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The Town Musician of Bremen among transport companies.

Hanseatische Tradition

Siedenburg, a company steeped in tradition, delivers building materials, disposes of waste and undertakes civil engineering works in the Bremen area. These operations are ably supported by 70 trucks that are primarily fitted with equipment from MEILLER. As a building materials supplier and waste disposal firm, Siedenburg is almost as well known in Bremen as the town musicians - a donkey, a dog, a cat and a cock - in the fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm. Perfectly understandable, as the silver Siedenburg fleet is regularly on the move in the entire urban area, even passing the four animal heroes, which are the symbol of the Hanseatic city, standing on each other's backs at the Town Hall. The family enterprise (which is managed by the third generation) purposely acquired narrow skip handlers for the confined streets of the inner city in Bremen which, with an overall width of only 2.30 m, meander through the alleyways. Only in this way can construction continue without interruptions in the densely built city centre.

Siedenburg mit MEILLER Absetzkipper
MEILLER skip handler at work

While the story from the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm with its donkey, dog, cat and cock is already over 200 years old, Siedenburg is a medium-sized enterprise that can proudly look back on its own history and well over 100 years of experience. Having begun in 1909 as a small firm transporting merchandise between the harbours in Bremen and Bremerhaven, it has developed to become one of the largest logistics service providers for building materials and disposal in the region.

The main business segments today include the quarrying and sale of sand and gravel, civil engineering works and demolition, recycling and disposal. A fleet assists in this work with a total of 70 trucks, a similar number of trailers, 1,500 roll-off and skip containers, around 30 building machines and a variety of smaller equipment. The company also owns three gravel quarries within a 30 km radius of Bremen and two landfill sites.

Karl Siedenburg GmbH maintains a fleet of 25 bulk material transporters for supplying industry, commerce, the building materials trade and private customers with sand and gravel. Another 20 hooklifts, skip handlers and container vehicles are deployed in the disposal sector. The remaining trucks are used for truckload shipping and in the demolition division of the forwarder Siedenburg Transport & Logistik. The 18, 26 and 40 tonne vehicles have the latest driver assistance systems and are almost exclusively fitted with superstructures from MEILLER.

Albrecht Siedenburg
Albrecht Siedenburg, Plant Manager

“The use of MEILLER products has a long tradition in our company. The first MEILLER skip handler approved in Bremen was acquired by Siedenburg in the 1950s. This means we were also the first company after the war to exploit emerging advanced hydraulic technology in vehicles”, relates Andreas Albrecht, authorised signatory and manager at Siedenburg with pride.

Basically speaking, nothing has changed up until today. At least 80 per cent of fitted hooklifts, skip handlers, trailers and centre-axle trailers in the company are from MEILLER. “MEILLER equipment has always proven itself to be robust, reliable and durable. We were convinced of its quality a long time ago”, adds the 62-year-old. Aside from this, the rapid supply of spare parts functions very well, and Rohlappe, the MEILLER contractual partner in Stuhr, does an excellent job. “The service team is unbeatable. Nobody else comes even close”, says the qualified forwarding agent.

Vehicles are usually with Siedenburg for eight to ten years, and in a few cases even eleven to twelve years. They have then covered up to 600,000 km before they are replaced. Local transport clocks up around 70,000 to 80,000 km every year. The business has become more short-winded and, according to Albrecht, planning is practically impossible. This is why reliable service and rapid breakdown assistance are extremely important when the need arises. There are no replacement vehicles in the fleet and, due to the specialised tasks which need to be performed, these cannot be quickly acquired.

Siedenburg mit MEILLER Kippsattel
MEILLER tipping semi-trailer in operation

This is particularly evident in the case of the narrow skip handlers. These operate with a width of 2.30 m and a short wheelbase. Not only its 1.70 m long cab measures this width, as the chassis and axles are also shortened to this dimension and the track width adapted for Siedenburg. MEILLER reacts to this by using the smaller AK10 class skip handler, but the hydraulic performance of the AK12 for greater lifting force. Siedenburg is the only company in the Hanseatic city to use narrow trucks of this kind. This allows the disposal specialist to travel through the densely built Steintor and Ostertor districts where space is always limited.

Additionally, the MEILLER i.s.a.r.-control remote system also makes daily working easier. “This kind of remote control is worth its weight in gold. It’s a tremendous help, particularly if I need to deposit containers between two parked cars. I can stand at the rear, operate both supporting arms separately and turn the container safely and exactly into the gap”, says Friedrich Klein, a driver who has been with Siedenburg for about a year.

Harald Gründel drives a 3-axle all-wheel drive semitrailer tractor for Siedenburg. The 2-axle MEILLER tipping semi-trailer he has in tow is now eleven years old, but it runs as well as on the very first day. “MEILLER builds them really robustly. There are never any cracks, and they’re extremely reliable and easy to operate”, says the 62-year-old driver. He is particularly impressed by the quality of the tipping cylinder. “Although it’s operated frequently each day under heavy loads, nothing has warped to date, and there are no leaks. I’m always impressed at the resilience with which it works, each and every time. You only get this from MEILLER” says the Bremen native, clearly impressed.

His tipper body is equipped with a tailgate that can be opened hydraulically. This proves to be extremely convenient and safe during operation. As with the tractor vehicle, he also had a say in the trailer configuration, and he was adamant that he did not want the alternative hinged tailgate which was available. “My colleagues with hinged tailgates sometimes have difficulties with a stone wedging in the chute. I can avoid this problem with my hydraulic tailgate”, he stresses. If necessary, he can simply switch to hinge action. In addition to sand and gravel from Siedenburg’s own quarry, he and his tipper colleagues also transport excavated soil, building rubble, slag and, in winter, road salt for different motorway maintenance depots.

Harald Gründel is one of 70 truck drivers and 30 machine operators at Siedenburg. In total, the company employs around 120 personnel. As a managing partner, Karl Siedenburg still has a firm grip on the helm. A successor for the 67-year-old is already available, and a future managing director has been found. A lean management team and effective, highly motivated personnel allow him to react speedily and flexibly to changing market conditions. This ensures that Siedenburg drivers will continue to breeze past the bronze statue of the Town Musicians of Bremen in their special trucks as they perform their jobs.