Grand Est: Distel, a rental company up to the challenge

For 90 years, this family business has been supplying lifting equipment throughout eastern France. Demand for aerial work platforms is growing, particularly at the end and beginning of the year.

Solutions for working at height: this has been the hallmark of the Distel family business for almost a century in Alsace. Founded in 1934 in the Bas-Rhin region of France, the small wooden ladder manufacturer has become a leading supplier of articulating booms and rolling scaffolding to industry, construction companies and local authorities in the Grand-Est region of France.

This territory, which stretches from the Meuse to the Doubs, is criss-crossed by four branches, located in Brumath (company headquarters), Molsheim (Bas-Rhin), Wittenheim (Haut-Rhin) and Fameck (Moselle), and employing 150 people. Distel is also a training and inspection organization that trains company and local authority personnel in the use of work at height equipment and carries out periodic general inspections of equipment. It also markets fall-prevention PPE.

Electrification of Distel's fleet

The company has a large rental fleet that includes articulating booms, from trailer mounted to vertical-mast booms and scissor lifts, 65% of which are electrically powered.

« For outdoor sites, not all companies have yet adopted the electric option, as equipment is more expensive to rent. But that’s changing, » says Distel’s marketing department. Among the most popular platforms are the HA16 RTJ PRO and STAR 10, renamed MAMMOUTH 1600 and COUCOU 1000 respectively in the Distel catalog, as are all the machines.

Distel’s lifting equipment, both electric and thermal, is extremely busy at the end and beginning of the year. « From November to February, we have a major surge in activity, particularly in 2023. Industrial sites close at the end of the year for maintenance or inventory operations, and therefore need lifting equipment. There’s also the installation and dismantling of Christmas decorations, which is a traditional activity with a strong presence in eastern France« , explains the marketing department.

Recruiting to meet demand for articulating booms

« We need to recruit new staff to meet this very high demand and speed up the delivery of new equipment. For the last Haulotte articulating booms ordered, we didn’t ask for them to be painted in our new colors, to speed up delivery ». 

A number of articulating booms have also been involved in the installation of Strasbourg’s famous Christmas market in December 2023. « But we are mainly called on by local authorities to supply trailer-mounted and self-propelled articulating booms, for hire or sale, so that their staff can hang and unhang the illuminations ».

After 90 years in business, Distel remains a key player in the supply of lifting solutions in eastern France. The rental and sales company knows how to meet the many demands of its market, by expanding its fleet of machines, diversifying into electric equipment, and recruiting.

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