TREPEL Airport Equipment - History

60 years „Made in Germany"

Our scissor systems have always been the centre of success for the TREPEL companies. More than 200,000 TREPEL scissor systems have been manufactured up to date – an experience unique and unrivalled! Since the sixties these scissor systems have been used to gain access to aircraft and the name "TREPEL" has become an esteemed brand and synonym for quality throughout the world.

With the foundation of "TREPEL Airport Equipment GmbH" in 1996 and the new production location in Tauberbischofsheim, cargo, passenger and catering high loader sections became independent. With 70,000 square metres space and 25,000 square metres surrounding environment all this equipment and newly developed products are now built in serial production. It goes without saying that TREPEL practice quality management; we are ISO certified and our products comply with both national norms and standards as well as the international IATA regulations.


Foundation of TREPEL

Mr. Ingo Trepel who was the owner at that time established the company "TREPEL". Directly after World War II during the reconstruction phase of Germany, Mr. Ingo Trepel began with the reprocessing treatment of machine tools. He attended the first exhibition/fair where he established a business for overhauled machines in Wiesbaden.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 1946

Lifting tables and scissor lifts

In the mid Fifties the business was now well established and Mr. Ingo Trepel began to combine machine tools with so called automation engineering. During this period the first lifting tables and scissor lifts were developed, still being integral part of automation installations. Main focuses at that time was the processing of flake boards and vessel platforms for roll on/roll off movements. The fast growing business already at that time called for scissor lifts with a capacity from 500 kg to 500 ton.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 1956

Catering vehicles

Business in plant construction worked out well and Mr. Ingo Trepel decided to expand though keeping the scissor system the principal item of his efforts.

During this time the Boeing 747 was constructed and Pan Am flew it under the historic names 001 und 002. One of which flew around the world to the left and the other to the right. In this course the first Boeing 747 run by Pan Am landed in Frankfurt and the question arose: How an aircraft with a loading height of 5 meters could best be provided with catering for the passengers? This called Mr. Ingo Trepel into action because of his scissor systems offering a solution. This was the beginning of the catering vehicle era.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 1963

First cargo high loaders in Europe

After Mr. Ingo Trepel solved the catering problem in the middle of the Sixties he started building the first cargo high loaders in Europe. Forklifts that had been used for loading and discharging of cargo up to this time were no longer accepted because of numerous damages they caused to the aircrafts. The time for the first 12 ton loader had come. During the following years numerous cargo high loaders with different capabilities were added to this product line.

During the Seventies was the developmentation of the so-called mobile lounge – dispatch units that were not only used as a gate but also as busses and stairs. The "Finger system" were quite uncommon at this time.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 1973

PHB Weserhütte AG

Mr. Ingo Trepel retired and the company was absorbed by "PHB Weserhütte AG". It was decided that two of the product lines – the lift / load technique and the airport division – should continue business in Wiesbaden. Stage building technique and freight handling systems was closed.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 1985

New production halls in Tauberbischofsheim

Meanwhile the airport sector grew and was relocated to Tauberbischofsheim for lack of space. In the immediate vicinity to the sister company "MAFI Transport-Systeme GmbH" new production halls were built on Greenfield site, making sure that enough space was available to build the cargo high loaders. With the assistance of MAFI the location established itself very well and even started producing the first cargo high loaders independent of customer orders.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 1991

Foundation of TREPEL Airport Equipment GmbH

In 1996 the whole airport section became autarkic and the "TREPEL Airport Equipment GmbH" in Tauberbischofsheim and Wiesbaden was founded. By standardizing the airport products and the decision to produce independent of orders TREPEL managed to realize quick delivery times and combine these with high-class quality.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 1996

First time achieved world leadership of sold cargo high loaders for civil usage

TREPEL Airport Equipment GmbH for the first time achieved world leadership referring to the number of sold cargo high loaders for civil usage. Due to our worldwide reputation and inspite of the terrorist act "911" as well as the environmental disaster of SARS a large market share was gained by TREPEL and maintained.

