Strong in Lifting

Interview with Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Jakowiak, Managing Director of Bulmor Industries GmbH

Bulmor Heavyline Electric Forklift
The all-electric Heavyline forklift features intelligent control technology and the possibility for remote maintenance via MyBulmor

It's simple physics: If you want to transport something long and heavy, you clamp it under your arm sideways, instead of holding it at arm's length in front of you. The improved stability achieved in this way is what makes side loaders, a niche in the field of intralogistics, stand out. Bulmor Industries GmbH, based in Perg, Upper Austria, is successful worldwide in this field. In addition to series stackers for transporting wood, metal, and plastic, the company has also specialized in special machinery for particular applications. Today, the company is working on completing the electrification of its product range and is increasingly engaging with the topic of automation.

Since the 1980s, Bulmor has been developing and producing sideloaders and multi-way stackers in Austria and is considered a market leader in the stacking industry in the DACH region. The company's roots go back to the late 19th century and originated in agricultural machinery technology. Today, Bulmor operates worldwide and is considered a hidden champion in the niche intralogistics sector of sideloaders.

Expert for special machinery

Sideloaders are used for the internal transport of long and heavy goods. A large part of the machines produced by Bulmor is developed specifically for the application.

Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Jakowiak, Managing Director of Bulmor Industries GmbH
Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Jakowiak, Managing Director of Bulmor Industries GmbH

"We are known for our ability to develop solutions for highly specialized needs," says Managing Director Thomas Jakowiak, who joined Bulmor in 2021. "A good example of this is the SideBull Ambulift, which is now used at many airports to facilitate access to the aircraft for people with limited mobility." The SideBull Ambulift allows stable docking at heights of up to eight meters, ensuring comfortable boarding.

Electrified Solutions

Another example of how Bulmor's technology can be tailored to highly specialized requirements is the concrete mixing vehicle. In this case, a side loader is equipped with a concrete mixer to transport ready-mixed concrete to where it is needed in the production hall. Both the Ambulift and the mixer are electric, which is increasingly in demand by customers. "We are already very advanced in the area of electrification," says Thomas Jakowiak. "About 80% of compact loaders are already electrically operated, and diesel solutions are being further pushed back. This trend has really become noticeable in the last two to three years." The pressure on the aviation industry to become more environmentally friendly encourages airports to introduce the electric Ambulift, while electric side loaders in industry and intralogistics offer additional benefits such as reduced noise pollution and improved air quality.

Automated Solutions

While Bulmor considers the debate for electrification won and the process of conversion almost complete, Thomas Jakowiak sees automation as the next important trend: "Almost all industries are affected by the shortage of skilled workers. Automated solutions are therefore in high demand. MyBulmor, our in-house software solution for fleet management, gives us a clear advantage in this area. On one hand, it helps customers optimize their fleet and organize daily operations. On the other hand, it monitors vehicle telematics and enables predictive maintenance, which prevents downtime and keeps costs low. It even remotely monitors remaining battery capacity to optimize charging cycles."

Innovative Solutions

Other product trends also aim at reducing costs. "We see a need for machines that can lift heavier loads and reduce the number of trips," describes Thomas Jakowiak. "Service and maintenance for existing machines are becoming increasingly important to extend the lifespan of the vehicles. Digitalization will also gain in importance."

Strong Growth

In addition to the headquarters and production site in Perg, Bulmor also produces in the Netherlands and Germany. "Our international expansion has been driven since 2000 by strategic acquisitions, through which we have also been able to expand our product portfolio," explains Thomas Jakowiak. "The most recent of these acquisitions was that of MKF Compact Loaders in Koblenz this year." The managing director does not rule out further acquisitions: "Currently, we employ 220 staff members at all our locations and generate 80% of our turnover through exports."

Market-leading Position

The managing director looks to the future with cautious optimism: "Due to the various crises that have hit us in recent years, there is a lot of uncertainty in the market," says Thomas Jakowiak. "Costs are high and investment decisions are being postponed. We need to brace ourselves for increased volatility. Nevertheless, I see many reasons to look positively to the future" Above all, the quality of the products and technologies, which give Bulmor a market-leading position, are important. The team spirit in the company is also important. "Our employees are passionate about our products and the company," is pleased Thomas Jakowiak. "Despite the uncertain times, the versatility of our products continues to generate continuous demand, so the journey will go on for many more years."