Kotschenreuther in Franconian Day.

Custom tailoring for trucks

Wallenfels

When the designers at Kotschenreuther let the mouse fly over their desks and the view of a truck trailer on the
Rotate and zoom screen, you don't know, what tailor-made work lies behind your planning. And what commitment and what precision one floor down
are necessary in the workshops, to turn your concept into reality.

But what they conjure up on the screen and then their colleagues put together, will soon be rolling across our streets.
Tailor-made solutions From about 250 units per year, says managing director Berndschneid, when he discussed the products of the Kotschenreuther company in Wallenfels. The special vehicle manufacturer, which is located somewhat hidden near the raftsman's house, today produces tailor-made solutions for the transport industry.

Speak: Kotschenreuther takes care of that, that the motor vehicles and trailers are built according to the customer's wishes
be equipped precisely to suit the goods to be transported.

In the beginning (1952) probably no one would have imagined, that the little one, but a fine company would make a name for itself as a specialist beyond the country's borders. At that time, the construction of vehicles for transporting wood began - something else in a rafting region like the Upper Rodachtal? “We don’t do that at all anymore”, states cutting. Instead, the Kotschenreuther company takes care of that, that trucks get special bodies, whether in the form of a so-called suitcase or as a sliding tarpaulin platform

From Wallenfels to the whole country

Some of the customers come from other federal states or even from Austria. But the local partners are particularly important to those responsible, for which they are often used. For example, three-axle trailers were currently being produced for the glassmakers at Heinz and Wiegand, which enable automated unloading.

“There are only a handful of companies in all of Europe, who specialize in such constructions”,states the managing director. So no wonder, that the order books are full. “This year we no longer have any capacity”, notes employee Stefan Gohlke.

Planning for new orders is already underway this year 2025 into it. The jobs at Kotschenreuther are therefore crisis-proof, he emphasizes. And cutting edge complements with
a meaningful smile: “Transportation only by train or drones – that won’t happen.”

"Training plus" as an incentive

However, it is not a sure-fire success for Kotschenreuther these days either, to attract new employees and trainees in a competitive labor market. That's why the company is trying, to better qualify employees with internal and external training, and offers additional benefits such as profit sharing, vacation- and Christmas bonus, the Franconian Forest card and payment, which is based on the skills acquired.

Trainees receive remuneration that is well above the collective agreement, 30 Days of vacation and from the training year 2024 provided a motor scooter and paid for a car driving license upon successful completion of training and acceptance - Kotschenreuther calls the program “Training Plus”. But success also requires a good working atmosphere. This quickly becomes apparent when you tour the factory. We talk to each other very openly, but always joked and laughed. This is also the case with Jürgen Schlee, as he tightens the screws on the frame of a truck. “Now it’s getting loud”, he warns the unsuspecting reporter with a grin. But just like that, the screws are sunk. It almost seems like changing a tire in the formula 1.

Mechatronics plays an important role

Skilled hands are not only necessary for mechanical work. Mechatronics also plays a major role in production. Nino Krüglein leaves
looking at the wiring harnesses under the hood of a truck, shows the electronics, which is hidden behind the dashboard, and talks about the technology in the trailers. It is precisely in such moments that Gohlke finds the task so appealing to employees. They are not off-the-shelf trucks, that are created at Kotschenreuther. As an employee, you don't do the same things every day. Everything, what is being built, is basically unique. “And then when you see, that something drives past you on the street, what you helped build yourself, “That’s great”, find is.

Despite all the fun at work, one thing is clear: Precision and quality are always the measure of things. After all, the trucks later drive along the roads with heavy loads. Then nothing can happen.