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With secure roots in KwaZulu-Natal, Bell Equipment is today recognised globally as a company that designs, manufactures, distributes, exports and supports a wide range of earthmoving and material handling equipment into various industries around the world
Gary Bell and Leon Goosen
A Passion for Innovation
With secure roots in KwaZulu-Natal, Bell Equipment is today recognised globally as a company that designs, manufactures, distributes, exports and supports a wide range of earthmoving and material handling equipment into various industries around the world.
The company was established by Irvine Bell in 1954 as a small engineering and agricultural repair business on the KZN North Coast. Irvine had a passion for innovation and manufactured various inventions, including a self-loading sugar cane trailer and an overhead transfer crane for local farmers. It was the development of a tri-wheeled cane loader a few years later, however, that revolutionised the sugar industry and irrevocably changed the company’s trajectory.
Sugar farmers of that time employed a sizeable labour force to manually cut, stack and load cane for transport to the mills. A few rudimentary cane loading machines had appeared on the scene, but Irvine designed a whole new class of machine that was simple to operate and highly manoeuvrable. Using hydrostatic technology and able to control each of the large drive wheels independently, the Bell Tri-wheeler could turn instantly on its own axis and had enough power to lift and stack sugar cane infield or load a trailer.
The Bell Tri-wheeler, now in the F-series generation, is still in production and used extensively in sugar farming and forestry. Many older models remain in operation, which speaks volumes about the build quality and longevity of Bell machines.
Global ADT Specialist
The early 1980s saw the arrival of Articulated Dump Trucks (ADTs) imported from Europe. Although effective and versatile, Bell saw room for improvement and fine-tuned their design to better cope with the harsh operating conditions common in Africa.
Today, through a passion for innovation and continuous improvement, the company is recognised as a global ADT specialist and manufacturer with the largest and most advanced range in the world. The current E-series generation ranges from 18 to 50t suited to construction, infrastructure, bulk earthworks, mining and quarrying. Bell is also influencing global ADT trends with its 4x4 ADT range, led by the ground-breaking 60-ton 4x4 crossover concept, the B60E, which targets high production operations where poor underfoot conditions limit the suitability of rigid dump trucks.
As a technological innovation leader, Bell has pioneered several features geared at improving productivity and safety while delivering the lowest cost per tonne of material moved. In addition, Bell Equipment’s proprietary fleet monitoring system, Fleetm@tic®, enables customers to manage their fleet according to their operating environments.
As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Bell has two distinct business units, Bell Mining & Construction and Bell Forestry & Agriculture, each providing a dedicated focus in terms of both product development and support.
Bell Mining & Construction
Bell Articulated Dump Trucks are at the core of the company’s mining and construction business, which is complemented by the Bell Versatruck programme, which offers niche custom equipment, such as water tankers, hooklifts, flat decks and fire trucks, based on the proven Bell ADT chassis.
With a focus on meeting the future needs of underground mining, the company has the Bell Rockscaler, based on the Bell Tri-wheeler, and underground dump trucks that have an autonomous ready platform and are equipped with the same industry-leading safety features and production advantages found in our surface ADTs. The newest addition is the highly customisable Bell Tracked Carriers that were originally designed for North America and provide a durable short haul solution for construction sites with soft underfoot conditions that require low ground pressure machines, either for environmental or traction reasons.
Bell Forestry & Agriculture
The cornerstone of Bell in its formative years, the company sees long term value in strengthening and growing its Bell Forestry and Agriculture business unit. The well-established Tri-wheeler, Haulage Tractor and Timber Truck have evolved to keep abreast of technology advances to offer improvements in safety, comfort and productivity. The company has also introduced new products, such as the Skogger, FASTfell, Log Pro, Cane Pro and UltEco Slew Loader, to provide niche mechanised solutions.
Within South Africa Bell distributes the JCB Agriculture range alongside the Bell forestry and Agricultural range providing a customised range of equipment that appeals to the broader farming community.
Bell Equipment Sales South Africa
In South Africa Bell is a full range materials handling distributor and an equipment supplier of choice thanks to strategic partnerships with global manufacturers such as JCB, Finlay and Kobelco. This enables Bell to complement its own mining and construction range with diverse equipment including wheel loaders, excavators, motor graders, backhoe loaders, telehandlers, skid steers, forklifts, compaction machinery and a material processing product line. Distribution and support take place through Bell Equipment’s own network of 22 Customer Service Centres strategically located throughout the country.
Our Bell Culture
Bell Equipment employs locally and is an integral part of the communities in which it operates. Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the group takes its responsibilities as a corporate citizen seriously and purchases from local supplies wherever possible and invests in meaningful outreach opportunities with a particular focus on education, training and development, both internally and externally.
The strength of the Bell brand lies in the strong family values of integrity, honesty, accountability, and respect that are the foundation of the business. Customers are valued as part of the extended Bell family, creating a unique and healthy working environment.
Our motto ‘Strong Reliable Machines, Strong Reliable Support’ represents our customer-devoted beliefs, ideals and ethical stance throughout our manufacturing, distribution and support network that provides technical backup and advice to our customers around the globe for our world class products.
Full Name of Company: Bell Equipment Limited
Business Units: Bell Mining & Construction and Bell Forestry & Agriculture
Nature of Business Manufacturing
Products: A wide range of heavy equipment for the construction, mining, quarrying, and the sugar & forestry industries globally.
Date established: 1954
No of Employees: 1165
Auditors: Deloitte & Touche
B-BBEE Status: Level 3
Bell Equipment’s vision is to be the global ADT specialist and a leader in the heavy equipment and industrial goods sector, developing and supplying leading, quality brands into the construction, mining, forestry, agriculture and industrial sectors in a number of chosen
Non-executive Chairman: Gary Bell
Group Chief Executive: Leon Goosen
Group Finance Director: Karen van Haght
Chief Strategy Officer: Avishkar Goordeen
Group Company Secretary: Diana Mcilrath
Physical Address: 13 – 19 Carbonode Cell Road, Alton, Richards Bay, 3900
Postal Address: Private Bag X20046, Empangeni, 3880, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)35 907 9111