The associates decided to invest further into the future business and expanded the production facilities in Tauberbischofsheim.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 2003

3,000 delivered units

With over 3,000 delivered units, more than 30 sales and service centres worldwide and a team of more than 150 people working on the construction and building of these products, TREPEL looked forward to a bright future and decided to use its know-how to create and launch new GSE products.

New flagship CHAMP 350

TREPEL has intensified its engineering efforts and not only further developed and improved its existing range of loaders. TREPEL has introduced several new products into the market. Firstly, a pallet/container transporter which is the logical counterpart to its loaders. The main deck loaders got a new flagship, the CHAMP 350 which is the most capable loader in the world with a loading capacity of 35 tons on each of its two platforms. The CHAMP 350 is the consequential answer to the booming over-size air cargo business.

TREPEL has also developed a new towing tractor : the TAE 20electric. The innovative technology and design of the TAE 20 have opened very successfully a whole new market for TREPEL. The success of all these newly launched products strengthens us in our growth strategy. So, do not be surprised to encounter new Trepel products anywhere you go in future.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 2008

Entering the market of conventional aircraft tractors

TREPEL enters the market of conventional aircraft tractors. The CHALLENGER 700 is launched during the ”inter airport europe” Show in Munich. This new Aircraft Tractor is capable of towing a fully loaded A380: Its new ergonomics, its liftable power pack for easy maintenance and its adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension bring a fresh wind in the market. The ground handling community regards the CHALLENGER 700 a truly innovative aircraft tractor.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 2009

Introduction of the first CHAMP 70e

First electric CHAMP 70W with lithium battery exhibited at the InterAirport show in Munich in 2009. Since then, the electric version of the CHAMP 70 has successfully established itself as a “zero emission” machine. The electric 7t loader is operating daily in countries as various as Sweden, Qatar, Spain and Germany.  

TREPEL Airport Equipment - Cargo High Loader - Champ 70e

New aircraft tractors to handle mid-size and small aircraft

TREPEL continues its offensive in the aircraft tractor market. Fostered by the success of the CHALLENGER 700, TREPEL launches two new aircraft tractors designed to handle mid-size and small aircraft: the CHALLENGER 430 and CHALLENGER 160.

All CHALLENGER tractors feature the new ergonomic cabin, the adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension and the liftable power pack, making the maintenance of the engine and the transmission much easier. As a long awaited innovative product in the aircraft tractor market, numerous CHALLENGER tractors are already operating in Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa - less than 2 years after introducing the first CHALLENGER 700.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 2010

100th CHAMP 350 sold

The 100th CHAMP 350 sold to Sheremetyevo Airport. The handover of the 100th 35 ton loader to Sheremetyevo Airport is celebrated in our factory in Tauberbischofsheim. The CHAMP 350, first introduced in 2007 at the InterAirport, is one of the most powerful main deck loaders in the world and is characterized by its lifting capacity of 35 tons on both platforms, the ideal device for the handling of heavy loads.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 2015

500th CHAMP 140 sold

The 500th CHAMP 140 sold to Portground Leipzig. The handover of the 500th 14 ton loader to Portground is celebrated in our factory in Tauberbischofsheim. The CHAMP 140 is the workhorse amongst the main deck loaders and has been delivered to more than 100 countries.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - History 2016

Acquisition of towbarless technology

Acquisition of the towbarless technology from GHH in June 2016. Launch of the first towbarless aircraft tractor is planned for 2019. In the near future, Trepel will be in a position to offer its customers the whole range of aircraft tractors, the conventional as well as towbarless. All kinds of aircraft moving, from pushback to high speed maintenance towing, can be performed by a Trepel tractor.

Opening of the Visitor Centre

Customers as well as suppliers are now welcomed in newly designed meeting rooms in our Visitor Centre. The Visitor Centre with its state-of-the-art presentation devices is the perfect location to conduct training courses for customers as well as for in-house workshops. A bistro area provides our guests with a casual atmosphere that easens communication and relationships. In the near future customers will be able to carry out their pre-delivery inspections on their ordered equipment directly in front of the Visitor Centre.

TREPEL Airport Equipment - Visitor Center

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