Could you provide an overview of Carl Stahl’s rope and lifting equipment?

Oliver Hommel: Carl Stahl started out in 1880 as a small rope maker specialising in agricultural products and serving only local customers. Today, the company offers a wide range of high-quality lifting equipment featuring well-known manufacturers including RUD, SpanSet, HiForce and ABUS, as well as all standard products required for lifting or lashing goods. Our range includes:

  • wall jib cranes
  • pillar jib or overhead cranes
  • powered lifting equipment
  • manual lifting equipment such as winches, pulling machines, chain blocks and lever hoists
  • load suspension equipment including lifting beams, lifting forks, C-hooks and grabs, chain, wire rope and round slings
  • steel wire ropes and special crane ropes
  • personal protective equipment
  • hydraulics including lifting and transport devices
  • pallet trucks and load lashing.

With its international experience, Carl Stahl is an ideal partner for the defence industry, not only in terms of products, but also for after-sales services such as testing and repairs, and for training.

Do you adopt a different approach when serving the defence industry compared with your other target sectors?

Among our main target groups are the automotive, mechanical engineering, construction, transport and logistics industries. As we have a very wide product range suitable for all industrial sectors, we do not specially focus on the defence industry – it is just one target group among many others. Our salesmen are well trained and can call upon a wealth of experience in finding the right solution to every lifting problem.

We do not have a special approach for the defence sector, as our sales staff serve all sectors to the same high standard. In general, the defence sector needs the same products as our other target groups in order to lift or transport their goods. We employ the same method to make personal contact with the person who is responsible for purchasing as we would for someone in engineering.

Through your partnership with the Bundeswehr, what have you identified as the most pressing safety demands facing the armed forces?

The German armed forces have very high safety standards. Carl Stahl, with its high-quality products and tight distribution network within Germany, is the ideal partner. Take cargo handling for example; the Bundeswehr places great value on safe load transport and Carl Stahl serves them with specially designed load-suspension equipment for tanks or helicopters, as well as simple camouflage-coloured ratchet straps. Ratchet straps may be only a small element in terms of cost, but are very important when it comes to the safe transportation of expensive equipment.

Carl Stahl also offers periodic inspections and repair services for all lifting equipment used by the German armed forces. In addition, the company is a leading provider of wire ropes for every kind of use. In one instance the German Bundeswehr experienced serious problems with the wire ropes on its wreckers. After direct contact with the technical personnel we delivered the suitable wire rope for this application. Now they are able to achieve more lifting capacity from the wreckers.

What education and training does Carl Stahl offer its customers?

Located at our company headquarters in Suessen, the Carl Stahl Academy offers German-speaking training and seminars in theory and practice for many different fields, from cargo lashing to the safe use of lifting equipment. Training is also carried out at five other German subsidiaries and by demand at customers’ locations.

The academy is ISO 9001:2008-certified and welcomes more than 1,000 participants every year. Our renowned instructors come from technical and industrial practices, ensuring a high level of teaching at our academy. Our UK subsidiary, Carl Stahl Evita, also offers a wide range of English-speaking training courses on a global basis.

Carl Stahl has significant global coverage through its subsidiaries. In what other countries are you present and serving the defence industry?

Carl Stahl is located in 19 countries all over the globe in order to get as close as possible to our customers. As mentioned before, there is no special focus on the defence industry, so all of our 60 subsidiaries worldwide cooperate with this sector to a certain extent. Our main goal is to develop the local markets in these countries on a broad basis to establish Carl Stahl as the market leader. The defence sector is just part of our coordinated effort to increase our sales. Besides that, we are able to serve markets, customers or target groups like the defence industry in all other countries where we do not have subsidiaries.

Are there any plans to ramp up your defence section in the near future?

Defence budgets in Germany and worldwide have been cut over recent years and we are not concentrating our sales targets on the defence industry as a growth market. Nevertheless, we will continue to serve this sector as it includes a lot of important customers, who we have been cooperating with for many years.

There will be no special effort from our side to further develop the defence industry market as we do not expect a significant increase in sales in this sector.