Güldner Motors was a diesel engine and tractor manufacturer based in Aschaffenburg.
It was founded in 1903 in Munich under the name Linde's Eismaschinen AG, and in 1907 it moved to Aschaffenburg to be closer to the waterways. Since then, Güldner's gas, oil and diesel engines have proven themselves hundreds of thousands of times over in refrigeration, diesel locomotives, sawmills and tractors.
From 1938 to 1969, about 100,000 tractors were manufactured.
After that it was structured around and conveyor and hydraulic components were manufactured under the Linde brand.
1955 marks another turning point for the company: Güldner makes an invention that will rewrite the history of technology - the hydrostatic drive for vehicles. The first forklift equipped with revolutionary new technology was called the Hydrocar: it was a small forklift with a hydrostatic transmission. This technology allowed the loader to maneuver smoothly in both forward and reverse with full engine power and without the need for a differential, clutch or gearbox. Towards the end of the decade, in 1959, Güldner launched the first hydrostatic forklift, the Hubtrak, which is making a splash and setting new standards in driver comfort and usability.
Over the next several years, the Güldner employees in the office building prepared a new direction for the company's strategic development. Management is well aware that sales of tractors and diesel engines will decline in the long term. The economy is growing rapidly, more and more countries are participating in the turnover of goods, which leads to the formation of a new market - the market for unloading and loading operations. They include the transportation of palletized cargo and the use of forklifts for unloading vehicles, handling and storing cargo in a warehouse, picking orders and, as a result, re-unloading them at the client's site. Plans are finalized in 1969, and after just a few weeks, Güldner is focusing all of its production efforts on forklift trucks.
While the company is experiencing a stage of rapid economic growth, expanding its product range and geography of its presence through acquisitions and joint ventures (including countries such as the United States, France, England and China), production on Schweinheimer Strasse becomes a kind of window into bygone era. It is still called Plant # 1. However, an early twentieth-century industrial building casts a shadow over the site's role as the company's administrative headquarters. Separated by low partitions, the workspaces in the 1950's building are mostly in dark corridors. A separate executive floor and a shortage of meeting rooms and kitchens definitely indicate that the building no longer meets the modern requirements for jobs in the era of globalization.
After the company split from Linde AG, became Linde Material Handling GmbH and became part of the newly formed KION Group, the understanding that the building needed modernization only strengthened. Linde continues to build on its reputation as the European market leader The pace of globalization continues to accelerate and the demands on the material handling equipment market are changing. Whereas prior to the turn of the millennium, the company's focus was entirely on forklift trucks and their sales, later it shifted to customer service, consulting and other intralogistics services. Both Linde and the KION Group are adapting to changing conditions by investing in new technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells, customized software solutions and the development of a global distribution network.
In 1991 the company name Güldner was finally removed from the commercial register.
With the increasing saturation of the tugs market, sales problems arose. For the same reason and due to the higher price compared to Deutz engines, the decline in Güldner engines from other tug manufacturers has also sharply decreased.
In addition, when ZF stopped production of transmissions for tugs below 80 hp. With., the end of tug production was close to Güldner. In a press release from Linde AG in April 1969, it was announced that the Güldner works group, Aschaffenburg would discontinue the production of diesel engines and Güldner tugs and focus on the highly expanding hydraulic and commercial vehicle market.