Smith Power Equipment Company Profile

Smith Power Equipment, a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd., is an import and distribution company representing world-wide leading brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market. These products are distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network. Full after sales service, support and parts are provided for all our products.

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[Johannesburg, 18 September 2018]: Paarl-based CSA Landscaping & Contractors recently purchased one of the first Kubota U15-3 mini-excavators to be deployed in the Western Cape, and apart from the versatility of the machine, the owner is ‘surprised by the power that this small machine can deliver’.    

CSA Landscaping & Contractors recently became one of the first companies to take delivery of one of the two Kubota U-15 mini-excavators sold by Wynland Agri Services, Smith Power Equipment’s authorised distributor in the Western Cape territory of Paarl, Wemmershoek, Pniel, Stellenbosch, Klipheuwel, Malmesburry, Hermon and Wellington.  

Established in 2008, CSA Landscaping is a well-known contractor for landscape architects, developers and individual property owners in the Paarl area. The company specialises in the maintenance of corporate gardens and estates; custom designed drainage systems for sports fields and building sites; building of natural working routes, wooden paths and decks; as well as construction of gabion walls.

Traditionally, landscaping is renowned for being manual labour intensive, but the recent arrival of compact equipment has changed the status quo. For this reason, when the Kubota U15-3 was launched locally this year, Jean Joubert of Wynland Agri Services knew that with its compact size and power, it would be a perfect fit for CSA Landscaping’s needs. “Because of the machine’s versatility, great power and functions like adjustable tracks, I knew that the U15-3 would be the ideal tool for CSA,” says Joubert.

CSA Landscaping went on to purchase one U15-3, and owner, Carl Arnold, says the machine is performing beyond expectations. It is used across a range of applications, but largely for soil preparation, digging tree holes and irrigation trenches. “The U153’s ability to work with a range of attachments makes it a versatile proposition for us. Its size also makes it very easy to transport between sites, given the nomadic nature of our business,” explains Arnold. “I am surprised by the power that this small machine can deliver.”

For most landscaping contractors, machine size is critically important. Given the nature of their applications, contractors are aware that they are likely to encounter worksite limitations, often restricted working width. With an operating weight of 1,5-tonne, the U15-provides enough power to tackle some of the toughest jobs in space-constrained environments.

However, a key feature that speaks directly to the common problem of width restrictions on landscaping sites is the U15-3’s hydraulic track that can adjust the track width from 1 240 to 990 mm. At the touch of a lever, operators can reduce the width to allow for navigation through narrow spaces, or increase the width, for better stability.

“The adjustable track width function allows the operator to retract the undercarriage, pass through single opening doors or gates, and then expand the undercarriage when working, for better machine stability,” explains Joubert. 

Powered by the Kubota D782-E2-BH7 engine delivering 9,9 kW (13,3 hp) of power at 2 300 rpm, the machine comes with a range of advanced functions and cutting-edge technology synonymous with Kubota, the world’s leading supplier of compact excavators. For example, the three-pump system, which uses three independent pumps for boom, arm and swivel to make the cooperation between the three components smooth and efficient.

Apart from the array of innovative features, Arnold is also impressed by the aftermarket support from Wynland Agri Services.

 

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

 

 

 

[Johannesburg, 07 August 2018]: Headlining Smith Power Equipment’s stand at Decorex will be the ‘garden of the future’ concept, which is premised on its innovative range of battery-operated gardening equipment system set to revolutionise the industry.  

Smith Power Equipment will be exhibiting at Decorex SA, South Africa’s premier décor, design and lifestyle exhibition, which is set for 8-12 August at Gallagher Convention Centre. Smith Power will use the show to showcase its Ego Power+ range of cordless, battery-powered outdoor, lawn and garden tools in the local market.

The range includes lawnmowers, string trimmers, brush cutters, as well as a multi tool system which provides a powerhead on which one can attach a host of attachments such as telescopic hedge trimmer and pole prunners, lawn edgers, brush cutters and string trimmers, all driven by a single power unit. This is complemented by a range of chain saws and hedge trimmers, as well as a full line of blowers, including hand-held and back-pack type.

Mark Chittenden, General Manager at Smith Power, says gardening equipment is not something you would normally see at Decorex, but as South Africans we have an outdoor culture similar to that we exhibit indoors. “We love our braais and being around the pool in Summer. Ego takes care of the outdoor lifestyle segment,” explains Chittenden.   

A major talking point for this range is the unique, patented 56V Arc Lithium battery designed to deliver petrol-matching performance. The Arc Lithium battery has an innovative design to maximise battery cooling. Unlike conventional brick-shaped batteries where the cells are packed together, overheat and shut down, the unique Arc design dissipates heat more effectively. Smith Power offers five battery choices at this stage, in the 2.0; 4.0; 5.0; 6.0; and 7.5 amp range.   

The battery design is unique in many ways. Firstly, it can be used in any of the EGO machines, so a single battery power all machine ranges. Secondly, apart from the innovative Arc design that helps prevent overheating, the battery has another clever way to keep cool; each and every cell is surrounded by EGO’s unique Keep Cool™ phase change material that absorbs heat energy and keeps individual cells at their optimum temperature for longer.

Chittenden says the range offers the fastest charging times in the industry. “Charging times vary from 20 to 70 minutes, depending on the type of charger selected, either Standard or Rapid. The battery’s charging times are a major talking point, given that Lithium-ion batteries, on average, take about two hours or more to recharge,” he says, adding that the EGO Arc Lithium battery range is good for a 900 charge cycle. Locally that translates to a good 4-5 year lifespan. Commercially it will depend on the charge cycles.

Another key benefit of the EGO range is the lower running costs. The cost of running an EGO Power+ product for a month is around the same as using a 2-stroke product for a day. “Another benefit is the easy set up and starting, with no filling up with fuel required, while the product range starts up with the push of a button, rather than the exhausting pull cords on the petrol-powered tools,” says Chittenden.

Unlike large, heavy petrol mowers, the EGO Power+ mower’s fold flat design makes storage and cleaning simple. The range is offered locally with a 2-year warranty on the battery, and a 3-year warranty on the machine itself.  “With lower running and maintenance costs, switching to EGO Power+ will lead to long-term savings. Plus, with zero emissions during use, you can do your bit to reduce your impact on the environment too,” says Chittenden.

McDonald says Decorex SA is an important platform where discussions around the ‘green’ revolution should gather pace. “Becoming environmentally-friendly is very important for Smith Power Equipment, and Ego Power+ is our way of trailblazing the green revolution. We will use Decorex to showcase the benefits of our products, both financially and environmentally,” concludes Chittenden.

[ENDS]

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Mark Chittenden

General Manager ORV & Ego Power

Tel: 011 284 2000

Email mchittenden@smithpower.co.za

Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Jarryd McDonald

Chief Marketing Officer

Tel: 011 284 2000

Email: jarryd@smithpower.co.za

Web: www.smithpower.co.za

 

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

[Johannesburg, 24 July 2018]: A carefully planned fleet replacement programme over the past five years – facilitated by close consultation between supplier, Smith Power Equipment, and client – has helped retain the legendary repute that The Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course has always been renowned for throughout its rich, century-long golfing history in South Africa.   

Situated northwest of Johannesburg’s hustling city centre sets one of the most famed golf clubs in South African history – The Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf. In over a century of South African golfing history, few clubs, if any, are able to replicate a heritage like that of the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

The club is a product of a merger of the former Royal Johannesburg Golf Club and the former Kensington Golf Club in 1998. Possibly deemed the first merger of its kind in South Africa in the golf industry – it went on to produce a financially sound member-owned club with contemporary facilities.

At almost 130 years old, the club is one of the oldest in South Africa and received its royal prefix in 1931 when King George the Fifth visited South Africa. Two years after this famous visit, the second of the club’s two legendary courses was born and is known, quite widely, as the East Course.

The East Course has gone on to host no less than seven South African Opens and has played host to a large number of other significant national and international events. The West Course, though not as highly rated, is still considered a first-rate South African course and is preferred by many of the clubs members because of its ease of playability.

“The merger of the two clubs in 1998 created a financially sound entity that allowed for the improvements to the clubhouse and the two courses. The result is a superb 36-hole facility, with two outstanding parkland golf courses ideally suited to meet the golfing needs of the 21st century,” explains Shaun Brits, Course Manager at The Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course.

As Brits puts it, one of the factors that sets the club apart from a lot of other traditional golf clubs is that it’s not a country club; Royal focuses specifically on golf, and has done so since its inception, always steeping itself in both tradition and history. However, in the modern times where everything around us “evolves” in every aspect, five years ago, the club relooked a number of things – all the way from facilities to equipment – but still keeping with the traditional golf club theme that has seen it earn “the home of golf” accolade.

New era

Apart from the modern facilities, a new management team that took the reins in 2014 also ushered in a new era for the club. Prior to the arrival of the management team, which is led by CEO Chris Bentley, the club was still run by a committee, which is the traditional structure for several golf courses.

There were several priorities on the management’s to-do list when they walked in. “We looked at every element of the business and there were several aspects that needed a fresh approach and some realignment to keep up with current and modern golf clubs,” says Brits. Top of the new management team’s agenda was the equipment – a key enabler in giving the members the playability they desire from their course.

When Brits and the new management team walked in, for several reasons, the club had deferred its equipment replacement programme. Bruce Chambers, Sales – Toro and Club Car Divisions at Smith Power Equipment, recalls the early days when Brits and him started looking at replenishing the old equipment, which was at the time, about three years past its replacement cycle. “About five years ago when we started to talk to Royal, a lot of their equipment was getting too old and obviously downtime and rising repair bills made the equipment inefficient,” says Chambers.

Replacement programme

In close consultation, Brits and Chambers came up with a fleet replacement programme. “Fleet replacement is not something that you just decide to do, it takes literally a year of planning and getting the kit approved. To outline the accomplishments of specific annual goals over the years, I would say consistently over the past four years, Royal has purchased and basically replaced 90% of its kit over that period,” says Chambers.

“When I walked in we hadn’t replaced for about three to four years, so we were that far behind,” explains Brits. “The challenge we faced at the time was priority. So, if you have a R15-million fleet and you have a budget allocation of R2-million per year for replacement, for example, you don’t know where to start.”

As a result, every year for the past four years, Royal has religiously invested in equipment, earmarking priority, and obviously age. “There were certain things that we felt could be kept going, but certain items had to be replaced immediately, and that’s how we have progressed up until the last and recent equipment delivery in June this year,” says Chambers.

