Magirus GmbH[1] is a truck manufacturer based in Ulm, Germany, founded by Conrad Dietrich Magirus (1824–1895). It was formerly known as Klöckner Humboldt Deutz AG, maker of the Deutz engines, so the brand commonly used was Magirus Deutz, and for a short time Klöckner. Most trucks from Magirus were also known as Magirus-Deutz. The logo of Magirus Deutz was a stylised M with a sharp, long centre point to represent the spire of Ulm Minster.

Magirus GmbH
Founded1866 (As Magirus Kommanditist)
1974 (Magirus-Deutz)
1983 (Iveco Magirus)
FounderConrad Dietrich Magirus
Defunct1936 (As Magirus Kommanditist)
HeadquartersUlm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Number of locations
Production locations:
Germany: Ulm
Austria: Graz
France: Chambéry
Italy: Brescia
Area served
Key people
  • Gerrit Marx (COB)
  • Marc Diening (MD)
Decrease €1.042 billion (2009)
Number of employees
2,100 (2009)
Magirus fire engine in Germany

Magirus is one of the largest manufacturers of fire fighting equipment. Its fire trucks are primarily based upon chassis and engines from Iveco, but occasionally also uses platforms from other truck manufacturers. Magirus is an Iveco Group brand.


The company began manufacturing fire-fighting vehicles in 1866. In the late 1910s, it started the production of trucks and buses. These vehicles developed a reputation for high engineering standards, able to operate under the most arduous conditions. The company also invented the turntable ladder, as Magirus Leiter, which quickly became an essential item of fire brigade equipment worldwide.

Magirus had some involvement in World War 2 and The Holocaust, producing gas vans used for killing Jews. Magirus also supplied ladders for mobile V-2 Rocket launch sites.

In 1975, Magirus became part of Iveco, which continued producing some Magirus trucks for a short while under the name "Iveco Magirus" before abandoning it completely in most countries. KHD's collaboration with Fiat ended abruptly and less than harmoniously in 1979, leaving Fiat as owner of the Magirus-Deutz brand.[2] However, Iveco trucks were sold under the Magirus brand in Germany and other European and Middle Eastern markets until the end of the 1980s.

Today, the Magirus brand is only used for the company's firefighting equipment section, not for the whole fleet of manufactured trucks.

Airship laddersEdit

Though seldom seen today, the Magirus company produced almost all of the early, movable ladders used in the construction of large, rigid airships in Germany and the United States. The multi-extension, wooden ladders were mounted on massively constructed, wooden carriage frames with a fifth wheel-style, forward axle assembly. Although it appeared to be designed for horses, the ladders could be easily moved by two men. The carriage was equipped with four, hand screw-type "outriggers" that would resist the ladder from tipping. The ladder did not swivel on the carriage. It was elevated and extended only towards the front of the carriage. In the "working" position, the ladder had to be elevated to about an 80° angle to allow full extension to 85 feet. (The maximum extended length of the largest wooden Magirus ladder is unknown, but the ones used during the erection of the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation's USS Akron and USS Macon reached to 85 feet.)

They can be seen, commonly, in early photographs of airships under construction in the 1920s and 1930s.

In the Soviet UnionEdit

In 1974, the firm was awarded a contract (called the Delta Project) for delivery in 1975-1976 of about 9,500 dumper and flatbed trucks (Magirus М232 D19 and M290 D26) to the USSR to work on the construction of the Baikal–Amur Mainline (BAM).[3][4] This order was the largest in the company's history. These models were export-only options KHD products which were not offered on the domestic market in Germany. By January 1, 1975, for the first batch of Magirus trucks for BAM construction was ready to be sent to the Soviet Union. Many of these trucks are still in service today. Largely because of this single order, in 1975, export products accounted for 70% of total production by Magirus-Deutz, and the firm took the second place among the German truck manufacturers.[citation needed]

In 1982, Magirus-Deutz erstwhile owners KHD sold the licensing rights for Soviet production of up to 25,000 Series 413 diesel engines. These were meant to be installed in heavy USSR trucks and other vehicles.[2]


Current productsEdit



  • 1864 - Founded by Conrad Dietrich Magirus
  • 1872 - 1872 2-wheel hand ladder climbable when free-standing, model »Ulmer Ladder«
  • 1892 - First horse-pulled rotating ladder 25 m
  • 1904 - First steam powered self-propelled “fire engine”
  • 1916 - First fully automatic drive turn table ladder in the world
  • 1917 - Production of Magirus motor vehicles
  • 1931 - First turn table ladder with steel ladder set
  • 1936 - Fusion with Humboldt-Deutz Motorenfabrik
  • 1951 - Made the highest turntable ladder in the world 52 m
  • 1953 - First turntable ladder with hydraulic drive
  • 1965 - First forward control truck chassis
  • 1971 - First rescue vehicle RW-rail for subway and local railway operation
  • 1972 - First large airport crash tender
  • 1980 - First turntable ladder »low-design«
  • 1986 - First computer controlled turntable ladder
  • 1987 - Take over of previous Bachert production plant in Weisweil, Germany
  • 1992 - Iveco Mezzi Speciali, Brescia, Italy
  • 1994 - First articulated ladder DLK 23-12 GL CC
  • 1996 - Production start of light pumper vehicles in Görlitz/Germany
  • 1997 - Lohr-Magirus in Graz/Austria
  • 2000 - First oscillation-free turntable ladder (Computer Stabilized)
  • 2005 - „Firework of Novelties“ at the Interschutz in Hannover
  • 2007 - New modular bodywork generation AluFire 3
  • 2010 - Presentation of the models M 32 L-AT, M 33 P, SuperDragon 2, MultiStar2 at the Interschutz in Leipzig
  • 2015 - World's highest turntable ladder, 68 meters

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Die wichtigsten Unternehmen des Jahres 2009 - Welt Online". 2011-07-05. Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
  2. ^ a b Kacher, Georg (September 1982). Kennett, Pat (ed.). "Intertruck: Germany". TRUCK. London, UK: FF Publishing Ltd: 21.
  3. ^ "MAGIRUS DEUTZ - die Geschichte 5. Teil". Archived from the original on 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2014-07-24. see 1974- das "Delta-Projekt" (deutsch)
  4. ^ "Magirus — непростая история" (in Russian). June 25, 2012. Retrieved 2019-07-30.

External linksEdit