Wirtgen turning 60 – a driver of innovation with a rich history

Nouvelle - 10/11/2021

Une success-story signée par des personnes et des machines

Construction machinery from Windhagen is in use all over the world today. In addition to Wirtgen cold milling machines, which are found on virtually every road rehabilitation construction site, the machine manufacturer also produces technologically leading recyclers, soil stabilisers, slipform pavers and surface miners. Wirtgen’s innovative products and technologies have been shaping road construction for 60 years and today are synonymous with efficient and cost-effective construction methods.


A look back at 660 years of road construction experience

In 1961, Reinhard Wirtgen started out with a haulage company for road construction materials. Through innovative machine developments, bold ideas and a visionary approach, he built Wirtgen into an internationally renowned construction machinery specialist. What makes this truly notable is that his own experience as a service provider in road construction helped shape a corporate culture that lives and breathes closeness to the customer. Today, the company forms a central pillar of the Wirtgen Group. Each of the product brands with their own unique history – Wirtgen (founded in 1961), Vögele (founded in 1836), Hamm (founded in 1878), Kleemann (founded in 1857) and Benninghoven (founded in 1909) – has made a significant impact on and advanced the application processes in their field. All in all, the Wirtgen Group stands for 660 years of experience in road construction. Five brand headquarters in Germany, international production facilities in Brazil, China and India, numerous sales and service companies and a close-knit dealer network ensure that the group’s premium products and cutting-edge technologies are used in every market worldwide. ‘Close to our customers’ is the value proposition of the entire group of companies today. Since 2017, this engine driving innovation in the industry has been a strong part of the John Deere Group.

Dawn of a new era in road construction – Wirtgen’s cold milling process

In the early 1970s, Wirtgen developed hot milling, a new process that for the first time made it possible to remove asphalt over large areas. The next milestone followed in 1979, when Wirtgen once again revolutionised road construction with the development of the cold milling machine. The first cold milling machine was a rear loader with a hydraulic milling drum drive. The SF 3800 C was capable of milling up concrete, asphalt and gravel of varying depths without having to significantly heat the sub-base. This not only increased the milling depth and allowed the machine to work faster, but also saved energy. Over time, the company has continued to use its expertise in cold milling technology to set new standards.