Royal recently took delivery of 5 x Toro Flex 2120 walk behinds; 1 x Toro Sand Pro 3040 bunker rake; 1 x Toro Propass 200 topdresser; 4 x Toro Workman GTX utility vehicles; and 1 x Cosmo P500 fertiliser spreader. The order was informed by walkers’ priority for the East Course greens, as well as general maintenance needs.

“Our priority strategy looked at the main areas that our members play on, and we saw that the tees, fairway greens and bunkers needed most attention,” explains Brits. “So we looked at the agronomic stuff, like less volatile tractors. It has been very rewarding to work with Bruce and Smith Power, and the benefits of the association have been instrumental to the club’s new direction.”

Brits adds that the investments in new, premium Toro gear, supported by a reputable supplier, has resulted in huge savings in repairs, less downtime, and greater health of greens and fairways.

Key influencers

Investments into equipment are such big-ticket purchases and there are many factors that influence buying decisions. To put in context the astronomic nature of Royal’s fleet replacement programme over the last four years, the club runs between 60 and 70 units from Smith Power.

To reiterate the trust in the brands – Toro and Club Car – as well as the supplier, Smith Power Equipment, 90% of the equipment the club runs is Smith Power-supplied.  “One of the factors that influenced our buying decision is that Toro is a leading brand in the golf equipment industry,” says Brits. “I have been in the game for 18 years now, and have dealt with Smith Power over the years, and I should say the service levels from the team are just amazing.”

Brits is also enthused by Toro and Smith Power’s passion to the green keeping industry. “Smith Power is a team of professionals who are passionate about what they do, and the brands they represent. They are always willing to help wherever they can. For example, when we have tournaments and need a helping hand, whether it’s a machine to loan or rent, the guys always go that extra mile to help us. For me, they are more than just a company that sells equipment; they create long-lasting relationships for long-term partnerships.”

Brits further reiterates that relationships of this nature don’t come by every day. He is of the view that often buying decisions are influenced by price, but there is more to consider than just price. “I think many in our industry look at price first, but for me, there is more to a buying decision than just price. When it comes to Toro and Smith Power, we really believe we are getting ‘value’ for money in every sense of the word,” concludes Brits. 

[ENDS]

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Robert Keir

Marketing Manager

Tel: 011 284 2000

Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za

Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

[Johannesburg, 9 July 2018]: Smith Power Equipment’s compact revolution continues apace following the recent conclusion of an exclusive distributorship agreement with AUSA. This allows the South African importation and distribution company to offer the Spanish OEM’s full range of equipment across southern Africa.

As part of its relentless quest to build a southern African compact empire, Smith Power Equipment recently concluded a new distributorship agreement with AUSA, a leading Spanish OEM renowned for its extensive range of rough terrain dumpers, forklifts and telescopic handlers. The exclusive distribution agreement was signed in September 2017.

Tom Bloom, general manager for Construction Equipment at Smith Power Equipment, says AUSA’s full range of equipment fits perfectly into the local distributor’s compact strategy, and complements the existing compact solutions already in the stable, such as the Kubota mini-excavator – further confirming Smith Power’s pioneering position in the local compact market. Added to that is the fact that AUSA’s range of equipment is powered by Kubota engines, which are already distributed and supported by Smith Power locally.

Mario Torres, regional manager for Africa at AUSA, says the Spanish OEM is excited to have partnered a well-established local equipment and solutions supplier of Smith Power Equipment’s calibre. He is confident that the distributorship agreement will further boost AUSA’s business in Africa, a region which already represents 8-10% of the Spanish OEM’s global business. AUSA has had three previous distributors in the local market, but Torres believes Smith Power’s extensive footprint and dedicated compact strategy sets it apart, and will be key to further growing the brand locally.

Torres says Smith Power’s key strength is its footprint. The supplier has over 50 dealers and branches throughout South Africa. The company works closely with its dealers and branches to provide customers with product, solutions and aftersales service. The company recently expanded its footprint with the opening of a new branch in Cape Town in November last year. On March 1 this year, Smith Power also opened another branch in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.

Wide range

Bloom is mostly excited about AUSA’s range of rough terrain forklifts which gives the company the much needed traction into challenging applications. “AUSA forklifts are versatile machines capable of handling heavy loads on rough and sloping terrain. This makes them suitable for construction, mining, agriculture and industrial applications,” explains Bloom, adding that the wide line of off-road and semi-industrial models ranges from 2,5 tonne (t) to 3,5 t.

“We have a specific focus on two rough terrain forklift models. These are the D250H (2,5 t) and the D350AHG (3,5 t). We have initially brought in the D250H and D350H models, and both units are selling nicely. We also import two Tauralifts (1.4T and 2.0T Rough Terrain Telehandlers), which have also been sold in South Africa,” adds Bloom.

AUSA is a leading name in the global dumper market and offers the most varied range in this market segment. Bloom maintains that compact wheel dumpers are replacing smaller trucks on many construction sites. Due to their compact size, they are now the preferred solution to transport material in particularly difficult terrain and where space is at a premium. The dumper, together with our Kubota compact excavators, is a perfect combination for urban construction.

The model range includes a rigid chassis dumper with a 1 500 kg payload, as well as the articulated dumpers from 2 500 to 3 500 kg. “There are 4WD, 2WD, mechanical, hydrostatic and torque converter transmissions available in combination with front loading and swivel unloading hoppers. We also have available options for self-loading shovel, backhoe and sweeper,” explains Bloom. Having initially showcased the rough terrain forklifts and the all-terrain telescopic handlers at bauma CONEXPO AFRICA, the first dumper units have since arrived in the country and made their grand debut at NAMPO 2018.

AUSA also offers one of the widest line of compact all-terrain telehandlers, with capacities from 1,4 to 2 t. “The range has two models that are highly compact, designed to work in open spaces under very extreme conditions, as well as narrow semi-enclosed spaces with difficult access. The versatility of the telescopic arm allows positioning at height, but also to the front, which makes the range ideal for handling materials on site,” concludes Bloom.

[ENDS]

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

[Johannesburg, 11 June 2018]: At this year’s NAMPO Harvest Days, Smith Power Equipment marked its 18th exhibit at the premier agricultural show with a host of new solutions that speak directly to the needs of the farming community. However, it was the Technology Showcase of the gigantic Kubota M7-172 tractor that stole the limelight.  

New products and solutions are always at the centre of exhibitions of Grain SA’s NAMPO Harvest Days’ stature, the largest show of its nature in the southern hemisphere. At this year’s show – which took place at the usual Bothaville, Free State base, from 15-18 May – South African importer and distributor of specialist machinery, turf maintenance equipment and off-road vehicles, Smith Power’s stand was a hive of activity with new brands in the stable making their debuts, complemented by a host of new products and solutions suited for the farming community.

General Manager Tom Bloom says there were several highlights at the company’s stand this year. However, it was the launch of the new Kubota U15-3, a 1,5-tonne compact excavator that further highlights Smith Power’s compact approach, as well as the gigantic M7-172 tractor that will give the company a huge step into the bigger league of the agricultural equipment sector once it is commercially available for the local market. The Technology Showcase allowed Smith Power to give a glimpse of what’s to come, and according to Bloom, it will take two years before the M7 is available for retail in South Africa.

“These two new products are very much in line with the current trends in the agricultural sector. The market is going towards compact equipment, and the U15-3 is a solution that speaks directly to that need,” says Bloom. “Meanwhile, at a time when the sector is battling so many challenges, such as incessant droughts and resultant poor yields, the term ‘Precision Farming’ came up several times at the show. Farmers are looking at ways to make every part of their farming activities as profitable as possible, and they are starting to question how capital equipment goods can add value to their operations before they make any buying decisions. With the display of the M7 we showed the farming community that we have the technological prowess to help them prevail over some of their challenges.”

M7 in focus

By far the M7 was the centre of attraction at Smith Power’s NAMPO stand, says Bloom. Understandably, the M7 is “massive”, in every aspect of the word, both its size and feature offering. It comes with several improvements and updates compared with its predecessor.

A key talking point is the higher performance with lower fuel consumption, which is music to every farmer’s ears. This is achieved through Kubota’s engine optimisation, with maximum power now available at a lower level of 1 900 rpm. This results in improved performance, particularly during PTO work. “Fuel consumption is significantly lower thanks to the engine update, which makes the M7 more efficient and less thirsty. The maximum torque is reached at 1 500 rpm, resulting in improved fuel efficiency,” explains Bloom.

The M7 series is equipped with a new 6-speed Powershift transmission with 30 forward and 15 reverse gears (F54/R27 with creep speed). This results in an improved shifting performance. There are two Powershift overlaps between each speed, which makes shifting gears easier.

Meanwhile, the K-monitors have received an update with new features. The memory for the headland management system, HMS has been increased in order to save more variations –you can now save up to 20 different implements in one setup. In addition, you can now store individual driver profiles, so that all important tractor settings are saved. The automatic steering technology has also been improved in the M7. You can now use a “nudge” function to correct your A-B line with the push of a button. The distance of the A-B line is now also shown in centimetres, to better detect deviations from the line.

Debutants abound

Apart from the M7, the new Kubota U15-3 was shown for the first time to the farming community. With its powerful, yet smooth operation, this machine is a perfect fit for farmers looking to keep a lid on their operational costs and getting the better of space-constrained working environments. It is the ultimate solution in confined spaces, thanks to its compact body and adjustable track width function. According to Bloom, a key feature of the U15-3 is its hydraulic track that can adjust the track width from 1 240 to 990 mm. At the touch of a lever, operators can reduce the width, to allow for navigation through narrow spaces, or increase the width, for better stability.

Meanwhile, the AUSA dumpers also made their debut at NAMPO. Compact wheel dumpers are replacing smaller trucks on many sites and they will definitely come handy for the farming community. Due to their compact size, they are now the preferred solution to transport material in particularly difficult terrain and where space is at a premium. “We showcased the AUSA 2,5 and 3,5 t articulated dumpers at NAMPO. There are 4WD, 2WD, mechanical, hydrostatic and torque converter transmissions available in combination with front loading and swivel unloading hoppers. We also have available options for self-loading shovel, backhoe and sweeper,” says Bloom.

There was also a lot of interest in Smith Power’s newly-launched EGO Power+ system, a cordless, effortless way to get the better of gardening and landscaping tasks. Powered by a 56V Arc Lithium battery, the EGO Power+ system delivers petrol-matching power, but without any of the downsides of petrol-powered units. It’s simpler, cleaner and quieter, and with less vibration, it is more comfortable to use. With lower running and maintenance costs, customers are assured to make greater savings.

