A tool for every occasion
A tool for every occasion Editorial – Tim Hands Production – Chris Bolderstone
For over 77 years, Lasher Tools has striven to maintain its goal of tough, reliable tools guaranteed. During this time it has seen its product range swell and even move into the field of exports, with 15% of its production now found oversees.
It is the humble shovel that is the real symbol both of Lasher Tools’ history and its continuing presence in the South African market, with the first of its kind having been manufactured by the African Shovel Company and released onto the public seventy-seven years ago. The company now so well known as Lasher Tools has spent the years since this first appearance in the household market not only refining and perfecting the craft of shovel making, but also expanding its skills into a vast range of other tools. Founded in 1928 by Blane & Co. Ltd, a firm of mining engineers, African Shovel began its operations in a factory based in Barlow Street, Germiston. The shovels which gave rise to the company name were soon followed by a host of other tools central to the functioning of the work force of the time, such items as picks, spades, forks;
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anything and everything to aid the work of gardeners, miners and manual workers across the country. From the 1930’s payroll of 64 men mainly from Sheffield, England, has emerged a workforce today comprising over 600 personnel who come together to produce the tough, reliable tools for which the company is now famed. Lasher’s policy of sourcing local materials whenever possible is a facet the company has been able to maintain from its very beginnings to the present day, and played an important part in its survival of the trying times caused by the Second World War and the resulting problems with supply. This in fact proved to be one of the firm’s most productive periods, seeing it construct a second factory in what is now known as Sigma Road, Industries West, Germiston, previously and Aerodrome Road. The company was given its distinctive moniker in 1971,
following the Norton Group taking a controlling interest in African Shovel Co, and becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Norton in 1973. The new company name was borrowed from that given to the task of removing rock and rubble with shovels, with the Scottish miners who came to South Africa at the turn of the last century also known as Lashers. Lasher Tools finds itself today in a somewhat enviable position. Its current manufacturing facilities are sufficient to provide for the whole of the South African market, meaning it can cater individually for the entire populace and its construction needs. These home markets are firmly established, not only in mining, building and construction, but equally right through agriculture and forestry and the DIY sector. However, so well equipped is Lasher to fulfil the demands of the home markets, it is also able to generate sufficient volumes to ensure that exports are now
a viable option for the company. These exports have been a crucial element in enabling the business to continue to grow over the past 25 years, to the extent that, today, some 15% of production goes overseas. As a result of this successful foray into the business of exporting its goods, Lasher supplies to businesses and individuals in the UK, Europe, the Americas, the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Africa and Indian Ocean Islands. Clearly, this aspect of the business is no mere side-line to its operations in South Africa, with Lasher dedicating a fully equipped department to the effective running of this side of its dealings. It was in 1989 that Lasher Tools became officially the largest manufacturer of non-mechanical tools in Africa, following its buyout by long-time competitor and biggest rival, Ussher Inventions. The joining together of these two forces and the weight of their collective experience
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COMPANY REPORT can only have helped the Lasher name rise to the top of this highly competitive field, with Ussher itself having been founded and in operation since 1913, and manufacturers of the first South African wheelbarrow in 1922. Today, there are three main aspects to its production at the Wadeville, Germiston plant, with these principal parts being forgings, pressings and finishing. The picks and mattocks so central to both industry, and those many gardeners throughout the country, are fashioned from red hot raw billets of steel are fashioned in the forging shop. Sheet steel is the main ingredient in the pressing stage from which shovels, spades and wheelbarrows are all sheared and pressed, before the final stage in the finishing shop. Here all the different components of Lasher Tools’ stock items, numbering more than 1200 at present, are put together, and
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finalised with finishes of either bitumen, lacquer or power coating. Despite its evident wealth of product choice, the shovel has not lost its place to this day at the forefront of Lasher’s collective thinking. Always striving to develop and innovate this most traditional of tools, it is a constant surprise to the everyday consumer when confronted with the sheer range of options available to perform the task. “There are far more shapes and sizes than most people would imagine,” states Lasher, and this is certainly an accurate estimation. Most are familiar with the more common variants - round-nose and square-mouth blades have had a place in most homes for nearly a century now. There are however a number of more ‘specialised’ tools, which, similar to Lasher’s commitment to stocking only products appropriate to a certain area, are specific to certain sectors of industry.
LASHER TOOLS In this way, there are types for firing steam locomotives, cleaning ash from industrial boilers, solid socket shovels, and pit pan shovels. For the perfect gift for any construction or gardening enthusiast, Lasher even stocks a range of chrome plated ceremonial spades, while specialised products are also made for customers, with close attention being paid to client relations for ultimate satisfaction and making this bastion of hard work and manual labour an even more fitting product. To the future then, and Lasher looks to further strive towards achieving its ultimate vision, of servicing Africa and the world with a branded range of quality hand tools. 2012 saw the company crowned winners of the PACSA Trophy for the Best Recycled Product of 2012, while its new Ecobarrow continuing this commitment to its â€˜greenâ€™ responsibilities. The result of low environmental impact manufacturing, this latest addition is not only rust and corrosion resistant and easy to clean, but also fully recyclable, yet still possessing an impact-resistant pan in no danger of denting or buckling. Alongside its all all-encompassing tool range, and an ever-present commitment to minimising its impact
on the environment, Lasher also feels it imperative to associate itself with those who protect the natural heritage. A proudly South African company, it has chosen to partner itself with SANParks Honorary Rangers and back the anti-poaching work it performs. Lasher has just delivered the first cheque of just over R260,000 and is now fully committed to this cause, as it continues to manufacture tough, reliable tools and facilitate the building of roads, erection of buildings, growing of gardens and mining of mines across South Africa and the world.
SABS 657 PART 1, SABS 657 PART 3 SANS 62 PART 1, SABS 719 We manufacture from Cold Rolled and Hot Rolled coil in grades from Commercial Quality up to API5L-X42. Size range from 15.88mm to 273mm round, 12.7mm to 150mm squares and 32mm x 19mm to 200mm x 100mm rectangle Thickness range 0.8mm to 8.0mm
Contact: Andy Smith Tel: (011) 398 2705 Fax: (011) 974 6326 Cell: 082 467 8317 SEP 13 PAGE 5 firstname.lastname@example.org
+27 11 825 1100 www.lasher.co.za
(0)1603 618 000 email@example.com East Coast Promotions Ltd, Ferndale Business Centre, 1 Exeter Street. Norwich, Norfolk NR2 4QB