Kemach JCB’s strong service ethic provides a solid foundation on which the company builds and maintains sound long-term relationships with customers like Lusthof Civil & Plant Hire.
Founded by Anton Schonken, Lusthof Civil & Plant Hire specialises in quarry and gravel road building projects, operating from Loeriesfontein in the Northern Cape to Port St. John’s in KwaZulu-Natal as well as across the border to Lesotho. To serve such a vast region efficiently requires a dedicated team of close to 200 people and a fleet of 62 machines.
Schonken’s relationship with Kemach JCB began in the early nineties. Following a visit to the JCB factory in the UK and impressed by the professional, friendly and efficient JCB staff, Schonken purchased his first JCB, a previously owned TLB, in 1993. Today his JCB fleet comprises 26 machines: Fourteen excavators (24-36t), five TLBs, five compaction rollers (11,5-20t), two skid steer loaders with attachments, and the more recent additions, four JS305 Tracked Excavators.
Ranking service higher than the machines themselves, Schonken states that Kemach JCB’s across-the-board service excellence is what differentiates them within the compact machine industry. ‘After 8000 hours of operation all machines need some kind of repairs. Due to the protracted tight economic climate I am forced to extend ownership of my machines by two years and consequently they demand more service and maintenance. I simply cannot afford to lose projects due to down time caused by machine failure. My business therefore relies on Kemach JCB and the team at the Port Elizabeth branch understands this. They ensure that parts are readily available and that my machines are repaired promptly so that they can be back in operation with minimum delay.’
‘After-sales service remains a priority focus for us,’ affirms Elmar Minderon, sales representative at Kemach JCB in Port Elizabeth. ‘The Eastern Cape team has a passion for the product which shows in consistently good service delivery and customer support. We understand just how critical good all-round service is to ensure customer uptime. Service goes way beyond the on-time delivery of equipment. Delivering high service levels in the initial stages of the customer relationship is one thing but the ability to sustain these high levels after the sale is quite another. It is about keeping the right spares and the right quantities in stock, getting to the customer quickly and making the repair rapidly whilst ensuring that the work is done right by skilled and trained technicians – in a nutshell, ensuring you are there every time the customer needs you.’
Schonken developed Lusthof Civil & Plant Hire from humble beginnings; from a two-man team delivering bales of lucerne and repairing windmills in Ciskei, to constructing earth and cement dams. ‘Winning a tender that required the laying of between 60 and 80kms of pipelines per annum, we dug by hand! From the early years I adopted the motto ‘People must eat, machines don’t’ and I therefore always preferred working with people rather than machines. But it eventually got to a point where I desperately needed a machine. I decided to hire a dipper lorry but soon discovered that hiring was not an easy option as I was forced by the hiring company to pay upfront for the machine.’
This prompted Schonken to open a plant hire division alongside his construction business, Lusthof Windmill & Construction. In 2014 the company name was duly changed to Lusthof Civil and Plant Hire to reflect the two competencies. ‘Initially, the construction and plant hire businesses were equal but it was not long before our plant hire division gained the number one position and now comprises 70 percent of the business,’ concludes Schonken.
Kemach Equipment, known as Kemach JCB, is a leading distributor of a wide range of tough and rugged earthmoving equipment that includes back hoe loaders, skid steers, wheel loaders, excavators, telescopic handlers and compact equipment. The Johannesburg head office is supported by an extensive regional office as well as a sales and service dealer network to ensure seamless service and after-sales service delivery to customers in the mining, construction, quarrying and plant hire industries. Kemach JCB provides technical, product and operator training and certification on all their equipment.