FROM CRAFTSMEN FOR CRAFTSMEN
Manfred Gerken opens his first painting company in Düsseldorf
In 1963 Manfred Gerken opened his first painting business in Duesseldorf. After the business had already existed for 25 years, the business acquired its own work platform, particularly in order to carry out work on facades more quickly and cost-effectively. Furthermore, the equipment was gladly lent to colleagues when it wasn’t being used. After only a short time, more and more handicraft businesses began to appreciate the advantages of the work platform. The demand was so great that the business invested in another machine. However, those were not to be the only two as time would quickly tell.
Founding of Gerken Arbeitsbühnenvermietung (Work Platform Rentals)
In 1989 Manfred Gerken decided to shift his main focus of work to renting out work platforms and founded the Gerken Arbeitsbuehnenvermietung (Work Platform Rentals) in the Ronsdorfer Straße in Duesseldorf. His idea was to rent out only technically high-quality, especially well-maintained and reliable machinery.
The concept was a success and between 1990 and 1997 additional branch offices were established in Cologne, Halle, Duisburg and Dueren in order to be able to handle the continuously growing demand. Meanwhile, the equipment pool of the Gerken Arbeitsbuehnenvermietung grew to 417 vehicles. In this phase, the investments were already strongly geared to the demand of the clientele. Consequentially, the chance was taken in 1996 and an investment was made in the largest self drive work platform in the world. Its working height amounted to 48 metres – a tremendous height for that time.
In 1990 the company’s founder’s son, Christian Gerken, joined the business.
Invest in the latest technology
Due to the claim to always invest in the latest technology, there was a constant change in the vehicle fleet. As of 1988, the replaced machinery was sold as second-hand equipment by the newly established subsidiary company GS Arbeitsbuehnen. Therefore, the first professional sales centre for used work platforms was positioned in Hilden, near the headquarters in Duesseldorf. In 1998, the Gerken Baustellen-Absperr-Service (Site Securing Service) was established as an additional service offer for clients and situated itself, logistically ideal, in Duisburg.
Berlin Gerken branch
The opening of the Gerken branch office in Berlin took place in 2001, as the construction boom set in. With the investment in the largest truck mounted work platform with a 100 metre working height, Gerken has one of only two existing machines of this size worldwide.
2003 is the year: Regular and new clients can now rent equipment such as power generators, forklifts or containers directly with the work platform, using the Gerken rental service.
Self-propelled telescopic work platform
The preparations for the World Cup in the year 2004 were running at full speed. Stadiums had to be reconstructed and modernised. Gerken invested in the worldwide highest self drive telescopic work platform, with a working height of 43 metres. More massive designs allow for high basket capacities: The first 70 metre truck mounted work platform with a 1000 kg basket capacity found its way into the Gerken vehicle fleet.
20,000 square meter branch in Neuss
Meanwhile, in the year 2005 the giant vehicle fleet with over 1,500 machines requires optimised technical and logistic solutions. So the new 20,000 square metre large branch in Neuss is established, ideally located in the intersection of the most important transportation routes of Central Europe. The industrial equipment as well as the Gerken owned low-bed trailer fleet are based here. The newly opened central repair workshop with 24 service technicians ensures the delivery of exclusively well-maintained and reliable machinery. Distributive trade with used work platforms is now also managed from Neuss: GS Arbeitsbuehnen also moves into new offices on the new business premises.
Försterweg in Hamburg
As of 2008, Gerken is also present in Northern Germany: On 1/1/2008 the new branch office opens on Foersterweg in Hamburg. Ten employees implement the clientele’s requests, and the company-owned repair workshop guarantees the consistent high standard of the machinery.
Conurbations Frankfurt and Nuremberg
The increased demand for Gerken work platforms in the metropolitan areas of Frankfurt and Nuremberg induce Gerken to open yet another branch office in Marktheidenfeld, which is conveniently located, in regard to transport facilities, just outside of Wuerzburg. The new Gerken base, with emphasis on industrial equipment, has several of its own low-bed trailers and can deliver work platforms on-site at short notice. Located directly on the autobahn (motorway) A 3, the branch office has an ideal connection; the surrounding metropolitan areas can be reached in no time at all. From October 2009 Gerken looks forward to serving its customers with a new branch in the Ruhr area metropolis of Essen.
Largest work platforms worldwide
Branch in Magdeburg
Branch in Bremerhaven
With the opening of the branch in Bremerhaven – one of the most important ports of export in Europe – Gerken has strengthened its position in northern Germany. From January 2013, we offer the complete range of work platforms in all sizes and for almost all purposes. In autumn 2013, Gerken GmbH will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. What initially began as a painting business in 1963 has developed into a European based working platform hire-company. The services available within Gerken’s working platform hire cover more than 4200 machines, including a broad range of specialist and large platforms. Gerken is leading company worldwide, offering large apparatus equipment measuring over 60 metres.
50 different forklift models
In spring 2014, the GTSR 300-50 arrives at the rental park as largest rotor telescope lift so far, with a lifting capacity of 30 metres. Gerken is now offering almost 50 different forklift models for rent. Things keep on going up and beyond in the work platform segment as well. A milestone in the art of engineering is reached with the telescopic work platform GT 570-25 AkLPG: with its 57 metres it represents the highest self-propelled work platform worldwide.
GS 330-14 WALS
In 2015, Gerken once again offered a world record, namely its scissor work platform GS 330-14 WALS: with a width of only 1.4 metres, the machine reaches a working height of 33 metres. With five new heavy load lift models, Gerken upgraded its rental programme to lifting capacities of up to 12,000 kilogrammes. The lasting demand for machinery required new operating sites in the conurbations of Frankfurt and Dortmund, where Gerken inaugurated branch offices with their own service networks in mid-2015.
Truck-mounted platform GL 29 H
The year 2016 started with a large-scale investment in more than 500 new machines from all categories. Gerken placed the largest order ever in the company’s history with the work platforms manufacturer Ruthmann: 45 truck-mounted work platforms in one single order. With the truck-mounted work platform GL 29 H, Gerken becomes the first lessor offering working heights of up to 29 metres on a 3.5t-chassis in mid-2016. From now on, these and other machines can be rented at the new branch office in Dusseldorf-Heerdt.
Mini and crawler cranes
In January 2017 for the first time, mini cranes and crawler cranes have joined the company’s rental programme. By investing in a large number of these models, Gerken responds to the demand from the metal and window construction industry and delivers an impressive performance right from the start. The container systems business segment has performed excellently in the last years. With the expansion of the existing premises at Jagenbergstraße 21 by another 13,000 square metres, the company will be able to satisfy customer needs and individual container system solution requirements even faster and more efficiently in the future.