Grunwald is a builder of advanced commercial vehicles from the South Baltic region and is continuously improving its products with new technical solutions. Every passing day the Russian OEM is becoming more of an international enterprise as it delivers semi-trailers and superstructures to more and more locations around the world.
Founded in 2007 and based in the westernmost region of Russia – in the city of Kaliningrad near Poland – Grunwald is gaining momentum in the trailer manufacturing scene. By 2008, the business participated in transport exhibitions across its home country and the following year it collaborated with a large design bureau from Germany, adopting their experience and technology.
In 2010, Grunwald became an official supplier and partner of Volvo Trucks. Two years later, in 2012, the OEM produced its 1,000th semi-trailer under the Grunwald brand.
Since 2013, a project has been launched to create and manufacture Grunwald cargo superstructures for the chassis of European trucks. In 2014-2015, the first export deliveries of Grunwald equipment to the countries of the European Union started. Since 2016, the company developed at a rapid pace. Over the years, production facilities have been built and reconstructed, the range of models has been expanded, and the volume of deliveries is growing, including to foreign markets.
The Grunwald brand has been certified under the Hardox in my Body program of the Swedish steel specialist, SSAB. Another Swedish concern – Scania CV AB – included Grunwald in its list of certified partners. In 2018, Grunwald passed the European homologation and received the right to supply its products to all countries of the European Union.
In 2019, a joint product of Grunwald and the German concern MAN, an 8×4 dump truck, received the ‘Dump Truck of the Year’ award.
15 years of Grunwald
Throughout the history of Grunwald, the position of CEO has been occupied by the inspirer and founder of the company, Aleksey Drach. In general, he has 25 years of experience in the field of transport and the successful management of several manufacturing and trading companies in this field.
Drach said the direction of the company’s most recent activity is the production of modern commercial vehicles including semi-trailers, trailers and superstructures on truck chassis.
“The company carries out a full cycle of industrial production, including metal processing, assembly and welding operations, painting cycle and final equipment,” he said. “Currently, the company includes three modern production sites and its own service station. The total area of production complexes is over 22,500 square metres. The company employs 550 qualified specialists.”
Industrially, Russia is a country with a well-developed industrial economy according to Drach.
“Due to our geographical position in the South Baltic region, surrounded by the countries of the European Union, Grunwald has equally close relationships with suppliers of materials and components from both Europe and Russia. Therefore, we can always offer our customers the best options and delivery times.”
Of the heavy vehicles it produces, Grunwald specialises in tippers, including semi-trailers, trailers and superstructures.
“By industry, these are construction, mining, manufacturing and the agricultural sector,” said Drach. “The growth in sales of Grunwald dump trucks, among other things, is due to a harmonious model range, high customer focus and excellent performance. In addition, we are actively developing our main line. The line of container semi-trailers has withstood an almost complete renewal of the model range with a new generation which is more efficient, lighter and modern. Grunwald curtain and flatbed semi-trailers are gradually increasing their share in production, too. In the near future, we plan to significantly strengthen in this segment including plans to build a separate conveyor to expand the production of those models.”
The OEM’s main goal for 2022 and beyond is the forward movement and sustainable development of the business.
“The growth of financial results allows us to gradually implement our investment program – to expand production, invest in equipment, and train new specialists,” said Drach. “Of course, we have clear commercial goals – to increase the number of loyal customers. Since customer support is always the number one goal, we hope that the number of Grunwald fans in other countries will continue to grow. We have been able to set ourselves a development vector for a long time, in which every subsequent year becomes more successful than the previous one, and we intend to maintain this trend. A good example of expanding interaction with new customers is the case of clients from the African continent. Initially, customers needed a specific solution – equipment that was ready to work in the most extreme conditions. We have provided such a solution. After the clients were convinced in practice of our competence, the qualities of the created transport, its reliability and unpretentiousness, they were imbued with great confidence in the brand and paid attention to our other products, including products from the second direction – dump superstructures on chassis.”
Improving tippers for mining applications in Africa
Grunwald is finetuning its tipper product for use in foreign markets.
The product line, according to Grunwald, is constantly evolving, adapting for regional tasks.
“The useful volume of the new superstructures Gr.M25-SB-SI is 25-metres-cubed,” said Grunwald.
“Grunwald engineers are careful to ensure that the quality of the components matches the nature of future transport tasks and the site of use. Therefore, the body is made of wear-resistant and impact-resistant Hardox 450 steel. The use of the original material is confirmed by the certification marks ‘Hardox In My Body’ on the sides of the body.
