Bell brings KAMAZ Trucks into Southern Africa

Published: 26 September 2017

Southern Africa's largest homegrown material handling equipment supplier, Bell Equipment, has announced it is entering the Southern African tipper truck market through a partnership with KAMAZ, a Russian-based industry leader in this market segment globally.

Although new to the region, KAMAZ is synonymous with providing purpose designed trucks to the harshest applications, and this has been borne out by the company's consistent strong performance in the challenging Dakar Rally.

Bell Equipment's Group Marketing Director, Stephen Jones, says: "After a long period of investigation we are now ready to take this milestone step and enter the tipper truck market. By expanding our one-stop-shop offering to our southern African customers we are able to satisfy more of their needs and further our goal of being partners rather than suppliers.

"Finding the right partner has been key because there have been a lot of new entrants trying to penetrate this hotly contested market. We identified KAMAZ as our preferred partner some time ago due to the demonstrated performance and product attribute fit, which we had experienced through mutual customers and applications where Bell trucks are working in Russia. Further confidence was gained from other Bell partners, with a stake in KAMAZ held by Daimler AG, which also has a stake in Mercedes Benz, the engine supplier for the range of Bell Articulated Dump Trucks. "

Established in 1969, KAMAZ manufactures out of Naberezhnye Chelny in Russia and today accounts for half the trucks sold in that country, as well as being represented in 80 countries across the world.

"KAMAZ shares our values and focuses on understanding applications and customer expectations, and designs products that speak to these," continues Jones. "As a 14 time winner of the Dakar, the world's toughest off-road endurance race, customers can rest assured that KAMAZ trucks are tough and reliable. This ties in with our Bell ethos of providing strong reliable machines."

According to Bell Equipment Product Marketing Manager, Brad Castle, the first phase of the KAMAZ introduction will consist of four models, which will be available as left hand or right hand drive vehicles. The models will include two 6x4 trucks with payloads of 15 and 20 tonnes, a 6x6 truck with a payload of 19,5 tonnes and a 8x4 truck with a payload of 25,5 tonnes.

Across the range, well matched engines and drivetrains bolster performance and the ability to deliver results while stronger fabricated structures promote durability. The trucks also feature air-suspended seats and cabs to create industry-leading comfort that drives productivity, safety and ensures driver satisfaction.

"During testing the KAMAZ trucks have presented a strong value proposition. We've been testing the trucks across numerous customer sites, where they have been extremely well received and have tackled local conditions with ease, delivering great productivity and lower fuel burn. Coupled with lower operating costs, customers can expect a favourable Rands per kilometre per tonne of material moved," adds Castle.

In response, Director General of KAMAZ Foreign Trade Company, Rafail Gafeev, says: "KAMAZ FTC is very pleased to be teaming up with a heavy equipment company such as Bell Equipment who has its origin and roots firmly entrenched in southern Africa. We believe that this partnership will bring great value to both companies.

"The KAMAZ products have been tried and tested in the most challenging environments resulting in uncompromising products that are uncomplicated and tough. We believe that the KAMAZ product philosophy coupled with Bell Equipment's extensive distribution network of over 50 branches and dealers, world class aftermarket service and technical support is a clear recipe for success to meet the southern African customers' needs. We look forward to growing our footprint by investing in the region through Bell Equipment's product localisation and distribution strategies."

Jones concludes: "To ensure a smooth introduction the initial KAMAZ trucks will be shipped RORO (roll on roll off) while the Richards Bay factory gears up for CKD (complete knockdown) assembly. Increasing the local value add of the trucks is in line with our commitment to increase our investment in South Africa and create meaningful employment opportunities. Most importantly we are confident that this partnership will once again better position us to help our customers to succeed by providing strong reliable machines and strong reliable support to the region."

Director General of KAMAZ Foreign Trade Company, Raphael Gafeev, presents Bell Equipment Chief Executive, Gary Bell, with the certificate to officially commemorate the appointment of Bell Equipment as the Southern African distributor of KAMAZ trucks.