The customer, who is based in the North West Province, is the sole importer of high quality headers which are fitted to various combine harvester brands. The role of the gathering chain on the headers is to assist with collecting and taking harvested material through to the feeder area for processing.
“During a routine customer visit, a perceptive Sales Representative from SKF Agricultural Distributor, Bolt and Engineering Klerksdorp, identified a potential business opportunity when he noted that the gathering chain imported by the customer for after-market fitment to the headers was of an unfamiliar aftermarket house brand,” explains SKF Key Accounts Manager Agriculture, Southern Africa, Charl Engelbrecht.
Gathering chain takes a tremendous beating as it operates under extremely harsh dusty conditions and Engelbrecht therefore stresses the importance of product quality to ensure reliable performance and prevention of unwanted downtime. “Aware that SKF manufactures a high quality, robust gathering chain that would hands down be a far better after-market fitment solution for the customer, Bolt and Engineering contacted SKF.”
The combined efforts of Engelbrecht, Frans Odendaal, SKF South Africa’s Power Transmission Product Manager and Global Sales Manager, Power Transmission, Rikus Van Zyl, who worked closely with the customer, presenting the product’s value adds as well as the advantages of doing business with a globally renowned OEM, successfully secured the local after-market gathering chain business for SKF South Africa. “We are extremely excited about our partnership with this customer and consequently with a leading combine header manufacturer,” says Engelbrecht.
SKF gathering chain is manufactured from premium quality steel and robust components and is subjected to rigorous strength and durability tests. “The exceptional reliability of SKF’s gathering chain makes it ideally suited to our harsh local agricultural conditions,” notes Engelbrecht. “Quality and reliability also mean extended service life and subsequent prolonged uptime, high productivity and lowest total cost of ownership for end-users. Another plus factor is that our high quality gathering chain is competitively priced.”
As the parameters of SKF’s gathering chain match the house brand previously used by the customer, training on fitment of the new product is not necessary; the customer simply adheres to the corn header brand’s fitment procedures. Service, maintenance and repair on the gathering chain will be the responsibility of the customer or end-user.
Engelbrecht confirms that the customer, having recognised the benefits of partnering their quality brand of combine headers with a well-known agricultural OEM solutions supplier like SKF, has ordered an additional 2500 gathering chain units for delivery in Q1 2021. “This has bolstered not only the growth in SKF’s power transmission portfolio in the agricultural space but also our power transmission market share in South Africa as a whole,” concludes Engelbrecht.
This article was published in partnership with Media Xpose.