Xavier Lombard, mast climbing innovator, passes away

24 June 2011

Xavier Lombard.

Xavier Lombard.

Access International regrets to report the untimely death of Xavier Lombard, founder and managing director of XL Développement in France and one of the most innovative designers ever seen in the mast climbing and construction hoist industry.

Mr Lombard, who was in his late 50s, was diagnosed with a serious illness last December and passed away on 22 June in Paris. His funeral will be held on Tuesday 28 June in the city.

Widely respected for his engineering talent, Mr Lombard spent over three decades in the rack and pinion sector, first as manager of Hek France and as a designer at the company, and from 1999 as founder of his own mast climbing and hoist manufacturer and rental company, XL Développement and XL Location.

While at Hek he was instrumental in developing the MSM and MSL mast climbers. At XL, which now employs around 40 people, he focused on developing special platforms for a wide variety of projects, mainly in France, including mast climbers for chimney demolition and renovation.

Massimo Toni of MS Trading and AS Climber - a colleague and friend of Xavier's in the mast climbing business - remembers him as a "unique person - he had more than 10 patents for mast climbing technology. Xavier could explain simply very complicated things - he had a clear picture of mechanical things."

He was also a generous man, recalls Mr Toni, "every year he would take the entire XL staff on a three day skiing holiday in January, free of charge."

Access International understands that XL Développement will continue to operate as normal under the management of Xavier's sons, Romain and Charles.

The funeral takes place at 11.00 am at the L'Eglise Réformée de L'Etoile, 54-56 Avenue de la Grande Armée, Paris, on Tuesday 28 June.

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