target of a 15% cut in CO2 emissions from new heavy-goods vehicles sold in 2025 compared to 2019 levels.
“It is obvious that we will be witnessing grand changes in the weight and dimensions of trailers, accompanied by new aerodynamic structures and smart loading possibilities. This begins today, but will span over the next decade,” says Türken. “This also requires collaboration among representatives of authorities, policymakers, logistics, and industry who can advise and help guide the process of defining the recommendations that will be developed within Europe.”
Talking with Türken a recurring theme is that after 125 years is that Kässbohrer is looking forward to the next 125 years.
“In this regard, we are proud to be a part of the European Commission-backed Aeroflex Project to generate the next generation of road vehicles with the aim of reducing emissions,” Türken says. “At Kässbohrer, we would like to emphasise the importance of collaboration and communication since considerable efforts are required from all the stakeholders in order to reduce CO2 emissions.”
Bringing on the Digital Age
Of course, the biggest challenge businesses have faced in 2020 has been the pandemic, and Kässbohrer rapidly adapted, continuing its R&D investments and introducing 22 new vehicles to the sector.
During the pandemic, Kässbohrer’s resilience has enabled the company to continue its operations, its innovative character empowering the company to develop new vehicles and services to meet customer needs with reliable and efficient solutions. The company has made particular use of digitalization.
“Kässbohrer’s first priority has been the health and safety of its employees, all precautions according to World Health Organisation and Health ministries were taken and implemented immediately,” Türken says. “As a result, Kässbohrer’s production in its four locations and its supply to the transport industry never stopped. Kässbohrer’s vehicle delivery, spare parts business, customer service, breakdown service, sales and other departments continued to offer the best service to its customers.”
Indeed, production and supply chain operations remained undisrupted thanks to Kässbohrer’s resilience and meticulous adherence to hygiene rules. But also as a result of the company’s successful adaptation to digitalization.
“Firstly we have digitally upgraded our after-sales network of 590 service locations. In April, we upgraded our after-sales network pages to include the real-time opening hours and status of all our after-sales networks for the convenience of planning for our customers’ repair and maintenance,” says Türken.
More than that, Kässbohrer has leveraged digital tools to keep its customers informed about the company’s latest development.
“To sustain its communication with its customers, Kässbohrer launched K-Talks webinar series where expert team members presented selections from its fine product range as well as the launch vehicles during this series in September,” says Türken.
They have also found a way to overcome people’s inability to visit tradeshows and networking events.
“We have brought the 6 Hall virtual exhibition online. At the online virtual exhibition, Kässbohrer presents five product-specific halls, respectively for general cargo range, construction range, dangerous goods range, silo range and launch vehicles that are recently introduced to the sector,” Türken tells us proudly. “Kässbohrer also displays a special hall for Trailer Innovation 2021 winner and nominee vehicles. Kässbohrer’s virtual fair is still online and viewable through our website.”
This sort of innovative activity is indicative of Kässbohrer’s approach to the future.
“Towards the next 125 years, we will continue to offer the highest quality vehicles and services with our resilience, adaptation and innovative character,” says Türken. “Radical changes in vehicle and transportation concepts will impact many areas and we need to manage intensive collaboration with our customers and with all our stakeholders. Intensive collaboration with customers and all-embracing partnerships can provide the best solutions for a long-term innovation and technology strategy.”