History of the сompany

The great history of the company dates back to 1874.


Foundation of the company

In 1874 Franz Kleine started to produce and sell agricultural devices, units and machines. In 1904, 26-years-old Franz Kleine, the son of the founder, took over the management of the company. At that time, technological progress was gathering pace, increasing the degree of agriculture mechanization. In the regions of Westphalia and North Hesse there were opened enterprises with workshops and spare parts warehouses. Even then, especially in winter, alongside with the repair of agricultural machinery, there was carried out the production of steel structures, axle bridges, rollers and straw grinders.

At the turn of 1947/48, the company obtained its own production facilities. It was the moment when the production of universal agricultural equipment, potato-planting machines and machines for sugar beets harvesting was set up under the leadership of Ernst Kleine, who started working for the company in 1931. It is important to note that Franz Kleine was a pioneer in the field of technology for sugar beets processing.

In 1942 there was discussed the production of a controlled beet digger as an additional device to the separation potato digger, but by 1946 with the invention of "Rübenmeister" (beet master) equipment, there was realised the possibility of collecting beet extracted from the ground with a fork digger. The beet was pre-cut by a cleaning drum in a transverse roll.


Период: 1950-1960

Before the dream of a universal harvester was realised in the form of a hopper beet harvester in 1960, a trailed cross-roll beet harvester was developed in 1954. The next development was single-row Automatik 5000 (Automation 5000), i.e. a beet-harvesting hopper, that is still doing great job in some farms in Europe nowadays.

For decades, the company has been a successful manufacturer of sowing machinery. In 1959 there was developed IR 2 sowing machine for monocot grain, then there was the next model of "Unicorn" sowing machine, which was manufactured and sold in large quantities.In addition to this, in 1970, a mechanical precision sowing machine Maxicorn was developed for sowing corn. Strong, reliable in operation, the sowing machine was very popular among farmers. A large number of these machines were sold and some of them are still in operation.


Период: 1970-1980

The KR6 E trailer beet harvester, which was presented on the market in 1975/76, became a real breakthrough in the field of multi-row cultivation of fields. It was the leader of the industry market from the late 80's till the early 90's. Upgraded models KR6 II and KR6 III perfectly complemented the two-phase harvesting system. The separate versions of K6 / R6 were produced as individual machines mainly for export to Benelux. 80 percent of the 6-row systems came with a loading hopper. Franz Kleine produced these systems (such as LZB, LB 8 and LB 12) till 1986.

Since 1987, it also supplied LB 13 and LB 20 loading hoppers in cooperation with Bleinroth.


1990-е годы

Thus, within a few years the company rapidly shifted from a single-row technology to multi-row one. And in 1991 it stopped the production of single-row trailer units. In terms of the development of beet harvesting technology, the nineties were marked by the transition to self-propelled harvesting machines. At the end of the testing phase, in 1994 Franz Kleine introduced the industrial version of SF 10-type sugar beet harvester. The distinctive features of SF 10 were its performance, light weight, small turning diameter and efficiency. The 16-ton machine with a 10-ton intermediate hopper is still popular nowadays. By 2007, within 13 years there were produced 1,000 self-propelled harvesters. This figure is the best proof of the popularity of these machines. It also indicates that the customers were interested in the chosen harvesting method, which was implemented in the model SF 10-2. It continued and developed the best traditions of its predecessor. A worthy addition to the Franz Kleine assortment was self-propelled cleaning and loading systems RL 200 SF and RL 350 V. Since 1994 there has been used single-phase system of sugar beet loading and cleaning, equipped with self-propelled cleaner-loader RL 200 SF "Maus" developed by Kleine. This self-propelled harvester was designed for fast loading and gentle cleaning of beets.


In 2002 Franz Kleine established a subsidiary in the Republic of Mordovia, Russia. It sold the machinery, provided guarantee and post-guarantee service and delivered spare parts.

In 2004, it was decided to localize the production of individual units of beet harvesters and the production of trailer loaders of sugar beet LS 18-2 in Saransk.


New development RL 350 V

In 2007, Kleine presented its new development RL 350 V at Agritechnica in Hanover. This self-propelled cleaner loader was equipped with an innovative V-shaped receiving unit designed for wide clamps loading. The swivel driver's cabin provided optimal adaptation to different working situations during movement and loading.

In 2010 the company established a subsidiary in Ukraine. Its main activities were the sales and service of Franz Kleine equipment as well as the delivery of spare parts.

2011 was another milestone in the development of beet harvesting technology. The development of Beetliner Compact, Large and Max harvesters with different hopper sizes (18, 30 and 40 m3) made it possible for the Customer to choose the machine that best fits the size of his land under cultivation. A completely new design of digging and top-cutting assembly, as well as the innovative drive concept significantly reduced the costs of operation and maintenance while increasing productivity. The company also introduced a sugar beet trailer loader Cargoliner for non-stop work in tandem with self-propelled harvesters and trailed equipment for sugar beet harvesting. The loader took sugar beets from the harvester while moving, thus increasing productivity by up to 30 %. Also, 2011 was marked by the release of beet loader-cleaners Cleanliner Classic and Mega where the proven worldwide concept of a V-shaped receiving table with the operating width of 10 m was used and developed.


Salzkottener Maschinenbau GmbH

In 2012, a change of Franz Kleine ownership took place. Now it is owned by GRIMME. At the same time the production areas were divided: “Salzkottener Maschinenbau GmbH” plant manufactures self-propelled sugar beet harvesting machinery in Germany under the brand name KLEINE, while the production of trailer loaders was completely localized in Saransk, Russia.Trailer loaders were modernized and received a new name LS 16 (loading system 16). Today, this trailer equipment is very popular in Russia and other countries, because every farmer, who uses it, can appreciate the economic efficiency of optimized transport logistics in sugar beets production.

Salzkottener Maschinenbau GmbH

In 2014 Franz Kleine launched mass production of LS 16 – trailer loader LS 25, able to transport up to 25 tons of sugar beets. It also tested new equipment having no analogues in the world – attached beet loader LS 200, ale to clean and reload up to 200 tons of beetroots per hour.

Mass production of LS 200

Mass production of LS 200 beet loader was launched. Its first deliveries to CIS countries were carried out.