EH Construction adds eight Bell Graders to its fleet

Published: 04 March 2021

Civil construction companies, especially those working on projects which involve bulk earthworks, rely heavily on their earthmoving and material handling equipment to get the job done. But as any equipment owner knows, reliable technical backup is of paramount importance as any earthmoving equipment, no matter how reliable, will need servicing, consumable spare parts, and repair from time to time.

One such company that works across the broad expanses of Botswana is EH Construction (Pty) Ltd, which was recently rebranded as such from its previous moniker, Excavator Hire. The company was founded in Botswana’s capital Gaborone some 30 years ago and is owned by Markos Markides.

EH Construction has built a name for itself completing major civil construction projects such as the Thune Dam water treatment works, airport upgrades, large river bridges and work on some of Botswana’s and the world’s biggest diamond mines. With a strong core of 115 people consisting of administrative, managerial, supervisory, maintenance and operator staff, the company fulfils contractual obligations by employing and training manual labourers in areas where it works. This creates employment opportunities and upliftment through skills transfer.

“Our company has undergone some rapid growth during the past four years with us being awarded major work and this has seen us enlarging our fleet of yellow machines,” says Ross Jordan, EH Construction’s Plant Manager. “We’ve invested heavily in equipment manufactured by Bell Equipment and sold to us by Kanu Equipment in Botswana.”

During this time, EH Construction has taken delivery of five new Bell B30E Articulated Dump Trucks (ADTs) that are currently deployed on a tailings dam project for one of the large diamond mines. An upturn in roads construction projects has seen EH Construction showing real intent with the acquisition of no less than eight Bell Graders – two 770G models and six 670G machines.

“Three of the Bell 670G Graders are being used on a major roads upgrade project between Debite and Machaneng and are really showing what they were designed for,” Ross adds. “We’re working in a joint venture to upgrade 144km of what is currently a gravel road to bring it to a fully tarred chip and spray surface. It’s not as simple as it sounds as often the centre line of the existing road needs to be moved but our Bell Graders are really showing their mettle as they process all layer works from base course to final layers.”

According to Ross, his company gives thorough consideration when buying new plant and the decision is taken jointly by a think tank within the company. “We consider all factors from the design and build, reputation, task at hand and of course, price and technical backup,” he explains. “What stood out for us when buying the equipment made by Bell Equipment was that we can rely on the technical backup and parts holding we receive from the OEM’s dealer in Botswana, Kanu Equipment.”

“Kanu Equipment has always been strong on its technical support and this gives us the confidence to invest in earthmoving equipment for which it carries the distribution rights. You will appreciate that working anywhere in Africa can present challenges in terms of logistics for backup and the delivery of essential spare parts but dealing with Kanu Equipment negates that negativity. They have always supported us admirably and that’s one of the main motivating factors for us deciding to buy the Bell manufactured equipment.”

Ross says that open lines of communication is another point where Kanu Equipment scores well. “I can call Kobus Bezuidenhout, Kanu Equipment’s Service Manager at any time, day or night should we have a problem and that is very reassuring. Should Kanu Equipment not have a particular part in stock, they are quick to get it in by overnight courier.”

EH Construction is not new to owning equipment from Bell Equipment as it owns a Bell 2306B Articulated Hauler which is used to tow a 23 000 litre water bowser. A slightly newer Bell 2306D Articulated Hauler tows a grid roller and two smooth-drum Bomag rollers are deployed on the current roads project, a BW212 D-40 and a BW219 D-4.

“We had some cooling pipe niggles on some of the new Bell Graders but the fact that the potential problem was sorted out quickly and efficiently, shows us that we made the right decision to buy a quality product through a dealer that backs what it sells and that is the big difference for us.”

Kanu Equipment Service Manager, Kobus Bezuidenhout (left) with EH Construction Plant Manager, Ross Jordan.