ROPA GmbH in Sittelsdorf is grown in the past years to the most important production location for manufacturing of self propelled machines for sugar beet harvest. ROPA machines are used around the world. In recent years, a lot of energy and capital have been invested into development of the principal enterprise in Sittelsdorf. Due to increasing demand for high quality ROPA machines, new facilities for production, development and research have been built. To ensure the best possible customer service and spare parts supply out of Germany, ROPA has established subsidiaries in France, Ukraine, Russia and Poland with about 180 employees, engaged in customer service, spare parts warehouse and sales. The company founder, Hermann Paintner has built an innovative pilot biogas unit close to the production facilities, which produces green energy and heat from sugar beet. This test facility should discover the fermentation properties of sugar beet.

Company details

Sittelsdorf 24 , Herrngiersdorf , D-84097 Germany

Locations Served

Business Type:
Industry Type:
Agriculture - Crop Cultivation
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

It was in 1972 when the 25 year-old farmer, Hermann Paintner, designed and constructed his first integrated, self-propelled sugar beet harvester at the family’s business premises. With the backing from friends and spurred on by the generosity and easy-going manner of his parents, specially that of his father, his passion for constructing reached its climax. He managed to put together his first machine almost entirely from used parts and became the local scrap merchants’ most welcome customer.

Although the machine may have been constructed from old parts the ideas of this rather young enthusiast were new and initially he was dismissed by the experts. Without profound technical know-how they gave him no, or hardly any chance. And yet, developments taught them better. It was not the large, established companies with their many collaborators of technicians and engineers that made the running but a young and smart farmer from the hilly regions of lower Bavaria.

Already as a child and even more so as a young adult Hermann Paintner had always shown an absorbing interest in technical gadgets. When he was able to tinker and work manually, saw and solder, drill and use a lathe he was in his element and he had ample opportunity to practise at his parents agricultural business which he was supposed to take over in any case. There was hardly a single machine to which he had not made technical alterations when a boy. It did not always result in an improvement but was well worth the effort.

Finally, in 1974, potential customers for a further machine emerged and it was decided to produce a limited series. But the parental Paintner farm could not provide the necessary space. Moreover, the technical equipment and the workforce for such an enterprise were lacking.

So Paintner had to look for a partner and eventually tracked down the small firm of Holmer, manufacturer of agricultural machines under whose patronage he continued to develop and construct independently. 'System Paintner' became the embodiment of six-row, self-propelled beet harvesting technology in Germany and also Europe wide. This cooperation lasted for 10 years after which it split up.

It was in 1986 that the company ROPA-Fahrzeug und Maschinenbau GmbH was established. The family premises in Sittelsdorf became the chosen site for the registered office. Inspired by new ideas and bursting with energy Paintner set about developing a simpler, more economical version of the integrated sugar beet harvester. However, with its small intermediate loader this machine could not prove itself in practice.

Paintner had meanwhile come to the notice of Südzucker AG as a serious constructor and in 1987 he was commissioned with the conversion of a patented beet loader for which ROPA subsequently acquired the licence from Mr. Fischer in Eggmühl for its sole construction and distribution. This was the start of production of the ‘Maus loader’ – as the experts had christened the machine. It could cope with the cleaning and loading of sugar beet from the clamp at the edge of the field loading via the extremely long elevator onto the road and from there with transport to the sugar beet factory.

A year later, in 1988, construction of a new integral sugar beet harvester started which was expected to gain a vital foothold on the market. With a new frame construction and a larger tyre volume it became possible to fill the loader with 35% more beet than the competition could manage. The first test of the machine took place in autumn 1988 at an international demonstration of sugar beet harvesting in Seligenstadt to which all established European manufacturers had been invited.

The new combined ROPA harvester and cleaner loader achieved best cleaning results whilst handling the beet with optimum care and exerting least stress on the soil. As a result of this demonstration the market began to sense serious competition and awareness of the experts was roused.

To keep up with constantly growing demands for more efficiency and productivity the world’s largest self-propelled tanker harvester with a load capacity of 35 m³ (22 tons) was conceived in 1992. Once thisnew 3-axle machine had been introduced to the public at a harvesting demonstration in Seligenstadt customers and specialists alike were impressed.
In the same year the pick-up width of the Maus was extended from 6.7 m to 8.3 m. In 1996 the chain pick-up mechanism of the Maus was replaced by a roller pick-up mechanism. This patented system of reversible spiral rollers was capable of scattering the separated soil particles over the entire pick-up width.

