AfrEquip celebrates 15 years in business
AfrEquip was established in South Africa in 2005 by Allen Rutherfoord in partnership with Latin Equipment, a leading South American company with vast experience in forestry equipment. The objective was to offer consultancy and system solutions to forestry operations in southern Africa, backed by leading forestry equipment brands Tigercat and Log Max.
The timing was excellent as mechanisation of forestry operations in South Africa was just beginning to take off, and the AfrEquip team was well placed to provide a one-stop service for the supply of purpose built equipment with a proven track record of durability, productivity and longevity.
Following their initial success, AfrEquip expanded quickly to ensure they were able to provide the necessary technical, mechanical and logistical support to keep their customers’ machines operating productively. Consequently they moved their head office from Empangeni to Pietermaritzburg with additional undercover workshop space plus extra space to accommodate a growing spare parts inventory and for future expansion.
This was followed up with the opening of branches in Nelspruit in 2012, Ugie and Piet Retief in 2014, and then Richards Bay in 2015. The purpose of this expansion was to ensure that AfrEquip teams are located closer to customers around the country for quick and efficient service.
Meanwhile a number of high profile brands were added to the AfrEquip stable, including Morbark grinders, Iggesund Forrest and Gierkink felling heads.
AfrEquip’s Richards Bay facility is specifically focused on the support and operation of a Morbark 3200 Woodhog grinder reducing mill waste for Mondi at their mill, to be used to generate heat and power and reduce their reliance on Eskom power.
All services and repairs on equipment supplied by AfrEquip is carried out by Tigercat/Log Max/Morbark accredited field service technicians. AfrEquip technical staff are trained annually by the equipment manufacturers.
The fact that the original Tigercat equipment supplied by AfrEquip some 15 years ago is still working productively is a testament to the quality of support provided by the technical team. According to Craig van Dijk, one of AfrEquip’s Directors, there are five Tigercat machines supplied by AfrEquip that are still working productively with 40 000 + hours logged.
What does the future hold for AfrEquip? According to Craig there is still plenty of room for growth in the southern African market as growers and contractors come to terms with the benefits and advantages in deploying purpose built forestry equipment.
Regarding the Morbark grinders, Craig says the new regulations announced by the government providing more leeway for independent power producers to operate in South Africa will provide plenty of opportunities in this sector going forward.
Brands supplied by AfrEquip in South Africa:
• Tigercat • Log Max
• Morbark • Iggesund Forrest
• Eco-Tracks • Baltrotors
• Gierkink • Cummins
Brendan Moore: tel: 033 386 5034; mobile 072 708 9091;
*First published in SA Forestry magazine, March 2020