We have received the sad news that Ginno Debrabandere, the founder of Belgian aerial lift, crane and fork truck sales and rental company Duma, has died. He was 82.
Debrabandere passed away on Monday the 7th September having fallen down the stairs at his home in March, fracturing his skull and causing other injuries that confined him to a wheelchair. As a result his health had continued to decline over the past few months. He leaves behind his wife, son Stephan and daughter Fleur.
It is in fact not quite true to say that Ginno Debrabandere founded the Duma company, however he and his wife Marie-Thérèse Tytgat acquired the business in 1971, barely two years after it had started, in the village of Bavikhove on the north side of Kortrijk. Under their control the company grew quickly from a small, unknown start up to become a significant operator on both the Belgian and wider European market.
In 2002 the growing sales and rental inventory had grown to the point where it was impossible to continue at the original premises, and the business was relocated to the current 5.5 acre site in the Marke suburb of Kortrijk. Duma also operates a depot in Dunkirk, France which serves Northern France. The company runs an extensive rental fleet which includes all types of aerial work platforms, telehandlers, spider and mini cranes and forklifts from companies such as Manitou, JLG, Genie, Unic, Maeda, Klubb and Teupen.
Ginno’s son Stephan took over the day to day management of the business in the early 1990s and has continued to build the company in both sales, rental and servicing. Speaking of the passing of his father, he said: "We are losing a great businessman with a clear view of the world and a fantastic father and grandfather. His departure is a major loss to the family."
The funeral will be a private ceremony for the family, but those who wish to pay their respects can visit Funerarium Geers in Kortrijk today 16:00 to 17:00.