Industrial equipment supplier Smith Power Equipment (SPE) is ensuring that the value-add on its range of imported forklifts meets customer requirements, while balancing performance and cost to help companies manage the economic challenges.
“Forklifts are fairly standard pieces of equipment and our focus is, thus, on the services we can provide with the product. We offer new and refurbished units that can be tailored to suit clients’ requirements and budgets and, in addition, handover training is provided when needed, spares are readily available and technicians are on hand if their expertise is required on site,” says SPE marketing manager Robert Keir.
SPE is the sole distributor of Chinese forklift brand Kipor in South Africa and has been providing the local market with units ranging between 2 t and 5 t in size capability since 2010.
In June, SPE supplied two refurbished Kipor 2.5 t diesel forklifts to Johannesburg building materials supplier Icon Bricks. This provides a hardy solution for the company’s outdoor materials handling requirements. An additional filtration system was included on these units to protect the engines from the fine dust particles that proliferate in an environment where cement and bricks are handled.
“These were the first two forklifts that we supplied to Icon Bricks; feedback from the client has been so positive that we are now in negotiations for a second contract to expand their Kipor fleet,” says SPE forklift dealer sales manager Sunee Heyns.
Although SPE can offer only a limited warranty on refurbished forklifts, these units provide a cost-effective solution for smaller companies, with the quality and reliability of the product ensured through a comprehensive overhaul and testing process. Heyns highlights that this includes checks of the engine, wiring and tyres, as well as painting of the unit and a load test.
With an advanced streamline design, a solid, sturdy frame and suspended and movable seat, Heyns notes that the Kipor forklifts have become a popular materials handling option for smaller South African companies. The brand is also gaining traction further into Africa, with SPE seeing increased demand for Kipor forklifts in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique.
Kipor forklifts are, moreover, equipped with either diesel or electric motors. Keir explains that electric forklifts are better suited to indoor warehouse applications and industries, such as food and beverage production, where fuel emissions are problematic. These units require a larger financial investment than their diesel-driven counterparts and require standby time to charge the batteries.
A range of attachments – including bale clamps, fork positioners, cranes and double pallet handlers – are also available to meet customer-specific requirements.
“Kipor is able to expand forklift and applications and ensure that the units meet customer requirements.”