Masters of Trade

Building a capital equipment fleet

A number of key criteria should form the basis of establishing or replenishing capital equipment fleets based on performance and reliability rather than simply making decisions based on a single-brand mentality, or purely a price consideration.

Rather than putting all eggs in one basket, fleet owners should practice best-of-breed procurement where the offerings of specialist manufacturers are purposefully weighed into the option. Some of the world’s highest-rated plant equipment is manufactured by specialist manufacturers who concentrate their efforts on producing world-beating machines of a certain type, such as excavators, wheel loaders, road building equipment, crushers, etc.

With their entire reputation and livelihood invested in a single product type, original equipment manufacturers of well-known brands such as Sumitomo, Kawasaki, Ammann, Powerscreen processing equipment and a long list of others, have proven to be masters of their trade by continuously working on perfecting their offerings.

Hand-picked partners

According to Desmond van Heerden of ELB Equipment, fleet owners who want to simplify their purchasing through a single supplier can do so by procuring from an established best-of-breed distributor, such as ELB Equipment. As a subsidiary of the nearly one century-old ELB Group, ELB Equipment has grown to become a leading capital equipment supplier with decades-old agreements in place with a full range of specialist manufacturers.

Rather than concluding agreements with any one large multi-product manufacturer (or “jack of all trades”), the company carefully seeks masters of world-leading equipment manufacturers and concludes distribution agreements with them - provided they comply with key criteria regarding product quality, availability and support, etc. As a result, local customers have the benefit of being able to access these best-of-breed machines with the full support of ELB Equipment’s entire branch and dealer network strategically placed throughout the entire southern African sub-region as well as East Africa.

The company’s “hand-picked” product offering covers the equipment spectrum for earthmoving, construction, mining and industrial purposes. Brands represented are household names within the relevant industries and are managed by seasoned product specialists who are able to assist fleet owners with selecting the right machines for their specific applications. And having cross functional teams of specialists throughout ELB Equipment’s operations ensures that support on Equipment is just as rewarding to the customer.

Choose right

Desmond says the Top 10 key criteria that fleet owners should measure relate to:

1.Finding a machine that is fit-for-purpose

2.Best available performance in terms of throughput, etc.

3.Superior quality of design and manufacture

4.Professional and trustworthy service from the dealer

5.Supplier must have a proven record of support for parts availability and services

6.Machine must be cost-effective and easy to maintain

7.It should offer the lowest possible cost per ton of material handled (overall cost)

8.The machine must have a proven track record

9.It should have a high book value on the used equipment market

10.The high price of fuel warrants that it should be fuel efficient

Provided the supplier can satisfy all (or most) of these requirements, then the buyer is on the right track to finding a suitable machine. “It simply does not pay to compromise in any of these departments purely to remain loyal to a brand. Also, never let cost price be your guiding light as one usually gets what one pays for.

“Rather identify your top choices and research what the overall cost of ownership will be in terms of uptime and availability, parts prices, fuel consumption and aftermarket services (on or off-site). Then take the time to get to know the people you are dealing with to see if they are easy to deal with and whether they share your same goals and business ethics. If so, you have found the perfect match for your fleet and let them strategically align themselves with your business to reach new heights, concludes Desmond.

ELB Equipment, Desmond van Heerden, Tel: (011) 306 0722, Fax: (011) 918 7208,

ELB Equipment represents the following top brands:

Sumitomo – tracked excavators

Kawasaki – wheel loaders

Terex – mineral processing systems

Ammann – rollers, pavers and compactors

Dressta – crawler dozers and landfill compactors

Hidromek – motor graders

Powerscreen - mobile and static screening plants

Powerscreen - mobile and static crushing plants

MST – backhoe loaders

Telestack - mobile telescopic conveyor belts

Mustang – skid-steer loaders

Terex – backhoe loaders

Furukawa – rockdrills, excavator attachments, hydraulic breakers

Terex – washing systems

Ditch witch – horizontal directional drills, trenchers and trenchless Technology

Hammerhead – pipe crusting systems and piercing tools