“We showcased a comprehensive range of EGO’s outdoor, lawn and garden tools. These included lawnmowers, domestic string trimmers, brush cutters, as well as a multi tool system which provides a powerhead on which one can attach a host of attachments such as telescopic hedge trimmer and pole prunners, lawn edgers, brush cutters and string trimmers, all driven by a single power unit,” concludes Bloom.   

[ENDS]

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

[Johannesburg, 24 May 2018]: With the introduction of EGO’s cordless range of battery powered outdoor, lawn and garden tools in the local market, Smith Power, a South African importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market, is offering a revolutionary, unique and smarter way to power through gardening and landscaping tasks.

For the first time in generations, the local outdoor power tool market has been transfigured. The innovative EGO Power+ system, a cordless, effortless way to get the better of gardening and landscaping tasks, is now available in South Africa through specialist equipment supplier, Smith Power, following the signing of an exclusive distribution agreement in December 2017. 

EGO is a global manufacturing company established in 1993, which has been at the centre of revolutionising the gardening equipment industry. In the single biggest advancement in technology since petrol-powered mowers arrived on the scene over a century ago, fossil fuels are being replaced by cleaner, greener energy of the EGO Power+ system. Powered by an industry-leading 56V Arc Lithium battery, the EGO Power+ system delivers petrol-matching power, but without any of the downsides of petrol-powered units. It’s simpler, cleaner and quieter, and with less vibration that is more comfortable to use. With lower running and maintenance costs, customers are assured to make greater savings.

“We carry a comprehensive range of EGO’s outdoor, lawn and garden tools. These include lawnmowers, domestic string trimmers, brush cutters, as well as a multi tool system which provides a powerhead on which one can attach a host of attachments such as telescopic hedge trimmer and pole prunners, lawn edgers, brush cutters and string trimmers, all driven by a single power unit,” explains Mark Chittenden, General Manager at Smith Power.

“We then also have a range of chain saws and hedge trimmers, as well as a full line of blowers, including hand-held and back-pack type,” adds Chittenden.

Unique battery offering

A major talking point for this range is the unique, patented 56V Arc Lithium battery designed to deliver petrol-matching performance. The Arc Lithium battery has an innovative design to maximise battery cooling. Unlike conventional brick-shaped batteries where the cells are packed together, overheat and shut down, the unique Arc design dissipates heat more effectively. “We offer five battery choices at this stage, in the 2.0; 4.0; 5.0; 6.0; and 7.5 amp range,” says Chittenden.   

The battery design is unique in many ways. Firstly, it can be used in any of the EGO machines, so a single battery can be used across all machine ranges. Secondly, apart from the innovative Arc design that helps prevent overheating, the battery has another clever way to keep cool; each and every cell is surrounded by EGO’s unique Keep Cool™ phase change material that absorbs heat energy and keeps individual cells at their optimum temperature for longer.

The Fuel Gauge feature shows the battery’s remaining power level. “There is a battery indicator so that as you work, you can check the display to see how much power is remaining. This makes it easy to gauge when you will need to recharge the battery,” says Chittenden. This is complemented by a Power Management System which prevents over-discharging and extends battery life.

“We also offer the most powerful battery range with high voltage of 56 V. Many competitive brands are within the 18 or 36-V range,” says Chittenden, adding that running times vary from 60 minutes on a 2-amp battery using a hedge trimmer, for example, to 50 minutes on a mower. “The average is 30 minutes per use across all ranges,” he says.

Meanwhile, charging times vary from 20 to 70 minutes, depending on the type of charger selected, either Standard or Rapid. The battery’s charging times are a major talking point, bearing in mind that Lithium-ion batteries, on average, take about two hours or more to recharge. The EGO Arc Lithium battery range is good for a 1000 charge cycle. Locally that translates to a good 4-5 year lifespan. Commercially it will depend on the charge cycles.

Target markets

In terms of target markets, Chittenden says they are widely spread out. “We cater for the garden enthusiast, we cater for the ‘green’ customer and clients who want less noise and vibrations from their tools. These include golf courses, lodges, hotels, schools, golf estates, eco estates, landscapers and garden services, to mention a few.”

One of the key benefits of the EGO range of tools is the lower running costs. The cost of running an EGO Power+ product for a month is around the same as using a 2-stroke product for a day. Another benefit is the easy set up and starting, with no filling up with fuel required, while the product range starts up with the push of a button, rather than the exhausting pull cords on the petrol-powered tools.

Unlike large, heavy petrol mowers, the EGO Power+ mower’s fold flat design makes storage and cleaning simple. The range is offered locally with a 2-year warranty on the battery, and a 3-year warranty on the machine itself. 

“With lower running and maintenance costs, switching to EGO Power+ will lead to long-term savings. Plus, with zero emissions during use, you can do your bit to reduce your impact on the environment too,” concludes Chittenden.

[ENDS]

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Robert Keir

Marketing Manager

Tel: 011 284 2000

Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za

Web: www.smithpower.co.za

 

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

PRESS RELEASE

SMITH POWER REAFFIRMS THE FUTURE IS COMPACT

[Johannesburg, 15 May 2018]: Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a South African importer and distributor of leading global specialist machinery, turf maintenance equipment and off-road vehicles, will be attending Grain SA’s NAMPO Harvest Days, taking place in Bothaville in the Free State from 15-18 May 2018.

This year marks 18 years that SPE will be attending South Africa’s premier agricultural show, NAMPO Harvest Days, which will attract 740 exhibitors this year, and more than 78 000 visitors.

“NAMPO brings together the agricultural community, both buyers and sellers, in one place. It is a perfect platform for us to showcase some of our newly introduced solutions to our agricultural customers.  This helps them make informed decisions when considering investing in a new piece of equipment,” says Wally Bergmann, Manging Director at SPE.

He explains that the company hopes that this year’s NAMPO will have some focus on being water wise, with special attention on the water-stricken Cape regions of the country. He is of the view that further focus should be on moving away from fossil fuels, in preference of cleaner, electrical alternatives, such as the Ego Power+ range of gardening equipment.  

Powered by an industry-leading 56V Arc Lithium battery, the EGO Power+ system delivers petrol-matching power, but without any of the downsides of petrol-powered units. It’s simpler, cleaner and quieter, and with less vibration, it is more comfortable to use. With lower running and maintenance costs, customers are assured to make greater savings.

SPE carries a comprehensive range of EGO’s outdoor, lawn and garden tools. These include lawnmowers, domestic string trimmers, industrial brush cutters, as well as the multi tool system which provides a power unit on which one can attach a host of attachments such as telescopic hedge cutters and pole prunners, lawn edgers, brush cutters and string trimmers, all driven by a single power unit.

Platform for equipment

Bergmann highlights that SPE will be showcasing a full range of Kubota gear available for a wide range of agricultural applications. At the centre of the Kubota display will be the massive Kubota M7 Tractor, an already popular piece of equipment in the local market. This will be a power and technology showcase of the capabilities that Kubota offers.

This will be complemented by a range of new solutions to the market, including the new Kubota U15-3 compact excavator; the Ausa T204 and articulated dumpers and an upgraded range of Polaris side by sides and quad bikes.

He highlights further that Kubota is the world leader when it comes to engine and efficiency, this year SPE will make that clear to its customers. Further, the company is changing and adapting to further meet its customer’s needs, SPE will also be displaying the Ausa Taurulift T204 and other articulated dumpers.

Bergmann explains that SPE will be showcasing the upgraded range of Polaris side by sides and quad bikes. “We are launching the new Polaris Ranger XP 1000 and the and the General 1000 EPS at this year’s NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show.”

Further, the company will also have the upgraded range of Linhai side by sides and quads bikes available to be seen with the Linhai T-Boss side by side at the SPE booth. “Kipor generators will still be there, showing the market that we still service and sell petrol and diesel generators,” he says.

SPE is going full force for this year’s NAMPO, connecting with new customers and reaching out to further inform and service existing customers.

“We want to connect deeply with our existing customers and show off our new equipment. We also want to attract new customers with our new products and hopefully in the future support them with any other equipment that we have available.” Bergmann concludes.

Smith Power Equipment will be exhibiting at NAMPO from 15-18 May 2017. Visit us at stand E23

[ENDS]

About Smith Power Equipment

Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd., is an importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

Distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network, these products come with full after sales service and support. Parts are provided for all SPE-distributed products.

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za 

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

RESTATING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LONG-TERM BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS

[Johannesburg, 26 April 2018]: In a deal that restates the significance of long-term business relationships, as part of its fleet replacement programme, Serengeti Golf Club has taken delivery of a large fleet of Toro turf maintenance gear from Smith Power Equipment, a South African importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

No matter what type of business you are into, you need to establish and maintain business relationships. The world is filled with people, not just products and consumers, and it is the connection between people that creates trust and long-term relationships. This is the view of Mark Renwick, CEO of Serengeti Golf Club – a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf club located near Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa – referring to the relationship Serengeti has created with Smith Power Equipment, the sole distributor of the Toro range of turf maintenance equipment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Smith Power Equipment and Serengeti Golf Club’s business relationship dates back as far as some 10 years ago, well before the construction phase of the golf course began. Smith Power Equipment went on to supply the first turf equipment ever used at Serengeti Golf Club. The initial fleet was in excess of 45 units, comprising a comprehensive range of greens mowers, fairway mowers, verticutters, sweepers, transport vehicles and all the utility and agronomic equipment.

This is the same fleet that has since been replaced as part of a fleet replacement programme. A first equipment sale is one thing, but being able to nurture relationships over the years to culminate into the second sale, is quite another, reasons Lionel Coetzee, Director of Toro and Club Car at Smith Power Equipment. A recent large order of about 24 new Toro turf maintenance units delivered by Smith Power to Serengeti is testimony to the sort of relationship that exists between the two companies, which has been cemented by open and honest discussions over the years.  

Premium gear for a world-class facility

The new fleet of Toro turf maintenance equipment supplied by Smith Power Equipment will help keep the standards high at Serengeti. Bear in mind that this facility is part of an elite group of more than 340 courses that carry the Nicklaus Design name globally, and one of the five courses Jack Nicklaus designed and opened in South Africa since 1998.

The 27-hole course has two layouts – an 18-hole course named the Masai Mara, which has a rugged grassland and dunescape look and feel, and a 9-hole course named the Whistling Thorn, which features classic design elements and a plainslike feel. The pristine nature of the course makes it an obvious choice for tournaments of distinction. It is a facility that was selected to host the SA Open Championships in 2010 and 2011, and numerous other Sunshine Tour events. It recently played host to the reinstated Tour Championship in March this year.

