DLL & Pfeifer: Growing Together Through Genuine Partnership


Pfeifer Heavy Machinery has been active in the trade of new and used construction machinery in the Netherlands and abroad for over 20 years. For the past 5 years, Pfeifer Rentals has focused on the national and international rental of large and small construction equipment. The growth experienced by Pfeifer is due to its vigorous entrepreneurship, a tight ambitious team, a customer-oriented attitude and support from a financial partner such as DLL.

What started off as a jump into the deep-end, with a challenging issue to finance rental operations, has resulted in a tight partnership. Gerrit Pfeifer and Ralph Koehorst, who jointly occupy the helm at Pfeifer, therefore welcomed us with open arms at their company in Groenlo in the Netherlands.

How would you describe Pfeifer as a company?

Pfeifer Heavy Machinery started off as a trading company in 1999 and quickly expanded its activities internationally. Pfeifer has a diverse trade inventory that consists of approximately 500-600 machines, most of which are used or only recently used. Gerrit Pfeifer: ‘The customer’s requirement is our key focus and together we figure out how best to meet it. Service and advice have become an important part of our business operations over the years.’

Pfeifer Rentals offers short and long term rental solutions for heavy equipment, such as cranes, as well as regular rental of smaller equipment, including full-service arrangements.

‘Our customers increasingly inquired about the possibility of renting equipment, we therefore started making preparations for renting machinery. When we were ready for this as a company, we took the plunge and started our rental operation, says Ralph Koehorst.

Heddi at DLL adds: ‘I view Pfeifer as a company where customer-centered entrepreneurship is the key focus. They have a professional team, there is a hands-on mentality and they put words into action.’

DLL is flexible, contributes to identifying possible options and together we can develop a relationship with our customers."

How does Pfeifer differentiate itself for the customer?

Pfeifer operates in the trade and rental segment; which, when supplemented with our in-house service, perfectly complement each other. ‘We are able to contribute ideas and advise our customers based on our many years of experience in the trading segment and a large network in the Netherlands and abroad.’ says Gerrit Pfeifer.

Heddi Khatib (DLL): ‘Pfeifer is a party situated in the premium trade and rental segment. They have a beautiful site, the machines are well housed and the website is well organized and always current. The organization is constantly changing and anticipate market developments and customer demand. As a financing partner, we are closely involved in this and thanks to transparent cooperation on both sides, we truly help each other advance.’

In your view, what are the key upcoming market developments and challenges?

‘Of course, the effects of the pandemic will continue to be felt in 2021 and maybe beyond. The precise impact this will have is difficult to predict; however, our key sales market – the construction industry – fortunately continued to operate at a respectable level last year. Furthermore, where work was halted, it must still be caught up on,’ says Gerrit Pfeifer. ‘Trade quieted down somewhat, but we expect to be quickly back up to old levels in terms of volume. In addition, there was a greater focus on Pfeifer Rentals in order to properly set up our rental operations. The demand for used equipment is increasing. There are two reasons for this: the mounting delivery lead times for new machines and a conservative investment environment. In view of our strong position in used machines and by offering rental options, this is favorable for Pfeifer.’

When market growth accelerates after a dip then, as company, you must ensure that you are a frontrunner so you can profit from this growth.

‘We continued to invest because we expect market demand to continue to grow. We have hired new colleagues and the machine park has been further expanded. There are many large projects in the construction industry and the road network is also structurally being dealt with’, says Ralph Koehorst.

Aside from COVID-19 there are other challenges as well. For example, emission criteria are becoming increasingly more important in the Netherlands, as well as internationally. Customers that bid on tenders must in advance specify the emission norm they will adhere to. This means that a machine fleet must consist of a good mix of electrically driven and low-emission diesel-fueled machines. As a result, our customers must regularly renew their fleet or supplement it with rented machines. Pfeifer responds to this development with their extensive offer of machines for sale and rent.

A great partnership in which honesty, transparency and mutual trust are key to enabling us to build a great future together."

What is your vision of the future?

Pfeifer sees a bright future ahead. In the last few years it took the steps needed to be able to optimally meet market demand with a future-proof company.

There’s room in the rental market and Pfeifer is anticipating this by opening new rental locations throughout the Netherlands during 2021.

‘We have noticed that there are rental opportunities in the market. There is potential for growth, especially in niche segments,’ says Ralph Koehorst. ‘That is the reason we are expanding our rental locations in the provinces of North Holland, South Holland and in the central Netherlands.’

What is unique about your partnership with DLL?

Pfeifer approached DLL five years ago when it decided to expand its business operations. ‘We quickly developed a bond of trust, in part because we had a fixed contact in the person of Heddi. DLL has in-depth knowledge of the industry in which we operate, as well as of our company,’ says Ralph Koehorst. ‘DLL is flexible, contributes to identifying possible options and together we can develop a relationship with our customers. Last year, when the impact of the corona crisis became evident in the Netherlands, DLL immediately proactively contacted us to see if we needed a facility. Because we did not know what was going to be coming our way, we decided to make use of this option, but fortunately, in hindsight, it turned out that we did not need it. However, this is a good example of how DLL positions itself as a financial partner.’

Furthermore, the partnership is two-sided. ‘At Pfeifer we assess how we can support DLL with our market knowledge or with our network. When machines are returned to DLL, we are open to acquiring these machines or brokering their acquisition by another party. On several occasions we purchased machines that were returned to DLL at the end of a lease’, said Geritt Pfeifer. The Pfeifer-DLL partnership extends beyond our borders due to the international presence of both organizations. Heddi Khatib explains: ‘In case of international requirements, I involve my colleagues abroad. That enables us to provide suitable advice in line with local regulations and possibilities. But the focal point of our partnership is in the Netherlands. A great partnership in which honesty, transparency and mutual trust are key to enabling us to build a great future together.’

DLL | MartinJoli

Martin Joli

Head of New Business Development


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