Company History

In 1969 Werner Zappel founded the company Zappel KG Maschinen- und Apparatebau in Bad Rappenau-Grombach.
The first product was the roller shutter casing UNIROLLKA.

In 1970 the product range was widened by construction machinery with hydraulic lifting jacks, band saws and tennis court rollers.

1973 The forklift truck shunter WRG was designed as ZAGRO’s first product in shunting technology.

1974 Change of the company name to ZAGRO Bahn- und Baumaschinen GmbH. The name consists of the family name and company location: Zappel + Grombach = ZA + GRO.

In 1985 ZAGRO took over the company RIES’s road/rail concept and from that point on has continuously kept developing road/rail technology on the base vehicle Mercedes-Benz Unimog.
In the same year railcar movers MINI and MAXI were designed and launched.

In 1986 the first Unimog was modified for rail operation by ZAGRO and sold to Kraft u. Co. Unimog Generalvertretung in Lübeck.

In 1989 ZAGRO concluded the first export process by selling an MBTrac700 to Bharat Earth Movers Limited in India.

1995 Wolfgang Zappel took over the company management from his father.

In 2000 ZAGRO was granted a patent for their track guiding system developed for the new Unimog U 400.

From 2001 to 2003 track guiding systems for 200 Nissan small trucks were delivered to the Southafrican Railway as part of a major order.

2002 Delivery of the first Unimog U 400 with track guiding system for narrow track gauge 1067 mm to Japan

In 2003 the Mercedes-Benz Unimog Service Station opened in Grombach.

In 2005 the corporate identity was revised. A new company logo was designed and blue became the corporate colour.

In 2006 another international major order followed with the delivery of track guiding systems for 66 Actros trucks to the Turkish Railway.
In the same year the former competitor ZWEIWEG International was taken over into the newly created company alliance ZAGRO Group.

2007 ZAGRO developed the battery-driven railcar mover E-MAXI which is fit for shunting work in the most confined of spaces with its turning radius of 360°. There is also a version with diesel-electrical hybrid drive.
In the same year the first double heading with two Unimog U 400 with a master/slave control was developed for Métro Lausanne and put into operation.

In 2008 Schörling Rail Tech GmbH in Sehnde became the third partner in the ZAGRO Group.

In 2011 SHZ Kabinen- und Karosseriebau from Backnang joined the company alliance.

In 2012 GMEINDER LOKOMOTIVEN in Mosbach widened the ZAGRO Group’s product range by locomotives.

2019 ZAGRO opens the branch in Mosbach for the series production of the new product line ZAGRO E-MAXI VARIO

2020 With Wikko Zappel the third generation joins the family company.