The new fleet will be deployed on the 18-hole course, and represents 60% of the fleet needs at Serengeti. With new developments taking place at the 9-hole course, Serengeti expects to further boost its fleet to help maintain the high standards on this premium golf course. The 24-unit order is a comprehensive fleet of greens mowers, rough mowers, tees and collars, fairways mowers, semi-rough and intermediate mowers, as well as the agronomic and transport equipment. “The first batch of the order was delivered at the end of 2017, with the remaining units delivered at the start of this year,” says Coetzee. 

Long-term relationship

“Toro is a premium product and that was obviously one of the deciding factors for us to spend the amount of money that we spent on our new turf maintenance equipment needs,” explains Renwick.

While the Toro product speaks for itself – in South Africa, the American brand holds a major share of the turf equipment market, same as on the global stage, where it is by far the leader in this range of equipment – for Renwick, buying decisions of this magnitude are beyond just brand names and transactions; they are more based on long-term relationships.

“Firstly, for me, the most important thing is the relationship. People do business with people. Reputation and stature are one thing, but long-lasting relationships are quite another. The sort of relationship we have established with Lionel Coetzee and his team at Smith Power Equipment is an open and honest one, which makes it easier to do business with each other,” explains Renwick. “In Lionel and his team, we are dealing with dedicated individuals with a vested interest in the success of our business, not just a company or agent that is driven by its own interests and profits.”

“Secondly, it’s not just about the transaction; it’s also about the support, all the way from service, emergencies to value adds, that really matter in our buying decisions,” adds Renwick.

Speaking of relationships, Coetzee says all of Smith Power’s business in the turf industry is based on long-term, repeat deals driven by strong relationships. He says that attracting one-time customers who come once and never return is not good business. He is of the view that the business world today is all about establishing and maintaining long-term business relationships.

“There are lots of things that make a good relationship, and certainly customer service and focus on our side are key elements,” says Coetzee. “Being able to service the customer and fulfil their needs from a service, backup support and even refurbishments perspective, is our key focus area. It would always be great to get a new sale, but at times we need to be prudent and sensitive to our customers’ needs, and where we feel they should refurbish, we advise them accordingly and help them extend the lifecycles of their existing equipment.”

Smith Power Equipment has been the Toro dealer for almost 27 years, though the brand has been present in the local market for much longer than that. Smith has been one of the most capable dealers for Toro globally, and testimony to this is that the local supplier has won the coveted Toro Distributor of the Year award three times in the last five years. Annually, Toro assesses its dealers’ businesses, not only from a sales perspective, but also the way the business is run, including the state of the workshop, parts supply, customer satisfaction and value adds such as training given to the industry.

“It’s fairly a stringent criteria and in three of the past five years we have finished top of the pile. We are very proud of our achievements, but the key for us is to keep it as good, if not better, in our quest to keep our customers happy, such as Mark and his team at Serengeti, well into the future,” concludes Coetzee.

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Robert Keir

Marketing Manager

Tel: 011 284 2000

Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za

Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

PRESS RELEASE

SMITH POWER REAFFIRMS THE FUTURE IS COMPACT

 

[Johannesburg, 13 April 2018]: At the recently-ended bauma CONEXPO AFRICA, Smith Power, a South African importation and distribution company representing leading global brands, reiterated its pioneering position in the local compact equipment market by showcasing several of its new, internationally-renowned brands recently added to its ever-growing stable.

Apart from the usual launch of new products, major capital equipment exhibitions of bauma CONEXPO AFRICA nature have also evolved to be great platforms to learn of new trends in the capital equipment space. For Smith Power, the major talking point of its exhibit was the demonstration of its complete basket of compact equipment available for the South African construction market from a single supplier. Smith used the platform to reiterate that the future lies in compact gear, and dealing with a supplier that can address any problem statement optimally and service compact equipment needs across board is more critical than ever.     

In line with its compact approach, Smith Power presented a host of new product lines from new international partners, including AUSA, Haulotte and Italian attachment manufacturer, Cangini. These were complemented by an updated range of its compact excavators from leading international manufacturer, Kubota.

While the compact equipment market in South Africa remains a very small segment of the continent’s overall construction equipment market, Smith Power is defiant that all indications are that it has to grow.

In South Africa, the mini-excavator market is still developing. This is in line with international trends, where almost 200 000 units are sold worldwide each year, asserting the compact excavator market as the single largest sector of the annual global 700 000-unit construction equipment market.  

Although the trend towards compact equipment is still very much in its infancy locally compared with international markets, Robert Keir, Marketing Manager at Smith Power, is defiant that the future is compact, and there are clear signs that the market is on a sustainable growth path locally. “We are convinced that the compact equipment sector is a growing and interesting market locally. We have also seen several South African equipment suppliers going the compact route, with the recent launches of new compact ranges by several local suppliers being testimony to the growth potential signals of this market,” says Keir.

Key highlights

“There were a couple of highlights for us at bauma CONEXPO AFRICA,” says Keir. “We showed, for the first time, our newly-acquired range of AUSA rough terrain forklifts and telehandlers.”

Smith recently entered into a supply agreement with AUSA, a leading Spanish OEM that offers the most extensive range of dumpers, rough terrain forklifts, dumpers and telehandlers. The AUSA range fits well into Smith’s compact focus.  

“With the arrival of the AUSA range, we will be able to offer the widest range of compact all terrain telescopic handlers in the market, with capacities from 1,4 t to 2,0 t. AUSA has a range of two models that are highly compact and have an advanced design for working in open spaces under very extreme conditions, as well as very narrow semi-enclosed spaces with difficult access. The versatility of the telescopic arm allows positioning at height but also to the front, which makes it the ideal equipment for handling materials on site,” says Keir.

Keir adds that AUSA forklifts are highly versatile machines capable of handling heavy loads and big volumes on rough and sloping terrain. This makes them suitable for outdoor construction and industrial applications. “AUSA offers the widest range of off-road and semi-industrial diesel models in the market from 2,5 t to 3,5 t,” he says.

Additionally, this year Smith will also introduce AUSA’s range of dumpers to the local market. Internationally, wheel dumpers are fast replacing smaller trucks on many construction sites, especially in difficult terrain conditions, and the trend will also soon find its way into the local market. With the AUSA range, Smith will be able to offer the most varied line-up of dumpers in the market.

“The AUSA dumper range includes a rigid chassis model at 1 500 kg of payload and articulated dumpers from 2 500 to 3 500 kg. There are 4WD, 2WD, mechanical, hydrostatic and torque converter transmissions available in combination with front height and swivel unloading hoppers. There are available optional of self-loading shovel and sweeper models,” says Keir.

Smith also used the show to unveil its Haulotte range of telehandlers. Keir says Haulotte manufactures and distributes a large range of telehandlers. “Haulotte offers three ranges – Compact, High Lift and Heavy Load,” he says, adding that the range has a special design focus on minimising operator fatigue through well-laid ergonomics.

The expanded and updated Kubota compact excavator range was also on show. Keir says the 30% year-on-year growth of the Kubota excavators since their initial launch in 2014 is testimony to the trend towards this solution in the local construction industry. “We have seen an increased stable demand of compact excavators and we have been able to double our sales every year since we launched the range,” says Keir.

To allow customers to further benefit from the versatility of its compact gear, Smith also used bauma CONEXPO AFRICA to showcase its newly-acquired range of attachments from Italian manufacturer, Cangini. “A key competitive edge for our range of telehandlers and mini-excavators is that they can be equipped with a range of accessories. With Cangini, we are able to offer a wide range of attachments, all the way from buckets, winches, brackets, quick hitches, to demolition crushers and screening buckets, grapples, wood grabs, mulchers, augers, rippers, broom sweepers and pallet forks,” says Keir

Positive mood

Judging by interactions with customers at the show, Keir says there is a positive sentiment all around. “The market is defiantly on an upswing, and there is a lot of positivity in the air. A true measure of the renewed business confidence is that we were able to conclude several deals during the show,” he says.

Looking ahead, Keir is positive that 2018 will be an exciting year for both equipment users and suppliers. “bauma CONEXPO AFRICA 2018 reflected a sense of renewed optimism and highlighted the opportunities in the industry, despite recent economic challenges,” he says.

As the continental economy shows signs of a great rebound, especially driven by an improving mining sector, Keir says Smith has plans to further expand its reach into Africa, where its strategy is based on its pioneering position in the compact equipment space. “Africa is the new frontier with its mineral wealth and exciting market development opportunities. There is opportunity to take calculated risks with high potential rewards. Therefore, we are very excited about our plans into Africa and are sure of success,” concludes Keir.

 

[ENDS]

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Robert Keir

Marketing Manager

Tel: 011 284 2000

Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za

Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

PRESS RELEASE

Getting the better of tight spaces

[Johannesburg, 6 September 2017]: Tight working areas are the order of the day in Mburg Mini Plant’s line of work, and to prevail over space-constrained jobsites, the Western Cape-based company recently took delivery of a 3 t Kubota U30-6 mini-excavator from Smith Power Equipment (SPE), South African importers and distributors of leading global specialist machinery, turf maintenance equipment and off-road vehicles.

Mburg Mini Plant is a Cape Town-based, family-owned contractor that specialises in earthmoving, trenching, rock breaking and hole-drilling jobs, but its area of speciality is in space-constrained jobsites where big machines are often out of question. When recently faced with a decision to expand their mini-excavator fleet, owners Stephen Ebing and his son Jason, unanimously decided to purchase a 3 t Kubota U30-6 mini-excavator from Smith Power Equipment, the authorised distributor of the Kubota range of compact excavators in South Africa, through its Strand-based dealer, Kubota Western Cape.

Apart from Kubota’s track-record and build quality, a major feature behind Mburg Mini Plant’s buying decision was the Kubota U30-6’s compact size, which allows it to work in very tight spaces, but still offering high power performance to execute a range of jobs that normally call for larger conventional machines. Powered by a Kubota D1703-M-E3-BH-11 engine delivering 20,5 kW @ 2 200 rpm, the U30-6 punches above its weight with an impressive bucket breakout force of 30 kN, representing a whopping 113% increase compared with the previous model.

The compact size of the machine was a key prerequisite. With an overall length of only 4 530mm, overall height of 2 455mm and 1 550mm width, the U30-6 fits the bill for Mburg Mini Plant’s space-restricted line of work, and the ability to fit onto a standard trailer makes it easy to move the machine from site to site.

