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The French firm MANITOU is one of Europe's most popular manufacturers of materials handling vehicles - which includes aerial platforms, telehandlers and forklift trucks. Its major area of expertise is in forklifts, both for indoor and outdoor use.

Manufacturing world-leading forklift trucks since the 1950s

MANITOU is a French company which specializes in manufacturing materials handling equipment, including forklift trucks, aerial platforms and loaders, for use in warehouses and factory environments. Along with MANITOU equipment, the firm also includes the sub-firms GEHL, MUSTANG, LOC and EDGE and employs more than 3,000 people across the world. MANITOU France was founded in 1957 by engineer Marcel Braud, who had an idea for a forklift truck that would be suitable for difficult terrain. Braud started to nurture a company of his own, drawing on his family's experience in agricultural machinery and fertilizer production. The firm then gained success by partnering with Japanese car maker Toyota to produce its range of materials handling vehicles, and moved into telescopic forklift trucks in the 1980s.

By 2004, the company had sold more than 200,000 forklifts, across a wide variety of styles and had expanded overseas with new facilities in Australia, the United States and China. Along the way, MANITOU also branched out into providing specialist training from its corporate base, and set up a network that provides spare parts to users of its products across the world. MANITOU remains firmly anchored in France, with its headquarters in the town of Ancenis, as well as production facilities in Candé and Laillé. But the firm has also built factories in Italy and the United States, to support its global presence. The firm currently markets a range of materials handling machinery, with a focus on agriculture and warehouse operations. Clients in the construction sector are catered for by the firm's aerial platforms, while MANITOU also manufactures machinery specifically for the mining and quarrying industry, as well as providing equipment for armed forces and the tourism sector.

The MANITOU product portfolio

The range of products manufactured by MANITOU includes:

The MANITOU products for sale are supplied to a wide range of clients. MANITOU equipment are suitable for customers in agriculture, construction, warehousing, quarrying, mining, the emergency services, tourism and the military.