What can you do when your truck needs more than just a new coat of paint?


Refurbish, don’t replace. KION is fighting wear and tear on forklift trucks.

Old forklift trucks wear their battle scars proudly. But they still have a lot going for them. In the Czech Republic, Linde MH EMEA has opened a new remanufacturing center for used industrial trucks. Its mission is to breathe new life into these time-worn trucks for the central and eastern European sales region.

As good as new Professional remanufacturing gets the chassis, engine, and battery back into tip-top shape.

1,000 trucks are reconditioned in Velké Bílovice every year.

Used trucks don’t belong on the scrapheap yet.

Josef Slimáček
Plant manager remanufacturing center
Velké Bílovice

The man in the protective suit blasting the huge metal parts looks like an astronaut. But it’s the only way he could possibly work with all the tiny metal balls, not even the size of a pinhead, shooting through the air around him. The air in the blast room is warm, dusty and smells of metal. After less than ten minutes, the worker is finished and steps out. There is now not even a trace of dirt, rust or red paint on the chassis of the Linde H30 truck.

Everything is now ready for the next steps in the process. Josef Slimáček, works manager at the new remanufacturing center in the town of Velké Bílovice in the south of the Czech Republic, has been watching his colleague in the blast room through a small window. “Used trucks don’t belong on the scrapheap yet,” he says decisively. “Since September 2017, fifty of my colleagues have been working to prepare candidates like this one for a second life. Every year, we are able to refurbish 1,000 trucks. In the long-term it’ll be as many as 1,500, meaning that our plant is making a key contribution to Linde Material Handling’s sustainability policy.”

Hard work leaves its mark

After years of hard work, it is time to recover. Thorough reconditioning means the trucks can go on a lot longer.

The H30 Linde truck has covered 4,000 kilometers in four years.

An overhaul for old hands

Just a short while ago, the Linde forklift was still in operation in neighboring Austria. It was helping with the assembly and dismantling of stages at the annual Krone Music Festival held in the town of Linz. The signs of wear are clear to see: dents everywhere, worn tyres, rusted nuts and scratched-off paint. Peter Markschläger, Head of Marketing at Linde Material Handling Austria, says: “The truck’s full-service contract runs out once it has been in operation at the customer for five years. That’s why it has now come to the Czech Republic for remanufacturing.”

After delivery is taken of the Linz truck, it is first of all washed. “Then comes the inspection,” says Slimáček. “We’ve established where the truck needs fixing, what condition the engine and battery are in and what spare parts we need to order. We only use genuine long-lasting Linde spare parts.” Two workers then take the truck apart. Within half an hour, they have separated all the components from each other like a back-to-front puzzle: the seat, exhaust, windshield, lights, forklift forks …

Used trucks are washed before they are inspected.
After so many kilometers, the old tires have done their job and are replaced.
If required, the used truck is fitted with genuine Linde spare parts.
Any age-worn sections get a good going-over with the welding torcht.
Once the scratches, dents, and old paint on the body have been removed, new paintwork is applied.

The remanufacturing in the Czech Republic is of such a high quality that customers sometimes ask me whether it really is a used truck and not a new one.

Peter Markschläger
Head of Marketing
Linde Material Handling Austria

As good as new and sustainable

Metal parts have dents removed and are rewelded, and the dirt and rust are blasted off. And once again a worker puts on overalls that look like a spacesuit. This time it’s to give the chassis a new coat of paint. Then all the components are put together again, before a final inspection takes place. A gleaming white Linde logo is affixed as a final touch. Looking as good as new, the truck is then ready to be sold in the market for used trucks in central and eastern Europe.

The trucks stay in Velké Bílovice for an average of four weeks; only around nine working days are needed for IC trucks. “The remanufacturing in the Czech Republic is of such a high quality that customers sometimes ask me whether it really is a used truck and not a new one!” says Markschläger half-jokingly.

Following the comprehensive final inspection, the trucks are given the 'Approved by Linde' seal.