“With Kubota’s boom-swing technology, the machine allows for direct digging operation close to walls or buildings without the need to reposition it. Combined with Kubota’s zero tail swing function, which always keeps the tail of the excavator within track-width when swivelling, the machine is very suitable for operation in typical tight places we work in,” says Ebing.

The new unit was purchased specifically to work across a range of applications, including trenching, concrete demolition, grading and drilling. Consequently, versatility was right up on Ebing’s checklist as the machine had to offer greater flexibility to work with a range of attachments to execute the raft of duties at hand. “The U30-6 made the cut with its ability to handle all of our job requirements, considering that the machine combines superior power and outstanding versatility to tackle demanding jobs in a variety of conditions,” says Ebing.

When working with one-way hydraulic attachments, such as a breaker, the standard third-line hydraulic return system allows oil to flow directly back to the tank without running through the control valves. This contributes to less oil contamination, reduced back pressure and greater oil flow efficiency. According to Tom Bloom, general manager for Construction at SPE, the machine also comes with additional service ports for attaching hydraulic attachments to the excavator, further increasing versatility.

With fuel savings in mind, the Auto Idling system was another key attraction for Mburg Mini Plant. Idling time is one of the biggest wastes of fuel when it comes to construction equipment. Operators rev machines when they shouldn’t and let them idle when they could be shut off. With Kubota’s Auto Idling System, this is a non-issue. “When control levers are in neutral for more than four seconds, the engine automatically switches to idling mode. When the operator moves any control lever, engine rpm automatically returns. While this feature translates into reduced noise and emissions, especially in sensitive urban sites, a fuel saving of up to 10% is achievable,” says Bloom.
Mburg Mini Plant’s business is uptime-driven, and aftermarket support is always a crucial consideration when purchasing its tools of trade. “SPE and Kubota Western Cape have been supportive all the way and we have had no issues to date,” says Ebing. With its footprint of about 80 sub-dealers countrywide, SPE is well represented in all the major economic hubs of South Africa.
SPE now has over 100 Kubota compact excavators operating in the field. Bloom highlights that the local supplier has seen increased uptake of this gear since launching the first units in the local market in 2014. The supplier managed to double its sales in 2015, and even achieved significant sales growth in 2016 despite the challenging economic conditions on the back of a drought-hit agricultural sector, a construction industry that didn’t see the best of times and a mining sector in dire straits due to lower commodity prices.
“We have seen a strong interest in our Kubota mini-excavators. The U30 has been the popular choice, especially in the small plant hire, construction and agriculture sectors,” says Bloom. “In challenging economic conditions, cost-cutting is very important for fleet owners. A compact excavator’s major benefits over most conventional solutions include fuel economy, lower capital outlay, ease of transportation compared with bigger options, as well as versatility. We also see a lot of urban construction going on locally, and often in confined working environments, and this is where the compact excavator excels,” concludes Bloom.

About Smith Power Equipment

Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd.,is an importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

Distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network, these products come with full after sales service and support. Parts are provided for all SPE-distributed products.

Smith Power Equipment contact:
Tom Bloom
General Manager Kubota Construction Division
Tel: 011 284 2024
Email: tom@smithpower.co.za
Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:
Bridgette Macheke
MoonDawn Media & Communications
Tel: 011 079 5494
Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549
Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za
Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za













PRESS RELEASE

KUBOTA L45 A NATURAL CHOICE FOR 2HIRE

[Johannesburg, 18 October 2017]: In a capital investment decision the owner terms a ‘natural choice’, 2Hire, a Western Cape-based plant hire company, has taken delivery of a new Kubota L45 TLB from Carlu Trekkers, the authorised distributor of Smith Power Equipment, the sole importer of the Kubota range of equipment in South Africa. 

The downside of unreliable plant hire equipment is two-way. For the end-user, unplanned downtime translates into project delays, while for the plant hire company, faulty gear is tantamount to channelling both potential profits and reputation down the drain.  

Having been in the plant hire business since 2006, 2Hire, a plant hire company that specialises in the rental of compaction equipment, is well aware of the dangers of compromising quality when it comes to selection of equipment. Consequently, when the company recently scouted for a tractor loader backhoe (TLB), settling for a Kubota L45 became a “natural choice”. To sustain a hire business, buying a quality product is non-negotiable. For 2Hire, the Kubota L45 seemed a natural choice.”  

2Hire dug its way into the plant hire business back in 2006 and currently has three hire branches in the Garden Route, situated in Knysna, as well as George and Mossel Bay. A service-orientated business with its eyes on mainly the building and civil construction markets, 2Hire specialises in the rental of small gear, including 3-tonne sit-on rollers, pedestrian rollers, compressors, mini-excavators and typical hand-held compaction and demolition gear, among others.  

Recently, the company decided to add a TLB to its existing fleet. Without much deliberation, a decision to buy a Kubota L45 was reached. In its first assignment, the TLB was deployed to clean and clear rubble in the Knysna area following the devastating fires that wreaked havoc in the area in June this year, destroying hundreds of properties. The total damage to properties was an estimated R5 billion in a tragedy that saw 700 homes and other structures destroyed by the runaway fires.

Clearing efforts are well under way in the area. The Kubota L45 was specifically sourced to deal with the effects of the fires and apart from cleaning and clearing, it is also being used to load 2Hire’s tipper truck hauling demolition waste. Once all the demolition is done, the L45 will be deployed to dig foundations and assist with the rebuilding of the properties.

Key considerations

One of the key drivers in 2Hire opting for the Kubota L45 was its compact size that allows it to be operated in smaller areas, especially inside buildings, where conventional TLBs are unable to access.

Iando Minnie of Carlu Trekkers, explains that the L45’s 3,2-tonne operating weight makes it a lot lighter than most TLB offerings in the market. “It is not as heavy. It is narrow and a lot compact that it can fit easily into buildings, fitting the bill for building contractors, landscapers and property developers. This machine is also ideal for civil contractors and rental companies. The versatility also leans it perfectly to farm use,” says Minnie.

The L45 is said to be a radical redesign and upgrade of the previous model. The real game changer on this machine is the new Kubota HST Plus hydrostatic transmission which replaces the conventional Glide Shift transmission (GST) on the predecessor model, the well-known L39. The L45 is also powered by a four-cylinder Kubota diesel engine which generates 45 gross horsepower (hp), compared with the 3 cylinder, 39 hp on the previous model. With 1,6t of breakout force, the L45 has a lifting capacity of 1 t at a maximum lifting height of 2,8 m. The hydraulic pump flow has been increased by 12%, resulting in smoother, more powerful performance, while maintaining the superb fuel consumption.   

Several other features on the L45 are geared at increasing the machine’s uptime. The simple to use quick coupler on the front loader offers easy on/off for buckets with no need for any tools, but only mounting pins and hose couplers. This allows the operator to move onto the next task in a matter of minutes, reducing downtime related to changing of attachments. The backhoe also features a four-point quick-mount attach/detach system, allowing the backhoe to be removed and installed easily. 

Apart from product quality, Carlu Trekkers’ track record in the area in terms of greater parts supply and overall aftermarket support was another key factor in 2Hire’s buying decision. “As we have learnt over the years, a product is only as good as the support you receive from the dealer. Once again, it seemed a natural choice to go with Carlu Trekkers.”

[ENDS]

 Carlu Trekkers contact:

Iando Minnie

Tel: 082 822 3132

Email: iando@carlutrekkers.co.za

Web: www.carlutrekkers.co.za

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Robert Keir

Marketing Manager

Tel: 011 284 2024

Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za

Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke

MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494

Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549

Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

PRESS RELEASE

Cold Recycling with Foamed Bitumen: A Pioneering Formula

Resource-saving technologies are more in demand than ever before. The Wirtgen cold recycling process has been proving its credentials for many years – and already meets the demands of tomorrow.

Roads that are subjected to continuous and heavy traffic often show signs of damage that extend down to the road base. To eliminate this damage, the entire road needs structural rehabilitation. Full re-use of the milled material as well as its cost-effective treatment make cold recycling with foamed bitumen – a process pioneered and decisively shaped by Wirtgen over the past 30 years – environmentally friendly and economical.

Asphalt road rehabilitation with mobile road works

Cold recycling with foamed bitumen as a binding agent is a globally established process that is attracting increasing interest from road construction authorities and construction companies for asphalt road rehabilitation. It permits the paving of flexible and durable base layers. As part of the pavement structure, these form the perfect foundation for the final, thinner asphalt surfacing. State-of-the-art technology is used to produce foamed bitumen from normal bitumen which has been heated to approximately 175°C. With the in-situ method, a precisely dosed quantity of binding agent is added to mineral aggregate inside the WIRTGEN 2200 CR or 3800 CR cold recycler or the soil stabilizers of the WR series, using microprocessor-controlled injection systems. The project can hence be carried out as a mobile road works site.

Cold recycling on the rise

The cold recycling process has proven its worth around the world. In practical use, there are two different methods: an in-situ approach using wheeled or tracked Wirtgen cold recyclers, and the in-plant method using the Wirtgen KMA 200i, a mobile cold recycling mixing plant. The methods allow a large number of materials to be recycled such as milled asphalt, crushed asphalt or new material. The application range for foamed bitumen is varied, and it can also withstand very high traffic loads, as two examples in Brazil and Greece show.

Brazil: Recycled material exceeds expectations

The Ayrton Senna Highway in Sao Paulo is used by more than 250,000 vehicles every day, 15% of them trucks. During the rehabilitation project in 2011, milled material from the asphalt pavement was recycled with foamed bitumen in a Wirtgen cold recycling mixing plant and repaved in two layers (20 plus 10 cm) by a road paver. Then a 5cm-thick asphalt surfacing was laid.

Greece: High load-bearing capacity for more than 10 years

The cold recycling projects carried out with foamed bitumen back in 2003/2004 on the motorways between Iliki, Korinthos and Athens, Greece, have been demonstrating their strength for more than ten years, withstanding a high traffic volume of 40,000 vehicles per day including a 25% share of heavy vehicles.

Cold recycling with WIRTGEN: Applications expertise included

To achieve such results, extensive preliminary tests must be conducted on the entire pavement structure, while the mix produced with foamed bitumen must pass a rigorous mix design test. Wirtgen not only supply the right equipment for the job – customers can also make use of their comprehensive range of advisory services around the world at any time. For instance, Wirtgen experts and road construction engineers provide on-site support and advice for customer projects. The Wirtgen training program also conveys in-depth applications know-how on the topic of cold recycling.

