Bell Equipment’s E-series tried and tested and revved to go
Bell Equipment has completed the launch of its E-series range of articulated dump trucks (ADTs).
This process started seven years ago with about R800-million invested into the development processes.
The smaller trucks were launched three years ago at Bell Equipment’s premises in Jet Park Johannesburg, Gauteng, and the company’s customers were again invited to the facility to witness the completion of the process. This overhaul also extends to the B60, with limited B60Es now in production.
Bell Equipment’s chief executive officer, Gary Bell, says that the South African original equipment manufacturer (OEM) gained significant experience and knowledge on the performance of the smaller ADTs over the past three years, before launching the larger E-series offering.
As was the case with the launch of the smaller trucks, the large trucks were subjected to extensive testing.
“We don’t rely on our big brand name. Our products need to perform successfully against any of our competitors anywhere in the world,” Bell said at the launch motivating the extensive time and effort invested into the launch.
The major drivers behind the introduction of the new truck series are improved reliability and lower emissions for Bell Equipment’s customers operating in regulated markets.
He says the performances of the smaller units have already proved their increased reliability in the field and similar performances could be expected from the large truck offering.
“Over the past three years, the numbers are showing that we have achieved the reliability factor,” said Bell.
The E-series is a significant upgrade to the D-series, featuring more intelligence and sophisticated technology that is in line with the autonomous haulage gear of the future. “We have paved the way forward for this with the launch of these trucks,” says Bell.
The completion of the launch takes place during a challenging period for the “yellow” metal markets.
He describes current conditions as a “blood bath”, but notes that Bell Equipment has streamlined its business and diversified its product offering to suit the various needs of its markets. The OEM is also benefiting from an increase in the demand for its products from European and United States-based fleet owners and operators.
Outgoing managing director of Bell Equipment Sales South Africa (BESSA), Bokkie Coertze, said while markets were extremely challenging, he remained confident that conditions would improve.
“It is not always easy, but we will get back to where things were,” he said, noting that the focus of the OEM’s customers was on moving more tons at a lower cost, and that the need to meet these demands had filtered all the way to Bell Equipment’s service and technical teams.
Coertze is supporting Mensi Dumisa in his new role as managing director of BESSA. Dumisa said Bell Equipment and its customers needed to work closely to turn these challenging operating conditions into opportunities.