Meet Erkes: A family-owned STAS dealer with expert knowledge about moving floor trailer & tippers in Germany

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Meet Erkes: A family-owned STAS dealer with expert knowledge about moving floor trailer & tippers in Germany

A trusted dealer in the North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate region, Erkes Nutzfahrzeuge has become one of STAS’s longest-standing partners in Germany. Driven by a passion for innovation and customer-centricity, Erkes has earned a reputation as a reliable partner, providing tailored trailer care and maintaining a comprehensive rental fleet. As the next generation takes the reins, Erkes is well-positioned to continue its legacy of excellence, shaping the future of transport in Germany and beyond. We spoke with Sebastian Erkes, the second generation at Erkes Nutzfahrzeuge, who’s responsible for sales and rental.

From carts to STAS moving floors

Erkes has a long history in the transporting business. To start, we must go back to 1880 when they were working with horse-drawn carts to mainly transport coals and milk. Around 1983, Artur Erkes bought the first road-legal moving floor trailer which could hold 60m³. Fueled by his passion for mechanics and technology, Artur opened his own workshop on July 11th 1988 as an official service provider for Volvo. When they started to get requests from clients to purchase tippers, that’s when the partnership with STAS was born. By 1989 Erkes was one of the very first official STAS dealers in Europe and remains to this day one of the most valuable partnerships STAS has.

The Erkes family

The partnership between STAS and Erkes was forged decades ago and is quite unique as they are both family businesses. As it is in families, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. “Even the best of families sometimes disagree but we always manage to find a compromise. The most important thing we do is always keep the customer top of mind in our decision-making,” said Sebastian Erkes. He continues: “Currently there are 5 Erkes family members in Erkes Nutzfahrzeuge. Everyone has their job and we have a clear vision for the future.”

“Robert and I have been here for several years now and the same motto still applies: one recruits new customers and the other ensures that they stay. Furthermore, we do have some changes coming up: our father Artur Erkes is retiring in January of 2024 but that doesn’t mean he’s fully leaving. We don’t exactly know how that’s going to go but we do know his passion for the business runs deep. We’re certain he won’t be able to let it go completely. Other than that, our sister Julia joined us back in 2021 and also het long-term partner, Florian, has become part of the family and the business as he’s now responsible for the workshop area. They are also expecting their first child together, which would be the fourth grandchild for Artur and Gabi Erkes. The next generation is in the make! “

“Other than that, our future plans are clearly defined. Everyone does what they love and as long as we continue to do what we do well, we’ll continue to be successful”, clarifies Sebastian.

Erkes currently has around 50-55 employees but is feeling the pressure of the shortage of skilled workers in the labour market. In the spare parts department, there are between 6-8 people who take care of shipping spare parts all across Germany.

The German Market

Sebastian: “Our market has grown organically, and our customers value our advice and long-term relationships. We have customers who have been with us since 1991. Customer activity depends on their business philosophy and the financial climate. We are emerging from a long period of artificially low-interest rates set by the European Central Bank which led to increased investments in trailers and now we are seeing the aftermath of those decisions. Total cost of ownership is now the key consideration, sustainability is essential and quality has been more important than ever. I believe that in the future, quality will once again be the deciding factor. Vehicles are serving customers for longer, and we even have proof of that: we still have customers with vehicles from 1996!”


The company's greatest strengths are its understanding of the customer's needs, their expertise in their work, and its knowledge of the product. This makes Erkes's consultants highly competent. “There’s no typical briefcase salesmen to be found here,” says Sebastian. “We are all knowledgeable and helpful consultants who know what they’re doing and want the best possible solutions for our customers. This is reflected in the fact that we are a one-stop-shop which includes workshop services and rental vehicles. Our customers greatly appreciate this. For example, if a repair takes longer than expected, they can simply use a suitable rental vehicle to bridge the gap in their planning. In fact, we have become a strong partner for the industry by building stationary hydraulic systems and even waste transfer stations. Even when other workshops cannot solve an issue, the customers come to us to fix it.”

Sales & Rental-fleet

The Biostar is by far the most popular STAS moving floor trailer at Erkes, simply because you can use it in many ways. “We have a lot of clients in the recycling industry and the Biostar is multi-faceted and can easily be used in agricultural environments but also recycling environments” Sebastian tells us. Also, the Farmstar walking floor trailer is quite popular with their customers, as is the Agrostar aluminium tipper and the Ecostar moving floor trailer.

“We usually have between 5 to 10 vehicles in stock. We have a considerable rental fleet with around 35 tippers and 20 moving floor trailers. We always have something in our rental fleet for our customers that fits with their budget. The rental fleet is a mix of brand-new and used vehicles that are in top condition. After having used these vehicles for 2 years in the rental fleet, we sell them as second-hand vehicles.” Sebastian tells us. He adds: “We also have towing trucks in our rental fleet, so we really are a one-stop-shop!”.

Customer-centric service

“We tailor our trailer care advice to each customer because every application is different. However, one thing we can say is that good care leads to a long service life of the trailer, which is especially important for entrepreneurs who consider resale value. Total cost of ownership (TCO) is a hot topic right now, and trailer care is a key part of that. Sustainable TCO is a global trend, and we are proud to be a part of it”, says Sebastian.

Erkes is also present at several smaller fairs, exhibits and presentations in Germany. For them, it’s a way to connect to their network, clients and potentially even new clients.

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