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The Zettelmeyer company was founded in 1908 by Hubert Zettelmeyer and it started producing early agricultural tractors for farmers and railway shunters for the German railways using several car components with power sourced from petrol engines taken from scrap cars. Much later in the 1930s Zettelmeyer launched their first Zettelmeyer 20 diesel tractor of integral construction and powered by a diesel lorry mechanicals. In the 1950s they had also developed and manufactured their own original heavy equipment model range making them one of the oldest earthmover specialists from Germany. Their new earthmovers were mainly powered by domestic running gear including the first Deutz Diesel V8 engines one of the first makes to use them and were mostly air-cooled rather than water cooled.

In order to broaden the product range and to enter the area of compact equipment VME in 1991 acquired a majority holding in the German construction equipment manufacturer Zettelmeyer Baumaschinen GmbH. The Zettelmeyer range of high quality compact wheel loaders had a market-leading position in Germany and in other European markets and the products have been successfully integrated into the range of Volvo construction equipment.
The bigger wheel loaders were phased out in favour of the compact wheel loaders.
In 1994 a new "Series B" range of compact wheel loaders was presented and followed in 1997 of the new "Series C".

Four different models of rollers between 8 and 16 t, in total 632 units, were produced during the period 1910-1950.
4121 static diesel rollers were manufactured 1931 to 1978, and 5614 vibration diesel rollers between 1955 and 1982.