Ancillary cold recycling equipment from Wirtgen

New WLV 1 laboratory compactor

Wirtgen developed the new WLV 1 laboratory compactor for the production of test specimens. Developed especially for cold recycling applications, the compaction process permits the production of large test specimens for carrying out triaxial tests as well as small test specimens for indirect tensile strength testing.

WLM 30 laboratory-scale mixer

The WLM 30 laboratory-scale mixer defines the best mix composition and reliably produces different mix formulas in a very short time. The WLM 30 holds some 30kg of material, mixer speed and mixing time are variable.

WLB 10 S laboratory foamed bitumen plant

The foamed bitumen quality can be accurately defined in preliminary tests in the WLB 10 S mobile foamed bitumen plant even before construction starts. With its simple operation, parameters such as the water volume, pressure and temperature can be varied

What is foamed bitumen and how is it made?

Foamed bitumen is produced by injecting small quantities of water and air into hot bitumen under high pressure. The water evaporates and makes the bitumen foam up rapidly to between 15 and 20 times its original volume. The foam is then injected into a mixer through injection nozzles and optimally mixed into cold and moist construction materials. The quality of the foamed bitumen is primarily described in terms of the parameters “expansion ratio” and “half-life”. The greater the expansion ratio and half-life, the more easily the foamed bitumen can be processed.

Cold recycling advantages at a glance

> Extreme durability of the layers

> High cost-efficiency

> Resource conservation by 100% recycling

> Reduced CO2 emissions

> Reduced construction time

 

PRESS RELEASE

Getting the better of tight spaces

[Johannesburg, 6 September 2017]: Tight working areas are the order of the day in Mburg Mini Plant’s line of work, and to prevail over space-constrained jobsites, the Western Cape-based company recently took delivery of a 3 t Kubota U30-6 mini-excavator from Smith Power Equipment (SPE), South African importers and distributors of leading global specialist machinery, turf maintenance equipment and off-road vehicles.

Mburg Mini Plant is a Cape Town-based, family-owned contractor that specialises in earthmoving, trenching, rock breaking and hole-drilling jobs, but its area of speciality is in space-constrained jobsites where big machines are often out of question. When recently faced with a decision to expand their mini-excavator fleet, owners Stephen Ebing and his son Jason, unanimously decided to purchase a 3 t Kubota U30-6 mini-excavator from Smith Power Equipment, the authorised distributor of the Kubota range of compact excavators in South Africa, through its Strand-based dealer, Kubota Western Cape.

Apart from Kubota’s track-record and build quality, a major feature behind Mburg Mini Plant’s buying decision was the Kubota U30-6’s compact size, which allows it to work in very tight spaces, but still offering high power performance to execute a range of jobs that normally call for larger conventional machines. Powered by a Kubota D1703-M-E3-BH-11 engine delivering 20,5 kW @ 2 200 rpm, the U30-6 punches above its weight with an impressive bucket breakout force of 30 kN, representing a whopping 113% increase compared with the previous model.

The compact size of the machine was a key prerequisite. With an overall length of only 4 530mm, overall height of 2 455mm and 1 550mm width, the U30-6 fits the bill for Mburg Mini Plant’s space-restricted line of work, and the ability to fit onto a standard trailer makes it easy to move the machine from site to site.

“With Kubota’s boom-swing technology, the machine allows for direct digging operation close to walls or buildings without the need to reposition it. Combined with Kubota’s zero tail swing function, which always keeps the tail of the excavator within track-width when swivelling, the machine is very suitable for operation in typical tight places we work in,” says Ebing.

The new unit was purchased specifically to work across a range of applications, including trenching, concrete demolition, grading and drilling. Consequently, versatility was right up on Ebing’s checklist as the machine had to offer greater flexibility to work with a range of attachments to execute the raft of duties at hand. “The U30-6 made the cut with its ability to handle all of our job requirements, considering that the machine combines superior power and outstanding versatility to tackle demanding jobs in a variety of conditions,” says Ebing.

When working with one-way hydraulic attachments, such as a breaker, the standard third-line hydraulic return system allows oil to flow directly back to the tank without running through the control valves. This contributes to less oil contamination, reduced back pressure and greater oil flow efficiency. According to Tom Bloom, general manager for Construction at SPE, the machine also comes with additional service ports for attaching hydraulic attachments to the excavator, further increasing versatility.

With fuel savings in mind, the Auto Idling system was another key attraction for Mburg Mini Plant. Idling time is one of the biggest wastes of fuel when it comes to construction equipment. Operators rev machines when they shouldn’t and let them idle when they could be shut off. With Kubota’s Auto Idling System, this is a non-issue. “When control levers are in neutral for more than four seconds, the engine automatically switches to idling mode. When the operator moves any control lever, engine rpm automatically returns. While this feature translates into reduced noise and emissions, especially in sensitive urban sites, a fuel saving of up to 10% is achievable,” says Bloom.
Mburg Mini Plant’s business is uptime-driven, and aftermarket support is always a crucial consideration when purchasing its tools of trade. “SPE and Kubota Western Cape have been supportive all the way and we have had no issues to date,” says Ebing. With its footprint of about 80 sub-dealers countrywide, SPE is well represented in all the major economic hubs of South Africa.
SPE now has over 100 Kubota compact excavators operating in the field. Bloom highlights that the local supplier has seen increased uptake of this gear since launching the first units in the local market in 2014. The supplier managed to double its sales in 2015, and even achieved significant sales growth in 2016 despite the challenging economic conditions on the back of a drought-hit agricultural sector, a construction industry that didn’t see the best of times and a mining sector in dire straits due to lower commodity prices.
“We have seen a strong interest in our Kubota mini-excavators. The U30 has been the popular choice, especially in the small plant hire, construction and agriculture sectors,” says Bloom. “In challenging economic conditions, cost-cutting is very important for fleet owners. A compact excavator’s major benefits over most conventional solutions include fuel economy, lower capital outlay, ease of transportation compared with bigger options, as well as versatility. We also see a lot of urban construction going on locally, and often in confined working environments, and this is where the compact excavator excels,” concludes Bloom.

About Smith Power Equipment

Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd.,is an importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

Distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network, these products come with full after sales service and support. Parts are provided for all SPE-distributed products.

Smith Power Equipment contact:
Tom Bloom
General Manager Kubota Construction Division
Tel: 011 284 2024
Email: tom@smithpower.co.za
Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:
Bridgette Macheke
MoonDawn Media & Communications
Tel: 011 079 5494
Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549
Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za
Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za













PRESS RELEASE

FOUR KIPOR FORKLIFTS LIFT INTO ZIMBABWE

[Johannesburg, 24 August 2017]: Smith Power Equipment, the sole importer and distributor of the Kipor range of forklifts in South Africa, has supplied a total of four Kipor KDF 25 units to Cairns Foods, a major grocery and wine producer in Zimbabwe.

In today’s materials handling market, being a supplier that can address any problem statement optimally and service end users’ needs across board from a reliable product, through to aftermarket support, is more critical than ever. This was the basis on which Smith Power Equipment (SPE) recently won a nearly R1-million order to supply a total of four KDF 25 diesel forklifts to Cairns Foods of Zimbabwe.

Headquartered in the capital, Harare, and listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s industrial index, Cairns Foods is a major producer of a wide variety of groceries and wines. Cairns Foods is also a manufacturing giant in the agro-processing industry, with Cashel Valley tinned baked beans being its flagship product in this regard.

Despite the challenging trading environment in its native Zimbabwe, Cairns Foods recently increased its manufacturing capacity utilisation, and is envisaging to further reach an 80% capacity utilisation by 2018. Improving business conditions have also seen increased activity at the company’s distribution centres where any form of downtime is out of question. In its quest to maximise materials handling uptime at its busy distribution centres, Cairns Foods turned to SPE for four Kipor KDF25 diesel forklifts.

According to Sunee Heyns, Dealer Sales Manager for Kipor Forklifts at SPE, the KDF 25 was a perfect fit for the task at hand. With its three-stage container mast and a 4,5 metre lift height, complemented by side shift capabilities and rated load weight of 2 500 kg, the KDF 25 fit the bill for truck loading and offloading duties at hand. With Kipor’s understanding that a comfortable operator is a productive one, a suspended and movable seat, together with a tilt angle of steering column that can be adjusted freely, the KDF 25 has a special design focus on operator comfort, boding well for extended working hours.

With safety in mind, the KDF 25 also comes with a hoist cylinder at the rear of its mast, making the operation view wider. The rear lamps are installed on the unit’s top cover to further ensure safety. Heyns adds that the deal, which saw Cairns Foods taking delivery of its machines in May this year, hinged on several factors, ranging from product reliability, competitive pricing, to service and parts support. SPE ticked all the boxes with the Kipor forklift range that has proved itself in the local market, bolstered by the local equipment supplier’s strong aftermarket capabilities.

“Kipor is a cost-effective forklift solution for companies seeking a reliable, yet competitively priced product, especially considering the tight budgets often allocated for materials handling. Apart from the reliability of our Kipor product range and competitive pricing, superior service and support ability were also key in Cairns Foods’ decision to opt for SPE as its preferred forklift supplier,” concludes Heyns.

About Smith Power Equipment

Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd.,is an importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

Distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network, these products come with full after sales service and support. Parts are provided for all SPE-distributed products.

Smith Power Equipment contact:
Robert Keir
Marketing Manager
Tel: 011 284 2024
Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za
Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:
Bridgette Macheke
MoonDawn Media & Communications
Tel: 011 079 5494
Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549
Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za
Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za







PRESS RELEASE

60 NEW GOLF CARTS FOR MAGALIES PARK GOLF COURSE

[Johannesburg, 13 July 2017]: Magalies Park, a time-share facility situated on the Hartebeespoort Dam with exceptional views of the Magaliesberg, is known for its top-notch golfing facilities. Golf Club Manager, William van Mierlo, has seen fit to invest in no fewer than 60 Precedent i2 Electric Club Cars from Smith Power Equipment to update his fleet of rental golf carts.

 Magalies Park’s operation began in 1986 as time-share accommodation. Today, it boasts 186 units serviced by 212 members of staff, complemented by entertainment, squash, tennis, fishing, boating, volleyball, bird watching and, of course, golfing facilities. Under the management of First Resort Management Company, which oversees the running of 52 resorts in the country, continual maintenance and upgrades are an essential part of successful business.

The Magalies Park Golf Course, managed by William van Mierlo, is a well-run, successful operation in its own right, holds a large dedicated membership and plays host to a significant number of visitor rounds per year. “Upgrading facilities is key to retaining our existing clients and in attracting new visitors to the park,” says van Mierlo. “Over the past five years, we’ve upgraded all of our facilities at the park, including the chalets, common areas, the water park and the golf course.”

