We have received the sad news that André Martin, a veteran of the French crane rental industry and founder of Transport Martin Levage has died, he was 96.
Martin and his wife Adrienne started out in 1957 running a fuel station in Cap d'Agde near Beziers in the south of France, then in 1968 they bought an ex-US army Austin Western wrecker crane on a three axle 6x6 Reo truck. Over the following years they expanded the business and began looking at new cranes, starting with the classic Haulotte GH12, the cornerstone of many French crane rental companies. Martin Levage has grown steadily since then, acquiring Ancre Levage along the way.
The couple eventually passed the business on to the second generation of the family, in the form of son Joel and daughter Isabelle, although André remained involved on a daily basis and only stepped down as a director in October. Today the business runs a fleet of around 30 cranes with capacities up to 300 tonnes from locations in Agde, Nîmes, Montpellier, Sète and Béziers.