“In accordance with the transport task for working with highly abrasive materials, the base of the body is reinforced. A removable canopy covers the cab space to provide the required level of safety. Reliable hydraulic equipment from leading European manufacturers is used. The superstructure also combines a low centre of gravity and class-leading interior width. The new Gr.M25-SB-SI superstructures are mounted on a pilot batch of truck chassis and are awaiting shipment to the site of future use.”
Facing freight challenges head-on
Grunwald produces road transport equipment and in turn offers its customers transport solutions. Drach eloquently points out how the OEM stands out from others in the market: “What distinguishes our solutions from others is our attention to the true needs, involvement in the business processes of our customers and, of course, the quality of execution. For the convenience of our clients, we provide related useful tools, such as trade-in or financing with the support of our partner – Siemens Finance.”
Drach is confident the key transport trends from the customers’ point of view will remain unchanged – high efficiency and achieving the lowest possible cost of ownership.
“At the same time, the ways to achieve this goal will be determined primarily by the working conditions, the place of operation, and regional characteristics,” he said. “Technological, modern solutions are in demand on the European market. Transport is created from advanced materials. The priority is to reduce its own weight with a high load capacity. Therefore, we are looking for modern engineering solutions, using the best materials, such as high-strength and wear-resistant steels, and new generation components. In other regions, with difficult working conditions, often in the absence of asphalt roads, powerful and heavy equipment is in demand that can withstand maximum loads. Our competence in creating reliable and enduring transport is in demand here.”
Another key point of difference for Grunwald is its philosophy and unique experience.
“From the very moment of foundation, we adopted advanced technologies, sought to rethink the world experience, cooperated with leading design bureaus in Europe,” said Drach. “Today, the high level of competence of Grunwald engineers is recognised by leading vehicle manufacturers. We supply bodywork solutions directly to the Volvo factory; we are also part of the Scania licensed suppliers system. At the same time, we remain a very flexible company, developing in close cooperation with customers. Therefore, we can create an offer that will meet the expectations of each individual client and regional specifics to a high degree. In addition, we provide good delivery times.
Manufacturing and distribution
Current production capacities allow Grunwald to produce up to 4,000 vehicles per year.
“Our goal is to expand our capabilities through the commissioning of new production facilities,” said Drach. “Now a new modern production complex is being launched, which will be able to reach its planned capacity within a year. According to our forecasts, in 2023, we will reach a new significant milestone of 5,000 units per year. In addition, our investment program provides, starting from 2024, to begin construction of a specialised complex to produce curtainside semi-trailers.”
In terms of the geography of sales, it is quite extensive and covers a vast area from Finland and Sweden in the north to Armenia in the south, from the countries of Central Europe to customers from the Far East.
“At the end of 2021, the Grunwald brand is represented in the markets of more than 10 countries,” said Drach. “Special mention goes to deliveries to the European countries and the African continent. For several years, we have managed not only to increase the volume of these deliveries, but also to expand our product offer. In general, we pay a lot of attention to development in new markets. Every year we take significant steps towards the global nature of deliveries, the brand has new regional representatives and points of presence. Also, we are looking to develop our dealer network in new markets, therefore we invite professionals from the world of freight transport to cooperate extensively and, possibly, represent the interests of the Grunwald brand at regional levels. It should be noted separately that we invite logistics, transport and construction companies from any corner of the world, any region to get acquainted with our products.”
Grunwald container chassis reach Germany
The first Grunwald container chassis, comprising a batch of 15 units, will become part of the fleet of a large German operator and will start working on intermodal routes in Germany.
A completely new model Gr.C-L3-40-45 has become an expression of all the main trends of our time in the development and creation of vehicles of this class, the OEM said in a statement.
“The semi-trailer is designed for rapid shipment of 40′ high cube and 45′ high cube containers and has high practicality and excellent performance characteristics,” said Grunwald.
“The design, thought out to the smallest detail, allows you to perform a larger amount of work with containers in less time.
“The technical load capacity of the semi-trailer retains a high value of 34,000kg.
“The frame of the semi-trailer is entirely made of high-strength steel, taking into account the most modern design principles and solutions.
“The fitting system, both simple and functional, includes a pair of adjustable clamps in the front of the frame and a pair of stationary fittings together with a retractable bumper in the rear. The new retractable bumper has passed comprehensive tests in the European Certification Organization and has confirmed its reliability and safety. The semitrailer is equipped with an SAF axial unit or JOST axial unit at the customer’s choice. The basic version includes the WABCO Optilink monitoring system.
“First, the global container market shows steady growth in 2021. At the same time, the largest growth in demand is accounted for by the segment of containers with a larger capacity. The growth of cargo turnover pushes carriers to purposefully switch to more efficient container road trains. The first delivery of Grunwald container semitrailers to Germany confirms the brand’s entry into a high level of competitiveness and the desire for stable relationships with customers in foreign markets.”