1973: A Zeppelin retrospective with Helmut Göttlicher

Helmut Göttlicher, Garching near Munich

Job title: Brochure dispatcher

Years of service: 47 years at Zeppelin!

Helmut Göttlicher at bauma, Munich 2019

Can you imagine working for the same company for more than 47 years. At the same location? Yes we can! Because Helmut Göttlicher did it. And we asked him how he did it!

Our time travel takes us back to 1973 when Helmut Göttlicher started as an apprentice at Zeppelin. Back then, he would not have thought that he would serve his whole career at the company. He spent most of his time at Zeppelin as literature dispatcher at Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH in the Garching headquarters. And that is quite a responsible position: Zeppelin’s motto is “We Create Solutions” and thus when our customers ask for manuals of old machines or in rare languages, Helmut helps to provide it – sometimes even to the surprise of those who have requested it.

Helmut, do you remember your first day at the company in 1973?

Yes, we were four apprentices and I was very excited what was about to come. The company was rather small, you knew everyone. The premises were in Zeppelin street, not far away from our current headquarters in Garching.

How has handling and dispatching of brochures changed in the course of years?

In 1973, we did not have any computers at all, but still worked with electric typewriters and tons of paper. When we made a mistake, we had to take off the paper, insert a new sheet and start all over again.

The range of construction machinery we had on offer was rather small compared to today’s variety. The brochures, in contrast to today, comprised only a few pages. Today, we mainly work with e-mail, but are reachable via phone as well. Working in the brochure warehouse has not changed much – the logistics and stockage are still the same. A fork lifter is still an indispensable tool for us!

bauma, the international construction machinery trade fair that takes place in Munich every third year, is always a highlight for Zeppelin. What role do you play at bauma?

Well, my jobs starts some time before the upcoming bauma – I need to organize all the logistics and make sure that our material is delivered on time to the exhibition site. At bauma 2019, we had about 8 t of paper material available (that corresponds to ten euro-paletts): user’s guides, service manuals, spare parts catalogues etc. Most of the material is in German, but we also have some brochures available in English. In general, in cooperation with Caterpillar, we can provide nearly everything – also all the documentation for older, used machines, in all the languages. I even managed to get some service manual in Chinese for our customers.

You have witnessed thirteen baumas and are among the most experienced Zeppelin colleagues. Can you remember your first bauma back in 1980? What was your task?

In 1980, bauma still took place at another site, at Theresienwiese in Munich (famous for Oktoberfest). Back then, we only had six exhibits – people went crazy for our brochures. There are many “gatherers” who keep Caterpillar brochures in folders and always wanted to have our material. Ever since we have excavators in our portfolio, the amount of brochures increased enormously. The logistics part got more complex over the years.

Is there any event which you especially like to remember, given your long time at Zeppelin?

There was a company outing to Malaga / Spain with my department which I remember very positively. In Malaga, all the Caterpillar training for operators, service technicians and sales people take place. That was really interesting and a highlight for me.

What do you wish Zeppelin for its 70th birthday?

I hope Zeppelin can weather the covid-19 crisis well and will continue to be a successful leader on the construction equipment market.

Further information:

2019: Review – boom boom bauma!

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