Five decades of win-win – and 100 Brontos

This summer, Maltech AG, a market-leading equipment rental company in Switzerland, sealed the deal on their 100th Bronto Skylift aerial platform. The handover marks the 50th year of innovation and cooperation between the two companies, each with their roots in the 1960s.

The Bronto Skylift in question is the S 50XDT-J, a 50 metre unit with excellent up-and-over reach and a two section telescopic cage boom, offering access to rooftops, bridges, and more.

A Bronto S 50XDTJ

Maltech AG started in Switzerland, renovating metal bridges. In the late 1960s, Maltech’s owners learned about a firm in Turku, Finland, that was making aerial platforms. That company — then called Nummella Skylift — was Bronto Skylift. Both companies were young at the time, and saw mutual benefit in cooperation: Bronto could expand internationally, and Maltech could offer a cutting edge product to clients in mainland Europe. Maltech received their first Bronto in June, 1970.

An early Nummela Skylift NS25-3 aerial platform from the 1960s. Similar model was one of Maltech’s first purchases.

“We were pioneers in Switzerland, when it came to working with aerial platforms. We began to teach other craftsmen to use the machines when painting, cutting trees, or working on the roof. That period lasted ten to fifteen years. Then we started with the rental business, and we really specialised there.”

Eric Hunziker, CEO and co-owner of Maltech AG.
Another early Maltech model.

Eventually, Bronto rented a space in the same building as Maltech, in Rümlang, Switzerland. With Bronto close at hand, it could handle after-sales service while Maltech was free to quickly ramp up sales and develop their rental business.

“I think this was the start of the win-win situation.”

Eric Hunziker, CEO, Maltech AG.

Three men smiling in front of Bronto S 50XDTJ

Together, the two companies have built a long history of collaboration — even on product design. It helped, of course, that they had begun working from under the same roof.

“We were probably the first to implement a long jacking system used to level the units in hilly areas. That was critical for Maltech, because Switzerland is so hilly and mountainous. They also pushed us to develop our remote service functions. Today, Brontos come equipped with a modem so we can provide assistance from anywhere”, says Dominik Keller, European Area Manager for Bronto Skylift Oy.

For Maltech, the remote monitoring that accompanies the aerial platforms today is a critical feature. Good build quality and constant access to Bronto service technicians means high uptime — and that translates to more business for Maltech, Hunziker explains.

“Bronto is worldwide. First, the quality of the aerial platform itself, the steel Bronto uses, and the welding of the telescope is excellent. But when you can tell the customer they’ll have access to after-sales service through the Bronto Compass remote diagnostics system, they really understand the value. You can fix a Bronto from anywhere on Earth.”

When asked what has made the business relationship prosper for so long, Hunziker emphasises the smooth collaboration between the companies.

“Bronto’s product engineers have always had an open door for us. When we come to them with suggestions, they really listen to us and try to understand how they can improve the aerial platform. It’s a culture where you listen to the customer, I think. It’s very important. They always come back with an answer.”

Eric Hunziker, CEO, Maltech AG

“The best thing between us is, of course, trust”, Keller says. “Bronto Skylift’s aerial platforms are ‘made to last’. I think you could say the same about our business relationship.”

Overhead view of group presenting a Bronto S 50XDTJ

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