In 1998 the euro Tiger and the euro Maus were launched. The driver cabin, now with added comfort, allowed best possible view over the various working units and guaranteed an unobstructed all-round vision for monitoring the operational processes. A finely tuned electronic system propelled and monitored all mechanical functions whilst the improved hydraulics and Diesel engine increased the efficiency and safety of the machine.

To improve the manoeuvrability of the euro-Tiger the pivoting angle was increased from 15° to 30° in 2001 allowing for quick and easy turning even on small headlands. This resulted in the highest area yield per hour at lowest possible operational cost per hectare. As the first cleaning turbine is mounted directly beneath the pivot articulation it is capable of accepting the entire beet flow from the transfer conveyor.

The heart of an integrated sugar beet harvester is the lifting unit since it is its efficiency that determines the machine’s operating speed. In 2005, after comprehensive trials in the previous year, the first newly designed PR-lifting units are serially constructed. In an expandable modular construction system they provide increased through-put at lowest possible risk of blockage.      

Similarly, the euro-Tiger V8 went into full production in 2005. Extensive innovative features, especially in steering and control technology, combined with a innovative hydraulics concept and an electronic load sensing unit have turned the euro-Tiger V8 into the world’s most efficient integrated beet harvester. The extra wide lifting units of the PR-XL production series are working for the first time outside Europe, namely in the USA and in Canada.

In 2006 ROPA also developed an innovative transport and coupling system for the lifting units of the PR-XL series. When on public roads the extra-wide lifting units are loaded along the length of a compressed air-operated transporter with its flail unit raised and are towed behind the euro-Tiger V8.

In 2006 ROPA also developed an innovative transport and coupling system for the lifting units of the PR-XL series. When on public roads the extra-wide lifting units are loaded along the length of a compressed air-operated transporter with its flail unit raised and are towed behind the euro-Tiger V8.

At an international machine show in Seligenstadt in 2006 the newly developed euro-Maus 3 was introduced. The practical all-round concept of this new beet cleaner/loader merges commercially proven and thoughtfully designed units from the euro-Tiger V8 with the latest technical innovations from ROPA. With the development of the euro-Maus ROPA set new standards as regards user-friendliness, reliability and easy maintenance. An optimised colour control terminal with active status monitoring, an integrated data display and a maximised efficiency-orientated drive concept are only a few of the multitude of innovations combined in the euro-Maus M3.

2007 - A number of detailed improvements in the euro-Tiger V8-3 increase its profitability and efficiency and ensure even more comfort in the professional beet harvest.

2007 - Production starts of the euro-Maus 3. Many new practical solutions such as the RABS system with transponder in conjunction with the integrated weighing facility at the terminal for voucher less beets logistics was presented at the fair trade 'Agritechnica'.

ROPA house demonstration 2008 - Clearing in the snow and enthusiastic guests. Despite the wintry weather conditions and freezing temperatures more than five thousand visitors come to Sitteldorf to house demonstration. In addition to the demonstration the homelike get-together attached also a huge priority at ROPA. In the general heated factory buildings found the number of visitors time and opportunity to interact with each other. For the physical well of course, was well taken care.

2009 - With the ROPA NawaRo-Maus, the efficiency can be significantly enhanced in the logistics chain of biogas plants. Chopped hay such as maize silage, whole-plant silage (or wood chips) will be pick up with the Euro-NawaRo-Maus of the field edge or clamp and overloaded on large-volume road vehicles (lorries). The loading capacity is about 10 to 15 m³ per minute, the collection width is currently 8 m. The major advantage of the concept of separation of logistics chain in the field of logistics on the road.

For thefirst time ROPA present the prototype of the euro-Maus 4 at the trade fair 'Agritechnica' 2009. It will be the new generation for selfpropelled cleaning-loaders for beets with a novel and wider pick up system. For the sugar beet campaign 2010 ROPA will produce a pre-series with limited number to try the technology extensive by hard conditions.

ROPA presents in 2010 a new generation of their self-propelled cleaning loader for sugar beet with entirely new dimensions and a collection system more than 10,2 m wide. The overall concept combines performance and efficiency and blends practical experience with the newest technological innovations from the ROPA company. The unmistakeable feature of the Maus is its 9 m long counterweight arm, specially designed by Hermann Paintner and guaranteeing utmost stability even with a maximum extended loading elevator with 15 meters
Big crowds for ROPA house demonstration 2010th. With well over 10,000 visitors, the home demonstration of the ROPA  has reported a new record in Sittelsdorf visit. The huge visitor interest exceeded even the wildest expectations. The dry weather, the great diversity, as well as the presentations of the largest beet cleaning loader, the ROPA euro-Maus 4 and the completely new biogas plant, is produced in the beet sugar energy, provides the strong attraction of this greatest event in the region.