Page 1





OFFER LOWER COSTS Martin road going and mining trailers are designed and built for heavy duty applications and durability so as to increase production, decrease costs and increase manoeuvrability of tracked machines.


Martin Trailer Company FEATURE


artin Trailer Company is a premium name in trailer manufacture. It is the quality of the product and power of the brand that has allowed it to thrive. It is true what they say. This Roodekopbased firm really can manufacture any type of trailer to suite clients’ exact requirements, says Marketing Director Kieron Gore. With one of the largest in-house design departments in the South African commercial trailer market, and together with its production facility and experience in manufacturing trailers, he says, the trailer manufacturer is able to offer “best designs, excellent workmanship as well as competitive pricing.” The company specialises in designing and manufacturing both on-highway as well as off-highway mining trailers, mainly to carry large indivisible loads such as excavators, dozers, drill rigs, large steel structures and transformers. In the past two years it has also established a new production line for supply of general cargo trailers such as tippers and flatbed trailers. “We are constantly growing into new markets, both with new products and new geographical markets so as to ensure future survival as well as company growth,” says Gore. “We have been a market leader in trailers for abnormal loads over the past 30 years and now we are working hard on export and offering general cargo trailers of which the dividends are now paying off. We do however know our bread and butter is the South African lowbed market and we will continue to offer new and exciting products here whilst maintaining all the factors that our customers require.”

Martin Trailer Company recently delivered a 250 tonne capacity lowbed trailer to the world’s largest platinum mine, he adds. “It’s a single-axle rear loading trailer and is unique in that the rear of the trailer hydraulically lowers and the axle and wheel stations hydraulically widen to expose a low loading angle for mining equipment to drive on to and be transported safely”. The trailer - weighing over 110 tonnes - has a pre-stressed deck, a unique selling point. “We originally developed this concept for our road going trailers and we are now implementing it in our mining trailers,” Gore says. “There are a number of benefits... It allows for higher loading capacities without adding more weight to the frames, for instance.” Designing trailers from scratch, Martin Trailer is able to ensure braking, frame strength and all operational requirements are met, he stresses. “I’m confident in saying that whatever the industry, we are able to offer leading design and workmanship, highest specification as well as cost effective equipment with a long product life.” Martin trailers are competitively priced for both the local and export market, even though its input costs are higher than competitors, Gore adds. “Because of the special steels, highest quality running gear and more hours that go into each unit to achieve our quality standard, we are still able to offer extremely competitive pricing on our equipment.” On standard lowbed production, he estimates Martin has a 50 percent market share locally and a 30 percent market share in other sub-saharan African countries. “In Africa, Martin mainly competes against very cheap imports form China and Brazil,” Gore explains. “It is hard to compete on price

There are a number of benefits... It allows for higher loading capacities without adding more weight to the frames


Martin Trailer Company FEATURE

with these imports as they don’t have any overheads here so they are able to offer rock bottom pricing without supporting the product. We have approached the African market differently and market our trailers with a very high specification and a backup service and parts offering. This seems to be paying off with clients paying a bit more for our units but they have piece of mind and a better quality, more durable piece of equipment with higher resale value on the vehicle.


We are constantly growing into new markets, both with new products and new geographical markets so as to ensure future survival as well as company growth

“These units are also designed around local legislation and weight formulas so they further help the client by carrying higher payloads at a lower cost.” Mining trailers and general cargo flatbeds are experiencing huge growth, he adds. “We admit we have dropped the ball over the past 10 years on the mining trailers by concentrating on standard lowbed production and ended up offering the mines very long lead times. This however has changed. We have invested heavily in our R&D department with more engineers and

draftmens, setup up a separate production line for the mining trailers and build the units with the latest technology and loading capabilities. We now believe we can offer the highest specified units on the shortest lead time whilst pricing is very competitive to put the cherry on the top.”

A REMARKABLE STORY The story of Martin Trailer is truly remarkable, especially when you consider how things started. Indeed, from humble beginnings in 1984, with only 10 employees and some very loyal customers, the South African manufacturer has grown to be a market leader in heavy-duty commercial trailers and tow-behind compaction equipment in the African market. Today, the company manufactures lowbed, flatbed, Mining Trailer, side tippers and various other trailers with capacities from 20 tonnes to over 400 tonnes. It also manufactures the Martin Grid Roller and is a distributor of Cooper Chengshan truck tires and DAVIS MAGNET 5th wheels, as well as the Broons square impact roller. These products and services are supplied to the mining, transport, civil engineering, construction, plant hire, vehicle recovery, military and energy sectors as well as local and national governments, Gore says. “Our focus is on growing the African market but we are also expanding into the international market.” He adds: “We have all the right ingredients. We have a great product. We have fantastic staff and customers that support us. And we have the expertise.” With Martin Trailers being a family owned and controlled business – and it is very much the family affair, with Kieron’s brother Patrick as Managing Director and other brother Kevin head of Engineering. Frank Doherty, a long time family employee and family friend is also a director in the company and looks after production. In this way the company is able to

Always ahead SSAB is a leading producer of high strength and quenched & tempered steels, and has production plants in Sweden and the USA. SSAB steels are among the strongest in the world. This enables customers to make lighter, stronger and more durable products, which offers major environmental benefits to customers and the surrounding world. We develop solutions that improve the competitiveness of our customers. The SSAB product brand name portfolio includes numerous world leading and well established brand names. The SSAB product brand names are: Hardox – Wear plate for maximum payload and longer service life Domex – High strength structural steel for lighter vehicles Weldox – High strength structural steel for stronger, lighter structures Docol – High strength structural steel for lighter and safer solutions for the automotive industry Armox – Protection plate for personal safety Prelaq – Weather protection in a rainbow of colors Toolox – Pre-hardened tool steel for lower productions cost Sales – Ricardo de Villiers Area Sales Manager, SSAB EMEA Hardox®, Weldox® , Domex , Docol D +27 11 724 5036 M +27 82 770 8117

Technical – Nico van der Westhuizen Area Technical Manager SSAB EMEA D +27 11 724 5038 M +27 82 304 1162

offer superior service on all its products with a personal touch. “We have a hands on approach to dealing with clients,” says Gore. “It gives us an edge.” The main factors that have made Martin one of the most well known and sought after brands within the lowbed and heavy duty trailer industry are innovation and durability, quality, experience and best specification, he adds. “We have a full inhouse design team consisting of engineers, draftsmen, and trailer builders, and using the latest design and manufacturing techniques, the company is able to constantly improve and innovate. “This innovation and design has resulted in many firsts within the industry, including the first hydraulic removable gooseneck lowbeds, the first hydraulic widening trailers as well as the first mining trailer in the world to make use of a single axle configuration.” END

South Africa Magazine, Suite 9 and 10, The Royal, Bank Plain, Norwich, Norfolk, UK. NR2 4SF TNT Magazine, 14-15 Child’s Place, Earl’s Court, London, UK. SW5 9RX ENQUIRIES Telephone: 0044 (0)1603 343267 Fax: 0044 (0)1603 283602 SUBSCRIPTIONS Call: 00441603 283573

Martin Trailer Company 8 Rail Road Roodekop, Germiston Gauteng 1424 Tel: 011 8664200 Fax: 011 8653142 Email: