Tracking on 50 years

Efficient geothermal energy extraction with the GRD method; the management team at Tracto-Technik: Meinolf Rameil, Wolfgang Schmidt and Timotheus Hofmeister; company founder Paul Schmidt.

Efficient geothermal energy extraction with the GRD method; the management team at Tracto-Technik: Meinolf Rameil, Wolfgang Schmidt and Timotheus Hofmeister; company founder Paul Schmidt.

Tracto-Technik started their success story in a small rented garage, which is still standing today, in the village of Lennestadt – Saalhausen, located in Germany. It all began on 14 November 1962 when four employees started to build pulling devices.

This equipment pulled drill rods and trench sheeting out of the ground and KRUPP Bautechnik, in Essen, was the main customer in those days.

Today, Tracto-Technik has over 500 reliable employees world-wide, 85 of which have been employees since the beginning of their apprenticeships.

The company founder’s son and current company Director Wolfgang Schmidt Paul Schmidt said “My father was an optimistic person and looked at things from the angle that ‘whoever puts his head in the sand cannot discover anything new’. In other words, when he believed he could find a solution he grabbed hold of every problem by the scruff of the neck.

“Most of his results brought us forward very quickly. Our innovative strength grew through him.”

Tracto-Technik was still in its early years, but learned quickly. The young company gained recognition with its competence in innovation.

With the first products carried by the company called Tractodrill and TractoMat, the company name was determined. The Tractomat won ‘The Blue Band’ – a coveted award in Brussels – and the machine is still used today for the pulling of guard railing rods adjacent to roads.

Inventive track record

A short time later Tracto-Technik was working on a project requiring a hydraulically driven ramming device by Krupp. The professional knowledge in the hydraulic field was obtained by Paul Schmidt and his colleagues at an evening school in Siegen.

Afterwards they searched in vain for a machine for the handling of hydraulic tubes. This included cutting lengths, deburring, bending and the pre-assembly of cutter rings. In the end Paul Schmidt looked at this casually and said “If there is no such thing, then we will invent the machine”.

That was the birth of Tubomat, which soon gained the interest of the screwing manufacturers. Up until the beginning of the 1980s the distributor was the company Kracht from Werdohl, after which Tracto-Technik took over the distribution.

It was 40 years after the arrival of the first Tubomat that the industry around the pipe forming technology was developed and produced safe solutions all around the tube package. This includes innovative machines and precise measuring technologies, as well as intelligent software solutions.

The latest development highlight is a fully electric right-left pipe bending machine fitted with 15 servo-axials, which can produce highly complex pipe figures within seconds.

Hammering through innovation

Five years after the establishment of the company, they moved into a newly-built factory located in Saalhausen.

In 1970, a freshly-laid tarmac road in front of the Schmidt’s house had to be disrupted a mere few days after its installation to install a water pipeline. This gave Paul Schmidt another clever idea and the soil displacement hammer Grundomat was born.

As a market leader the Grundomat soil displacement hammers are also ‘global players’, as they are used on a daily basis all around the world.

Steering to success

The development of steered bore technology has been especially fascinating. The tasks and requirements were diverse, and meeting project specifications has led to the level of technology available today.

Beerman from Hörstel-Riesenbeck is currently working with 20 Grundodrill bore rigs. Owner Ewald Beerman said “Due to our collective experiences we have gained from each other over the years, we hold Tracto-Technik in high esteem, especially as they are always ready to listen to the challenges of the market, their innovative performances, as well as their reliability.”

The latest product is a bore rig for the installation of house connections, which is applied out of a ‘keyhole’ diameter of only 65 cm.

A further focus is the underground renewal of pipes with the Grundoburst technology. Service and sewage pipes in need of sanitation are replaced in the same bore path by pipes of the same size, or larger pipes with the relevant hydraulic power, and providing a new effective service life for decades. The chief aspect is a patented QuickLock bursting rod, which is not screwed, but is simply latched into place.

The production was constantly adapted to meet the requirements with the modern CNC manufacturing technology.

Expanding to a global presence

In the 1980s the company started to accelerate and spread out all over the globe, first of all in England, then in France, USA and Australia. The Tracto-Technik export department and the sister companies take care of and support more than 60 partners all over the world.

In Germany the service in all regions is covered by the plants and the many subsidiaries.

With the increased popularity of the internet at the turn of the century, it became a powerful instrument for increasing the publicity and the development of national and international networks.

Continuity and stability have always been benchmarks in the company’s policy. Company Directors Timotheus Hofmeister and Meinolf Rameil said “Our aim is for endurable and profitable growth. To do so we need products in line with the market and a powerful distribution force with a clear strategic alignment. We can only achieve this as a team.”

The company has clear eco-political targets, as well as environmentally friendly machine technology and numerous ecological projects. One step towards this can be seen in the nature protection board’s implementation of trenchless pipe installation method into its general directives.

One of the future challenges Tracto-Technik sees is a modern and safe supply and disposal in the energy and communication field, where technologies and methods of the trenchless pipe installation can contribute substantially.

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