Tigercat southern Africa dealer, AfrEquip delivers units 100 and 101 on the same day.
Although both units were delivered on the same day, the LH845E is carrying the 100th machine banner as it was cutting trees
before the forwarder started loading.
In January 2022, South Africa based dealer, AfrEquip crossed the 100 unit mark, delivering an LH845E harvester and a 1075C forwarder on the same day.
AfrEquip took on the Tigercat brand in 2005. During the first three years, the company retailed a significant number of machines before the southern African economy was derailed by recession in 2008. The resulting economic damage and currency devaluation affected the southern African forestry market for many years.
IN REALITY WE WOULD HAVE REACHED 100 UNITS A LONG TIME BACK IF THESE TIGERCAT MACHINES WEREN’T SO INCREDIBLY TOUGH.
— AfrEquip MD, John du Toit
New machine sales remained in the doldrums until Tigercat launched the fuel efficient Tigercat FPT engine series. As AfrEquip managing director John du Toit explains, “The southern African forestry market is largely a cut-to-length industry, and this is highly affected by the cost of fuel going into the units. Most of the new unit sales have been driven by reductions in these costs.”
The other factor that has stalled new machine sales is the longevity and high availability rates that contractors have experienced over the years with their Tigercat machines. “In reality we would have reached 100 units a long time back if these Tigercat machines weren’t so incredibly tough,” John explains. “The first unit that AfrEquip ever delivered was a 630C skidder. It is still running with one of our customers and we have many Tigercat units that have over 40,000 hours and even a few that are still running in frontline service with over 50,000 hours.”
Unit number 101. The Tigercat 1075C loading 6 m (19.5 ft) eucalyptus lengths behind the LH845E harvester.
All that said, AfrEquip has registered growth for each of the last five years and managed to show some encouraging Tigercat sales results even during the depths of the pandemic. “We have had a fantastic run and we believe that units 100 and 125 should be delivered in the same year,” John expresses enthusiastically.
“Tigercat is really proud to have AfrEquip as their southern African dealer,” comments southern hemisphere international sales manager Gary Olsen. “AfrEquip has done a fantastic job of supporting the customer base. There were a number of years of hard times when AfrEquip managed to support and service our field population without retailing a single machine. They have five supply offices within the southern African forestry area. They employ some really good technical staff, and they ensure that parts are supplied to every Tigercat in their territory.”
Unit number one. Afrequip’s first machine, retailed in 2005, is still producing every day.
During 2021, AfrEquip took possession of a brand-new head office, parts, and service centre in Pietermaritzburg. It is a spacious and impressive facility. However, itis still in need of an official opening – which will surely take place once the pandemic is fully in the rearview mirror.
South African harvesting contractors run high quality purpose-built forestry machines and have developed the expertise to run them to extremely high hours. Machine longevity is critical as local currency weakens and new replacements are not financially viable.