A job for a Manitou

Mining isn’t for the feint-hearted and when a company embarks on a tough project, on unforgiving terrain, it needs to know that the machines being used will keep going. For the companies that rely of Manitou, it’s reassuring to know that each and every machine really means business

The multitude of choice in the Manitou portfolio mean that clients can get on with ventures knowing that they will be prepared for any eventuality. Decades of technological wizardry and knowledge have gone into the mighty machines on their sites. Indeed, all across South Africa, Manitou gear is making hard work much easier.

Miner mission

Although mining masters, Manitou South Africa, were established on the continent in 1997, the parent company can boast half a century of—literally—ground breaking ideas, innovation and workmanship.

The South African adventure has been hugely successful and now the company can boast three bases in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

The quality of these magnificent machines has resulted in a brilliant reputation in the heavy duty equipment industry. Over the last 14 year, 100s of companies have trusted Manitou’s machines with getting the job done, and done well.

In a competitive market place Manitou is, by some considerable distance, the league leader—a position it has resolutely maintained, and doesn’t look like relinquishing any time soon.

Some of the most popular Manitou products include telescopic handlers, forklifts, truck mounted forklift, access platforms, warehousing equipment, skid steer loaders, articulated loaders, attachments and handling equipment.

The company also provide an unparalleled level of excellence in its delivery of a 24-hour back up and support service. This unique facility provides customers with advice, technical support and repairs.

Managing Director Lindsay Shankland is in no doubt that the company’s heritage has been hugely influential in guaranteeing its continued success.

“The greatest benefit to our clients is that they are getting the world’s best equipment; Manitou is without doubt the world leader,” he enthuses. “Within South Africa what we trust most in the business, is our service delivery.”

Special effects

Manitou’s impressive stock is brought in from its manufacturing base in France. By virtue of being built across the water, all the machines meet the new international rules relating to noise and emission levels.

Once in South Africa the workforce—which has risen to almost 60—offer a modification service for the very specific needs of its local clients. The adaptation of machines has been hugely popular with mining operations in South Africa, many of which are working in unusually dense or inhospitable terrain.

It is also very important to the company that it brings cost-effective mechanisation to local and overseas mining operations, with a variety of material handling equipment and specialised attachments, such as the custom-designed roof bolter or drill rig. These machines offer increased productivity, versatility, low fuel consumption and maintenance costs. The equipment also has a considerably longer life—essential when clients intent to use facilities on a daily basis.

While Manitou has an illustrious and unparalleled history of providing equipment to the mining industry, it has also become increasingly diverse over the years. “In South Africa, mining and construction were originally about 65 per cent of our business,” explains Shankland. “Mining is still the biggest portion of our business; that’s where we built our reputation, but we also supply machines right across various business platforms, especially where they require a rough terrain or semi-rough terrain machine.”

The company’s versatility  can also be seen in its extracurricular activities. It recently co-sponsored Mozambique’s Guinjata Sport Fishing Club’s brilliantly-titled, ‘Z-Craft/Mercury Species Bonanza’ and even flexed its muscles at a SA Strongman Union competition held in Nigel, where it provided sponsorship and the services of a Manitou forklift to set up some of the extraordinary competition segments.

Foothold on the future

Manitou are constantly looking for new ways to evolve, new opportunities and new markets in which to sell its machines. In recent times the company has worked on the development of underground mining machines.

“During 2011 we displayed our first flameproof soft rock and hard rock underground utility vehicle,” enthused Shankland. “We’ve now agreed with Manitou France that we can export underground machines from South Africa, due to our vast experience over the last nine years, in this equipment area.”

This exciting and innovative machinery will also be marketed globally and offered to the rest of the world in the next few years. The technology is expected to become one of the hottest-selling Manitou items in its history.

Manitou can look back of an impressive array of technological achievements, expanding possibilities in some of the toughest areas on the planet. Perhaps, its greatest asset, however, is the ability to keep moving, always looking for the next improvement. Ultimately, Manitou has the key to surviving and thriving in one of the most competitive industries—driving strength.