We have received the sad news that Horst Felbermayr Snr, owner of Austrian crane, access and heavy transport company Felbermayr, passed away last Friday following a serious illness. He was just 75.
The company that bears his name, was established by his father, Franz Felbermayr in 1942, with a single delivery truck for short haul transport. Horst, and his wife Gisela, took over the company in 1967 when it ran a fleet of four delivery vehicles and a one excavator. However, within the first three years he expanded the business into civil engineering, container rental and sewer and gas line construction, opening a branch in Grieskirchen in 1972 through the acquisition of the companies Hintenaus and Scholze.
During the mid-70s the company purchased more construction equipment along with specialist trucks and trailers to move it. This in turn led to the creation of a special heavy transport division. In 1989 the company entered the crane rental market after purchasing a specialist road/rail mounted crane. In 1993 it acquired Vienna based crane company Wanko, along with heavy transport company Schwertrans Enns. In 1996 Linz based mobile crane rental company Kern was added and in 1998 Vienna based powered access rental company Wallner.
At the start of 2000 Felbermayr is beginning to expand operations outside of Austria, adding ZRE in Poland in 2004. That same year saw the addition of Scheffold in Wörgl and AKS Autokran und Schwertransport in Thaur. In 2005 the company acquired the Austrian division of aerial work platform company Lavendon - see: Lavendon sells Zooom Austria. Since then it has gone on to build a truly international business, covering heaving lifting and transport, and increasingly marine transport and logistics.
In 2015, the day to day management and control of the business was passed to the next generation in the form of Horst Felbermayr Junior and wife Andrea. Horst Senior remained on the supervisory board until the very end of his days.
In addition to his crane and platform business Horst senior was an accomplished and well known racing driver competing at Le Mans on six occasions collaborating with the Proton Competition squad, as a driver and car owner under the Felbermayr Proton banner. He last raced in 2011 when he suffered a heavy accident at Le Mans as the innocent victim of a crash with a factory Corvette. He also raced in the FIA GT Championship, alongside his son in their family owned Porsches.
The company, now has more than 2,700 employees, runs a large crane and aerial work platform rental fleet, as well as offering heavy lift and transportation services, across 67 locations across 19 countries.