Founding of the wainwright's workshop
1899 to 1948
The almost fairy-tale story of Günzburger Steigtechnik begins in 1899. This is when the 23-year-old Leopold Munk started a wainwright's workshop in the Swabian village of Reisensburg. Even then, he was consumed by a pioneering spirit: the great-grandfather of the present-day Managing Director Ferdinand Munk was the first to ride a bicycle through Reisensburg, and by 1906 one of his production machines was powered by a motor.
During the early years of the last century, more and more ladders were being produced at the "Mechanische Wagnerei Leopold Munk" and, after the First World War, the company switched entirely to the production of fire service, household and garden ladders. This was a decision that would pay dividends: Munk products were soon the number one choice in the region and in 1925 Leopold built a garden ladder that was quickly awarded the Gold Medal at the Trade Fair in Munich.
From village to village, criss-crossing the country in wind and weather
1948 to 1974
From 1925, the Munk company's circles expanded even further. Ludwig Munk was the first person in Reisensburg to own a motorbike, and he was constantly on the road with it. His aim was to visit all of the region's fire services and communities. He always had with him the model of a multi-part, extendible fire service ladder that he had made himself. Today, you'd simply call something like that a "promotional tour", but in those days, it was a pioneering achievement that drew a lot of attention. Very soon after, Ludwig and his ladder were known across the entire region for his steely persistence, and the success story continued: At the start of the 1950s, Leopold Munk Leiternbau (ladder construction) was established. Ludwig left the wainwright's workshop and dedicated himself fully to the construction of high-quality ladders. In 1969, the company finally celebrated its first patent registration: specialist supports for garden ladders.
Professionally encouraging customer loyalty with charm and charisma
1974 to 1991
With his charm, charisma and great sense of humour, Leopold Munk showcased his company's latest technical achievements to customers and trade fair visitors. So even then, he was practising in a down-to-earth and extremely efficient way, something that today is often referred to as "customer relationship management": professional customer loyalty that lasts far beyond the moment.
As head of the company since 1974, the grandson of the company founder modernised the entire machinery, expanded the product range and devoted himself enthusiastically to his second great passion, the fire service. A firemen's party without Leopold? Inconceivable! He knew about religion and the world, had an impressive memory and often knew more about those present than their closest relatives. But he shone with his amusing anecdotes, as well as being a clever inventor. The result was an entire raft of new products, such as hose bridges, levers and aluminium ramp boards.
With this innovative prowess, Leopold Munk soon turned the company into the region's leading supplier of equipment to fire services.
1991 to today
At the tender age of around 20, Ferdinand Munk decided that customers should not have to struggle to carry the ladders he produced. So for this reason, he chose the lighter option - and paved the way for a successful future. He made ladders from aluminium.
"It's the material of the future that people are investing in now!", he said with confidence and vision, and took the step straight away: In 1982, he founded Ferdinand Munk Leiternbau and from that point forward dedicated himself eagerly to the development, construction, production and sale of ladders, primarily made of aluminium. And he had made an excellent choice: modern Munk ladders were popular everywhere and were soon hugely sought-after across the entire region and even beyond. And so he continued single-mindedly - until fate took his father far too early. And so it was that Ferdinand was at the helm of Leopold Munk KG in 1991 and barely two years later united the parent company with his own company - and Günzburger Steigtechnik was born.
Under Ferdinand Munk's leadership, today as then, the focus was on developing new technologies and markets. The company strategy and product development are shaped by the philosophy of "Climb smart!". In practice, this means that long-lasting quality counts for more than cost saving at any price. And the results speak for themselves: today, the Swabian family-run company is one of the first ports of call when it comes to access technology. But that's not all:
the well-being of his employees is also very close to Ferdinand Munk's heart, as is his home region. He supports them all as an active local politician, as well as through his huge voluntary commitment, which was honoured by the award of the Federal Cross of Merit by the former Federal President Horst Köhler.