AfrEquip adds Morbark to its already impressive equipment line-up

September 13, 2013

AfrEquip (Pty) Ltd is rapidly becoming a pace-setter in forestry mechanisation solutions in southern Africa with the addition of another leading global equipment brand. The AfrEquip team offers both consultancy and system solutions, and is backed by brands such as Tigercat, Log Max, CSI ... and now Morbark.

Flip Breytenbach, National Sales Manager, AfrEquip.

Morbark is a US-based company that manufactures a range of biomass grinders, chippers and flails. Morbark equipment helps customers harvest, process and convert organic materials into valuable, usable and environmentally-sound products.

AfrEquip recently took over the Morbark Industrial range from Ritlee, which includes Drum Chippers, Wood Hogs, Chiparvesters and Flails. Mill equipment is also available on request.

AfrEquip scored another coup by adding Marc Custer, one of the most experienced chip and grind specialists in South Africa, to their sales team.

The addition of Morbark equipment to an already impressive line-up means that AfrEquip is able to provide a one-stop equipment solution for clients looking to harvest timber and biomass and turn it into saleable products.

In terms of timber harvesting, the combination of Tigercat harvesters, skidders and forwarders – coupled with the high productivity Log Max heads – can be relied upon to get the job done, no matter how tough.

When it comes to processing biomass into useful products, Morbark biomass grinders and chippers does the business with no fuss or frills.

AfrEquip's services include sales, maintenance, product support and all the relevant training courses designed and proven to enhance operator productivity.

Enquiries: Contact Marc Custer at 084 453 4499 or Flip Breytenbach on
072 708 9091 for sales enquiries.

A brief history of Morbark
Morbark's founder, Norval K. Morey, was raised on a small farm near where Morbark's 1.5 million square foot manufacturing plant stands today in Winn, Michigan. One of eight children growing up during the Great Depression, he learned the value of hard work, thrift and family loyalty at an early age. His formal education ended after the sixth grade, but his life training never stopped. He hauled firewood, trimmed trees, cut timber

in Michigan and the lumber camps of Idaho and California, pausing only to join the war effort on the battlefields of Italy during World War II.

When the war ended, Norval teamed up with older brother Burnell, harvesting and selling cedar timber and eventually starting their own sawmill.

Then a chance meeting with Robert Baker set in motion events that would change Norval's course from sawmiller to manufacturer. Baker had an idea and a scale model of a machine designed to peel bark from pulpwood logs, a task that was previously done slowly by hand. The two of them struck a partnership and through the winter of 1957-58 they worked in a little blacksmith shop to fabricate, redesign and develop a full-scale prototype debarker, and the Morbark Portable Debarker Company was founded. Manufacturing was moved to a machine shop behind Norval's home in Winn, and a factory was born.

By 1961, the company was producing 300 machines a year, and expanding steadily. Through the 60s, the Morbark debarking principal was applied to larger machines to debark larger logs for sawmills. A line of stationary chippers was developed and eventually a complete fleet of sawmill equipment began to flow from the factory.

In 1969, the Morbark Chip-Pac was named a Michigan 'Product of the Year'. In 1972, another 'Product of the Year' was awarded to Morbark's Total Chiparvestor, the world's first portable whole tree chipper.

Growth and innovation continued through the 80s with the design and introduction of the Eeger Beever, the first in a family of Morbark hand-fed brush chippers that would revolutionise that industry.

In the late 80s, new environmental regulations opened a door of opportunity for machines that could reduce and recycle waste wood debris and add value to low grade feedstock like stumps, storm debris, pallets and yard waste.

Morbark responded first with the Waste Recycler, followed quickly by Industrial Tub Grinders and Horizontal Grinders. These environmental products quickly fuelled more rapid growth and continue today to provide well over 50% of the company's gross sales.

Norval Morey passed away in 1997, and his son Lon Morey took over the reins of the business. New products continue to flow, and today the company has more than 400 employees. Morbark is recognised as a world-class manufacturing company with world-wide markets, and a reputation for designing and building robust, rugged and reliable, heavy equipment.

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Published in June 2013

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