Gottlieb Daimler: Inventor of the Truck
Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler was a German engineer, designer and industrialist. He is seen as the inventor of the truck and pioneer of modern freight transport. He can claim to have developed and played a part in building the most successful means of freight transport ever. In recognition of these pioneering achievements, Daimler was inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame in 2014.
|Field||automotive industry, mobility|
|Born||March 17, 1834 in Schorndorf, Germany|
|Died||March 6, 1900 in Cannstatt, Germany|
|Induction into the Logistics Hall of Fame||2014, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Berlin, Germany|
|Congratulatory speaker||Alexander Dobrindt, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, patron of the Logistics Hall of Fame|
Born on March 17, 1834 in Schorndorf
1848 Completes grammar school, begins apprenticeship as a gunsmith
1852 Qualifies as gunsmith
1853 First job in an engineering factory
1857 Studies Engineering at the Polytechnical College in Stuttgart
1862 Designer at the Metallwarenfabrik Straub metalworking factory
1865 Head of the machine factory of the "Bruderhaus" orphanage in Reutlingen
1869 Head of the workshops of the Karlsruher Maschinenbaugesellschaft engineering company
1872 Moves to Deutz AG, from 1875 head of the workshops
1882 Founding of the "testing workshop" in Cannstatt
1890 Founding of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft company together with Wilhelm Maybach, Max Duttenhofer and Wilhelm Lorenz
1894/95 Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft company
1896 Construction of the first motorised truck
1900 Gottlieb Daimler dies in Cannstatt
2014 Induction into the Logistics Hall of Fame
- The world's first truck was one of Daimler's late works, so to speak. Daimler was 62 years old and at the zenith of his career when he landed this major coup. October 1, 1896 marked the day when the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft company delivered the word's first truck. Daimler's first truck had a 4 hp two-cylinder engine and a payload of 1,500 kg. This vehicle paved the way for Germany's rich tradition as an exporter of trucks. The vehicle was sold to the British Motor Syndicate in London for 4,600 goldmarks, equivalent to around 45,000 euros in today's money.
- The first truck looked more like a horse-drawn carriage. The engine was situated below the rear axle, and the truck had a top speed of just 16 kmh according to the product specifications, although other sources put the maximum speed at 10 kmh. The truck was able to handle a gradient of up to ten percent – but only if was not carrying a full load. Yet the flexibility and performance capability of this new vehicle type ensured that its successors became established as the number one means of overland transport. The truck is the backbone of the transport system and therefore of our modern economy characterised by the division of labour. Today, trucks account for more than 70 percent of traffic volume in the field of freight transport in Germany.
- Gottlieb Daimler never expected a boom of this kind. He is reported to have said: "The worldwide demand for motor vehicles will not exceed one million – if for no other reason than there are not enough chauffeurs". And this prediction also included automobiles. According to other sources, he forecast that worldwide demand would be as low as 5,000 vehicles.
- Daimler died at the age of 65. He only lived to see the nascent phase of the all-conquering truck, but the vehicle he launched made him a pioneer of modern freight transport and laid the foundations for all logistics networks.
- He left to his family around 25% of the share capital in the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft company. In 1926, the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft was merged with the Benz & Cie. Company of Carl Benz to form Daimler-Benz AG.