The increasing demand for fibreoptic cable infrastructure has seen a Durban installer acquire eight Kwagga rammers from Hire It (Natal) (Pty) Ltd. This is testament to the success of the rugged and cost-effective range of small plant for the construction industry.
The customer is very happy with the performance of the Kwagga rammers to date, Hire It Sales Director Richard Fraser reports. “The machines have come in for a few services, and we can see that they are handling the workload well. We have sold virtually all of our initial consignment, and so far have had no major comebacks.”
The Kwagga range of small plant for the construction industry is focused mainly on portable power generators, compaction, and concrete. It comprises generators, rammers, plate compactors, power floats, drive units, vibratory pokers, concrete/asphalt cutters (floor saws), scarifiers, and diaphragm and water pumps.
By importing premium Honda engines, and assembling them with machine kits locally, Hire It is able to offer its Kwagga range at a much lower price point. “We believe the engine is the heart of the machine, which is why we have opted for Honda, one of the leading air-cooled petrol engines on the market. Our products are well-suited for the African market, especially as we have kept them as simple and as robust as possible, but with a premium engine,” Fraser explains.
Apart from the boom in sub-contractors needing small plant for the niche fibreoptic cable installation market, Hire It is also supplying equipment to the Umhlanga Arch premier mixed-use development through its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) company Majozi Bros. Tool Hire.
“Virtually all of the small plant used on the Umhlanga Arch project has been ours,” Fraser highlights. Other flagship projects include the OceanDune development, also in Umhlanga, and the extensions to the Sun Coast Casino and the Gateway Theatre of Shopping. Adding to the diversity of the markets covered by Hire It, another customer uses Kwagga compaction equipment for cellphone tower installation.
The performance of the Kwagga range in the arduous rental segment has been exemplary to date. “The hire industry is the ultimate test for any machine, and we are thrilled with the results. This also helps us to consolidate our spares holding and back-up,” Fraser explains.
Another major advantage for Hire It customers is that it offers a number of leading brands under one roof. A particular success in this regard has been the Makita HM1812 electric breaker, a relatively new product that boasts the strongest breaking force of any competitor product in the 30 kg category.
Husqvarna concrete polishing and cutting equipment has proved equally popular, especially for residential and commercial applications, where the demand ranges from designer floors to warehousing. “We have noticed a marked increase in demand for these products. Husqvarna is a Swedish company, and its products are European-standard premium quality,” Fraser adds.
Latest technology such as the Bosch range of laser measuring and detection equipment is also starting to gain traction in the local construction industry as this technology becomes more commonplace, Fraser notes. “Customers are realising just how convenient and efficient such innovations are proving to be.”
The renewed potential for load-shedding has resulted in a spike in genset sales, with Hire It offering portable to large units, ranging from 10 kVA up to 300kVA. This is another diversified market for the company, including a broad range of customers from fast-food outlets to chicken farms and printing companies.
However, the construction industry in KwaZulu-Natal is still ticking over, with Hire It anticipating to collaborate with leading construction company WBHO on a number of major projects in 2019. These include Ridge 8 in the Umhlanga Ridge Precinct, and the extension to the La Lucia Mall.
“We will also be launching our B-BBEE scaffold and formwork offering for our larger corporate customers,” Fraser reveals. “This represents a new direction for us. We will offer scaffold evaluation, tonnage supply, and on-site erection and certification as a turnkey service.”
In anticipation of the growing popularity of its Kwagga range, Hire It is ensuring it has sufficient stockholding in place, and will also embark on a concerted marketing drive in 2019 to promote its brand. However, the success to repeat business and happy customers remains superlative aftermarket service.
“Aftermarket support is very important to our customers. Their businesses rely on our machines working. Being dealers for our various brands means we are able to back-up our equipment, in addition to having access to sufficient spares. Where necessary, we will lend a customer one of our machines to keep them up and running,” Fraser stresses.
Hire It has also embarked on an extensive drive to train its customers on the optimal use of its equipment. “With most machines, carrying out daily minor service can go a long way in improving the reliability and longevity. We also educate our customers on the correct start-up and operating and shutdown procedures, which translates into fewer breakdowns.” Fraser highlights that this training includes its customers’ operators and workshop staff.
Commenting on the current state of the construction industry, Fraser concludes: “It is no secret that construction has had a tough year. However, by offering good products and service at a reasonable price, we have managed to keep our business ticking along nicely. Joining up with our B-BBEE joint venture partners has also opened new doors for us. We have also learnt a lot about the state of the industry, and the emerging trends as it continues to evolve.”
For more information about the Kwagga range, visit www.hireit.co.za.