Part of the upgrades to the golf course included investing in a new fleet of golf carts for rental. Van Mierlo, whose relationship with the team at Smith Power Equipment (SPE) spans nearly a decade, made the call to buy in 60 electric Club Car Precedent i2s for the fleet overhaul. “Based on prior purchase experience and after sales service from the SPE team through the National Sales Manager for the Turf Division, Stephen Mangold, there was no contest as to where we’d be buying our equipment,” says van Mierlo.

Setting a precedent

The Precedent i2 from Club Car represents top of class in terms of both design and performance for golf cars, and with great success in the market, it is considered the best in its league.

The Precedent i2 comes with all-round bumper, ergonomically designed seats and is comfortable, safe and stable wherever it is used. “It’s easy to see that the game of golf was top of mind in the development of the Precedent i2; the unit boasts a beautifully designed interior with extra storage space and the Monsoon TopTM sends water away from the occupants and to a generous bagwell,” van Mierlo remarks.

The 60 electric Club Cars were delivered to Magalies Park in June 2017 and were selected based on their quiet operations, due to the need to maintain the tranquillity of the park for visitors. The Precedent i2 also comes in a petrol model with the best-in-class EFI (electronic fuel injection) engine, for additional power, enhanced reliability and lower maintenance costs, and boasts an AlumicoreTM Frame structure for an enhanced life span. “The usual steel frames used as the ‘skeleton’ for most golf carts have a tendency rust over time,” says van Mierlo. With this in mind, we can rest easy in the knowledge that our golf carts will perform better and last longer,” he adds.

On the convenience of doing business with SPE, van Mierlo comments, “I know that whether it is a part I urgently need, or even a machine I might urgently need, I make one phone call and I know the guys at SPE won’t let me down.”

“The high number of rounds that are played on our course could never be sustained if we were to hike our prices, particularly as the economy has seen fewer golfers playing less often,” says van Mierlo, concluding, “Our industry is tough and out-of-the-box thinking is the only way to survive the day-to-day impact of the economy on how people choose to spend their money, so we need to be smart about how we spend ours. We’ve definitely done right by our business and customers by not only investing in 60 Precedent i2 Club Cars, but in partnering with SPE.”

[ENDS]

About Smith Power Equipment

Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd., is an importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

Distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network, these products come with full after sales service and support. Parts are provided for all SPE-distributed products.  

Smith Power Equipment contact:
Robert Keir

Marketing Manager
Tel: 011 284 2024
Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za
Web: www.smithpower.co.za
 

Media contact:
Boitumelo Mogano
MoonDawn Media & Communications

Tel: 011 079 5494
Cell: +27 (0)76 733 2615
Email: boitumelo@moondawnmedia.co.za 

Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za

PRESS RELEASE

KZN DAIRY FARM REAPS REWARDS OF KUBOTA TRACTOR

[Johannesburg, 13 June 2017]: A dairy farmer in KwaZulu-Natal has invested in two Kubota tractors to improve on operational productivity. He is of the mind that returns on such an investment – of which he has already reaped many – should be viewed across the lifespan of the equipment.

Making a living from the agricultural sector in South Africa is not for the faint of heart, a fact that rings true for the dairy industry as well. Dairy farmer, Pierre Le Sueur believes this is mostly due to the milk-to-feed price ratio, an important profitability marker in this sector, and one that remains at very challenging levels in South Africa.

With profit margins tight and business dependent on a string of variables, it is prudent in this sector to keep a close eye on cost vs. value, which is why Le Sueur switched to Kubota tractors. “Everything counts and that is why, for example, three years ago, I changed from a well-known brand of tractor to Kubota tractors, which have proven to be extremely fuel-efficient and reliable, and play a significant part in protecting my bottom line,” says Le Sueur.

Kubota M9540

Le Sueur owns two Kubota M-Series 9540 tractors (both with cabs), which are re-imagined workhorses powered by Kubota’s world-renowned Tier III compliant, four-cylinder, 95 horsepower, turbo-charged E-CDIS (centre direct injection system) diesel engines, which offer the user extended durability, power and efficiency. Among Kubota’s best-selling tractors globally, the M9540 is a powerful piece of equipment made with heavy duty tasks in mind and comes with a hydraulic shuttle, Creep Speed and Autohitch for optimal operations.

The M9540 comes with an F18/R18 transmission, featuring six main gears as well as high, low and creep ranges, to stand up to the toughest working conditions. Forward and reverse are seamlessly linked, thanks to the hydraulic shuttle, and the column-mounted gear stick with left-hand operation makes changing gears easy. The bevel-gear front axle lends the machine better all-round manoeuvrability, making the Kubota M9540 especially adept at handling small spaces.

Hydraulic pumps are located on the side case of M-Series machines instead of the engine, which goes to shorten the travelling distance of the oil, thereby increasing efficiency, and the machine comes standard with a 540/540E hydraulic independent PTO for enhanced productivity.

Category I and II three-point tow bars make for quick and easy attachment of rear-mounted implements, and two external hydraulic cylinders offer equal lifting force and smooth transfer of hydraulic power.

A good cab is good for business

According to Kubota technical expert, Mike Heath, the importance of a cab on a tractor cannot be overstated, with the main areas of evaluation being safety, visibility, sound, climate control, control layout, operator space and air filtration.

“The cabs available on the various Kubota tractors, like Le Sueur’s M9540, have many important features that meet international farming safety standards,” says Heath, adding, “While operator safety and comfort are important from a labour ethics perspective – and more farmers should be taking this into account – it must be stressed that a poorly equipped cab is also bad for business.”

Heath notes, “Even though a world-class cab may be more expensive in terms of the initial outlay, the extra productivity gained through a safe, comfortable and happy operator outweighs this expense a hundred-fold over the lifetime of the tractor.” These sentiments are echoed by Le Sueur himself, who concludes, “It’s not the initial capital cost of tractors that counts, but rather the lifetime costs of ownership. So the productivity of the machine, its reliability, fuel efficiency, good service and more combine to save a lot of money over time and this is what I have found with Kubota.”

Le Sueur bought his M9540 tractors from Valtrac, Kubota dealers in KwaZulu-Natal and Smith Power Equipment Kubota dealers, and remarks on their superior service: “They go the extra mile making the total Kubota package a positive and hassle-free experience.”

[ENDS]

About Smith Power Equipment

Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd.,is an importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

Distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network, these products come with full after sales service and support. Parts are provided for all SPE-distributed products.

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Robert Keir
Marketing Manager
Tel: 011 284 2024
Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za
Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke
MoonDawn Media & Communications
Tel: 011 079 5494
Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549
Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za
Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za





PRESS RELEASE

KUBOTA RTV-X900 DELIVERS DEEP UNDERGROUND

[Johannesburg, 29 May 2017]: With a rich founding history of gold and diamond mining, South Africa remains a leader in deep underground mining as well as safety in this arena, making the transfer of equipment and goods underground a task with little margin for error. Enter the Kubota RTV-X900.

While the tasks involved in a successful mining operation are manifold, one of these is being able to move equipment, technicians and supplies from the shafts to the rock face; everything inside these tunnels must be brought from the surface. Due to the layout of a deep level mine, which could include many hundreds of kilometres of tunneling fanning out from the shafts and leading to the surface, this transfer is hugely complex and potentially very hazardous.

In years past, the task of transporting goods from the surface underground and vice versa was carried out using a ‘cage’, from which the mining paraphernalia would either be physically carried or transported by wheeled trolleys to its point of need. However, today mining is a far more mechanised industry and unbeknownst to many on the surface, mines below are a hive of activity with a number of vehicles constantly in motion.

Well-suited to the task of mining transport are side-by-side vehicles, of which the new Kubota RTV-X900 diesel is a top contender and a popular choice in the South African mining sector. With its many features and benefits making it ideal for working underground, it’s no wonder that several hundred Kubota RTV-X900s are already in operation around the country.

Even though Maubra, a South African Kubota dealer, customises the Kubota RTV-X900 for use underground, as it comes, it is a superb base vehicle with a powerful diesel engine of just under 900 cc with a unique fluid-drive transmission system that can drive either just the rear wheels or all four. This is controlled by a unique braking system that is linked to the fluid-drive transmission.

Braking system

Although the Kubota RTV-X900’s braking system is primarily controlled by the operator, the vehicle can only move if the transmission is engaged and the throttle is pressed; in any other mode, the wheels will not turn. In the event that the engine has been switched off, the vehicle will not be able to freewheel, which means there is no possibility of it running down an incline uncontrolled. In the event that the throttle is not pressed, even while the engine is idling, the transmission will supply insufficient fluid to turn the wheels, so in this scenario, the vehicle will also not be able to move uncontrolled.

Modifications for sub-soil

Due to strict requirements for underground operations, the Kubota RTV-X900 must be customized according to the specific task it will have to fulfill. Safety in this regard is paramount, so the base vehicle is fitted with a strengthened roll cage, special-purpose front and back steel bumpers, steel lattice driver and passenger door, and an array of LED auxiliary lights (including nautical style red and green side lights for easy identification of travel direction in the dark). The whole floor surface of the cab as well as the load bed is also coated with a rubberized non-slip material.

The speed limit underground is 15 km/h, so Maubra govern all Kubota RTV-X900 vehicles destined for underground to this limit. The vehicle has a diesel engine that is not powered by HT electricity. All other electrical components of the vehicle are insulated in order to prevent any combustible vapour underground from being ignited by any incidental sparks.

Thanks to the modifications undertaken by Maubra, the Kubota RTV-X900 is transformed into the ideal underground utility vehicle, which is then further customized to suit even more specific applications, like carrying explosives, or being equipped to reach accident victims quickly, for example.

While in some mines the height restriction of vehicles may vary, in most, the requirement is that all vehicles underground is 1.4 m due to the low roofs of certain tunnels. In the case that such height restriction is in place, the vehicle is modified by lowering the floor pan, seats and the roll cage height.

A good investment

When comparing a standard Kubota RTV-X900 diesel powered side-by-side vehicle in the line of pricing, it becomes evident that it either matches or exceeds the cost of a small bakkie in South Africa, a fact that begs asking why a mining operation would rather invest in the former.

The answer is simple.

Due to its fit-for-purpose durability and strength, long-term maintenance of the Kubota RTV-X900 is considerably less than a regular bakkie. Without a clutch, brake pads or shoes, as well as a simple, yet rugged three-cylinder engine, there is little that can go wrong on this piece of equipment. Ease of operation is another draw card for the discerning investor who sees the value in being able to have inexperienced person learn how to drive the vehicle within minutes and be safe and comfortable for long periods of time.

