Dr. Hans Liebherr
Founder / Liebherr Company / 1915 - 1993 / Inducted 2010
Dr. Liebherr's impulse to innovate was exhibited early and often, and through his guidance, the company became identified as an engineering-driven one. In 1949 he developed and patented the TK 10 tower crane, the key product that became the platform for his new business. From this point, he continued to innovate and expand - with cranes as well as a wide variety of other construction equipment and industrial products.
Liebherr's focus on fuel efficiency and productivity led to the development of hydrostatic drive systems, and Liebherr products led the industry in implementing electronic controls for hydraulics. He was an early pioneer of high-pressure hydraulics, which still set the highest industry standard in excavators.
Dr. Liebherr fostered a corporate culture in which innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit propel company progress, and he was an early proponent of world trade. Starting in the late 1950s, he built Liebherr facilities outside of Germany. Many Liebherr factories were located in rural areas or less-developed industrial markets, which provided badly needed employment opportunities for local residents.