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History of the company Franz Kleine

The long tradition of the company Franz Kleine confirms experience, which begins with the founding in the year 1874.

The Beginning 1874

1874 begann das Unternehmen mit dem Verkauf von landwirtschaftlichen Geräten und Maschinen. 1904 übernahm Franz Kleine, der Sohn des Gründers, als 26jähriger den Betrieb. In diesen Jahren wurde die Aufwärtsentwicklung im Zeichen der zunehmenden Technisierung der Landwirtschaft eingeleitet. Es entstanden Filialen mit Werkstätten und Ersatzteillagern im Raume Westfalen und Nordhessen. Schon in früheren Jahren wurden, besonders in den arbeitsschwachen Wintermonaten, neben der Reparatur von Landmaschinen auch Eisenkonstruktionen, Brücken, Stauwehre, Walzen, Eggen und Häckselmaschinen hergestellt.

The 1940's


At the end of 1947 / beginning of 1948 an autonomous machine factory began production. At this point fabrication of multi-purpose implements, potato planting machines and sugar beet harvesting machines commenced under the direction of Ernst Kleine, who had joined the company in 1931. The present designation as the “pioneer in sugar beet technology” is a result of the crucial impulses for development of the agricultural technology for sugar beet cultivation. In 1942 it was the steerable beet lifter device as a supplemental implement to the potato spinner, then in 1946 with the “Rübenmeister (Beet Master)” the possibility was provided to place the previously topped beets that had been lifted out of the ground with the towed lifting fork in a transverse swathe via the side-attached cleaning drum.

The 1950's and 1960's

Automatik 5000


In 1954 the transverse-swathe topper lifter was introduced; this was before 1960 when hopper-topper lifter made the “dream of a harvester” a reality. The next step was then in the direction of single-row “Kleine automation”, the topper-lifter hopper, which today is still doing its job in several operations.

The company has been working successfully in the field of seeding technology over decades. For the sowing of unigerminal seeds, the single seed unit “IR 2” was built in 1959. Later, it was developed further as “Unicorn” and built and sold in large series. In 1970, the single seed unit Maxicorn, a mechanically working device with a scoop disc and chamber wheel for the sowing of maize, was added to this. A device that was robust and reliable in operation, sold in large quantity and of which some are still being used even today.

The 1970's and 1980's

KR 6 E

The KR6 E pushed topper lifter, introduced to the market in 1975/76 prepared the way for introduction of the multi-row process and was the mainstay of sales in the late 80s and early 90s. The further-developed KR6 II and KR6 III series rounded out the 2-phase harvesting system. The separated K6 / R6 process was manufactured in low quantities, primarily for export into the Benelux countries.

80 percent of the 6-row systems were delivered with feed hoppers. These were produced by Franz Kleine until 1986 (for example the LZB, LB 8 and LB 12). From 1987 on, through a distribution cooperation with Bleinroth, the Bleinroth feed hoppers LB 13 and LB 20 were also marketed.

Over the years there has been a rapid conversion from single-row technology to multi-row technology. Thus after 1991, single-row, towed implements were no longer produced.

The 1990's

Die zweireihige gezogene Maschine KR 2 ist nach der Markteinführung in 1990/91 ab 1992 in Produktion gegangen.

In terms of beet harvesting technology, the 90s were characterised by the fact that here the shift to self-driving harvesting technology was completed. After the successful test and trial phase, Franz Kleine presented the first series production sugar beet harvester, type SF 10 to the market in 1994.

SF 10

The SF 10 was particularly characterised by its high performance, its extremely light weight, its small turning radius, and its low fuel consumption. The machine with a deadweight of approximately 16 t and a 10 t intermediate hopper, was well received by customers, and is still well received by customers today. One indicator in this regard is the achieved quantity in 2007 of 1,000 self-drivers produced within 13 years. This quantity confirms customer acceptance for this harvesting method – today the type SF 10-2 as result of continuous further development.

The work of the SF 10-2 is optimised through the simultaneous use of the LS 18-2 loader system as a “6-row power pack in the non-stop harvesting procedure”. The system vehicle takes the sugar beets from the harvester in motion and increases the performance of the 6-row header pull-up system by as much as 30%.

RL 200 SF

The Franz Kleine product line is rounded out by the RL 200 SF and RL 350 V self-driving cleaning and loading systems.

The single-phase system for pick-up and cleaning of the sugar beets with the self-driving cleaning loader developed by Kleine, the RL 200 SF “Mouse”, has been in use since 1994. This self-driver is designed for fast pick-up and gentle cleaning of the beets.

From 2000 until today

In 2007 at Agritechnica in Hannover Kleine introduced its new development, the RL 350 V. This self-driving cleaning loader is equipped with a new type of 10m wide, V-shaped pick-up and thus satisfies the requirement of practitioners: The loading of broadly laid-out beet clamps. The pivoting driver’s cab enables optimal adaptation to the various requirements of drive and load operation.

For more than 60 years Franz Kleine has been intensively involved with innovative concepts for the beet harvest. We are at the forefront of a technological development the end of which is not in sight. Our goal is to provide state-of-the-art solutions and systems in the area of beet harvesting technology with a view to the requirements of the future.