While the modified Kubota RTV-X900 is most at home deep underground far from life at the surface, with every kilometer travelled, every hazardous journey safely completed, this compact yet potent side-by-side is at the very heart of an industry that helps drive an entire economy forward.

[ENDS]

About Smith Power Equipment

Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd.,is an importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

Distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network, these products come with full after sales service and support. Parts are provided for all SPE-distributed products.

Maubra contact:

Kevin Clarke
Cell: 082 926 2519
Email: kevin@maubra.co.za

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Robert Keir
Marketing Manager
Tel: 011 284 2024
Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za
Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke
MoonDawn Media & Communications
Tel: 011 079 5494
Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549
Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za
Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za





PRESS RELEASE

Smith Power Equipment set to attend NAMPO 2017

[Johannesburg, 06 April 2017]: Smith Power Equipment (SPE), South African importers and distributors of leading global specialist machinery, turf maintenance equipment and off-road vehicles, will be attending Grain SA’s NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show taking place in Bothaville in the Free State from 16-19 May 2017.

Attracting close to 77 000 visitors each year, NAMPO is the largest agricultural trade show in the southern hemisphere. As such, Smith Power Equipment (SPE) finds great value in attending this event and will have a presence at the show this year as it has for the past 16 consecutive years.

“We’ve identified agriculture as a key market for SPE, since every farmer needs the right tools to do their work effectively and mechanisation is vital to running a farm more efficiently from a financial perspective.” So says Robert Keir, SPE Marketing Manager, adding, “NAMPO brings the whole agricultural industry, including importers, dealers and customers to one place, offering an array of products and insights for the farmer to make the best informed investments for his operations.”

Apart from offering an agricultural networking platform, NAMPO is also an ideal event at which to launch new products to the sector. “Having new products, like our Kubota compact excavator KX080-3S, appear at NAMPO will boost mechanisation of agriculture in South Africa and fuel competition in the market,” remarks Keir. “Competition is a healthy ingredient for a growing economy and at SPE, we thrive on it, because it drives us to keep on bringing the best technology to the industry at affordable prices,” he adds.

The state of the industry

While the agricultural market has seen especially trying times over the past two years, there is plenty of room for optimism. “We are very positive about what 2017 has and will bring and are already observing some positive trends in the market; the Rand is strengthening nicely and customers are spending more strategically than before,” comments Keir. “Even though we see disparate weather patterns and rainfall in different provinces, with the Western Cape still navigating a bad drought, it is encouraging that we have had good rains in the northern regions and that the crops are yielding,” he says.

That said, the agricultural market is still recovering and a challenge that comes with this is accessing finance. Keir asserts that creative fiscal offerings, like ‘off balance sheet’ funding are important in a climate such as this. “This type of approach to asset finance comes with benefits to the farmer, such as not having to lay out any initial capital, which helps with essential cash flow. Furthermore, lease payments on the equipment are fully tax deductible and VAT is paid on a monthly basis,” notes Keir, adding, “Tailor-made finance like this can mean the difference between the disappearance and survival of the farmer.”

While SPE look forward to topics such as greater agricultural mechanisation, the impact of emissions on the environment, product-buyer connections and financial solutions in the sector being addressed at NAMPO talks, key discussions in which SPE will participate include the use of equipment in emissions management and best practice usage of their equipment.

As a solutions-driven company, SPE imports products that are well aligned with their customers’ needs; with the ultimate goal of solving their day-to-day challenges by making their processes cheaper and faster. “All our products are complementary to one another, supporting our vision to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for equipment needs on a farm,” says Keir.

Bringing this to the NAMPO show, SPE will be showcasing all of its brands. “Polaris and Linhai quads and side-by-sides which service our customers’ needs of getting around farm lands, security, farm work and hunting, will be on display at the show. These are available in various models to suit any customer’s needs and are available in both petrol and diesel.” remarks Keir. “Kipor generators (1kVA to 100kVA) and forklifts (diesel and electric – 2t to 7t), which add value to a farmer’s operation with power supply and material handling; the Kubota tractors range of 18hp to the 130hp for various farming activities as well as our TLBs and recently expanded compact excavators range will also be on show,” he says.

“Our products have been positioned, placed, promoted and priced specifically for the agricultural sector, which makes our primary goal at NAMPO to meet with existing and potential customers, showing them what we have available on the market and learning how we can best serve their needs with our products. We have an extensive nationwide dealer network through which we distribute our world class products, which makes NAMPO an invaluable platform to meet directly with the end customer and to hear their thoughts and suggestions on how we can better offer our products to better their lives and businesses,” he concludes.

Smith Power Equipment will be exhibiting at NAMPO from 16-19 May 2017. Visit us at stand 139.

[ENDS]

About Smith Power Equipment

Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd.,is an importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

Distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network, these products come with full after sales service and support. Parts are provided for all SPE-distributed products.

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Robert Keir
Marketing Manager
Tel: 011 284 2024
Email: robertk@smithpower.co.za
Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke
MoonDawn Media & Communications
Tel: 011 079 5494
Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549
Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za
Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za











PRESS RELEASE

SMALL FOOTPRINT, HIGH POWER: KUBOTA KX080-3S COMES TO SA

[Johannesburg, 28 March 2017]: Smith Power Equipment (SPE), South African importers and distributors of leading global specialist machinery, turf maintenance equipment and off-road vehicles, recently announced the arrival of the Kubota KX080-3S Super Series 8-ton excavator.

Ideal for tough construction projects that require high power and performance in confined spaces, the KX080-3S can do just about anything that larger conventional machines can do. Tom Bloom, SPE General Manager: Construction Equipment, remarks, “With its compact size, the KX080-3S can achieve a high level of industrial performance on space-restricted construction sites, making it a unique proposition for local contractors needing substantial power on space-restrained urban sites.”

Innovation at Kubota

Kubota has been involved in the compact excavator industry for nearly four decades, leading the sector with its technological innovations, of which the integration of the zero boom and tail swing in the mini excavators – and now the ‘tight tail swing’ of the bigger KX080-3S – are examples. Other such innovations which built on the bright future of compact construction machinery include the advanced features of auto idle system and Kubota’s revolutionary 3-pump hydraulic system, both of which feature in the KX080-3S.

The KX080-3S boasts a tight tail swing and due to its tight tail design and shorter rear overhang, the machine has improved stability, is equipped to handle a wider range of loads and can function comfortably in far more restricted spaces than traditional tail swing excavators can.

The innovative auto idle system on the KX080-3S helps saves up to 10% on fuel, prompting the engine to idle automatically when it senses the control levers in neutral for longer than four seconds. The engine immediately re-engages if the control levers are moved. The auto idle feature aids in noise reduction, exhaust emissions and overall operating costs.

The KX080-3S’ 3-pump hydraulic system is a load-sensing system that makes use of three independent pumps for boom, arm and swivel for more efficient bucket operation. The high capacity control valve and hydraulic variable pumps of the system enable high performance shoveling and loading.

KX080-3S features

Several other unique features of the Kubota KX080-3S excavator set it apart from its competitors, including stability, range, oil flow control, its electric fuel refilling pump, auto-shift and boom lowering prevention.

In terms of stability, the KX080-3S combines smooth hydraulic system performance with balance for optimal stability and, together with its extended dumping height, swing boom, large bucket capacity and deep digging ability; it can easily match or exceed the range of the latest high capacity dumpers, tippers in meeting construction site requirements. The machine’s unique function of oil flow control enables the user to control the oil flow in line with the requirements, including those of the specific attachments in use.

Furthermore, the electric fuel refilling pump, which comes standard with the machine, includes a hose long enough to refuel the machine in three minutes from a fuel tank at the push of a button. When working with heavy loads, making turns or backfilling trenches, the auto-shift function allows the system to automatically downshift for more torque, and fitted with Kubota’s unique anti-drop valve, accidental lowering of the boom is prevented.

Power and safety

The KX080-3S’ energy and power source is none other than the clean-running 70 horsepower (52.2 kW) Kubota diesel engine with a 3331 cubic capacity turbo direct-injection facility making for easy starting in the cold, low sound levels and good fuel economy. The engine is in compliance with Tier IV emissions regulations without any loss of power or diminishing ease of operation.

Kubota has a solid reputation for safety and comfort, underpinned by the belief that an operator that is both safe and comfortable is not only an ethical imperative, but is also vital for optimal productivity and, according to Bloom, “The design of the operator environment on the KX080-3S is unsurpassed.”

Important features of the KX080-3S environment are: a spacious cabin offering excellent visibility, minimising operator stress and fatigue; a deluxe high-back suspension seat for greater comfort and productivity; an easy-open front window that opens with through a gas-assisted mechanism; a fully compliant ROPS and FOPS cabin; and an air-conditioner and heater, ensuring optimal climate control and increased productivity (fresh outside air can easily be introduced into the cabin by activating the external air vent.

Serviceability

According to Bloom, serviceability is a critical aspect of any good machine and the triple-opening bonnet is one of the KX080-3S’ strongest features. “Maintaining this machine could not be easier, as all three of its access panels can open simultaneously,” he notes, adding, “This feature makes for easy inspection and access to the hydraulic components under the centre hood or the battery, oil filter and tool box under the right hood.”

SPE offers world-class support on the machine and with its countrywide representation through dealers and service facilities, the best possible service is ensured at all times.

“With a good understanding of our market, we know that uptime and productivity are the most important concerns for our customers,” says Bloom, concluding, “Knowing this, we bring the Kubota KX080-3S to the South African market with confidence underpinned by the machine’s operational features, serviceability and the assurance that comes with supplying a brand like Kubota.”

[ENDS]

About Smith Power Equipment

Smith Power Equipment (SPE), a division of Smith Mining Equipment (Pty) Ltd.,is an importation and distribution company representing leading global brands in the specialist machinery, turf maintenance and off-road vehicle market.

Distributed throughout South Africa by a comprehensive dealer network, these products come with full after sales service and support. Parts are provided for all SPE-distributed products.

Smith Power Equipment contact:

Tom Bloom
General Manager: Kubota Construction Equipment
Tel: 011 284 2000
Cell: +27 82 330 0805
Email: tom@smithpower.co.za
Web: www.smithpower.co.za

Media contact:

Bridgette Macheke
MoonDawn Media & Communications
Tel: 011 079 5494
Cell: +27 (0)73 400 1549
Email: bridgette@moondawnmedia.co.za
Web: www.moondawnmedia.co.za