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Conditions and applications in the industries vary broadly and a one-size-fits-all approach would not work. Customers want solutions which move the highest achievable tonnage per hour at the lowest possible cost
Established in 1973, the Desmond Group of Companies started manufacturing its own brand of earth-moving equipment in 1996.

Today an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) competing in nine original product categories with over 30 models and variants, Port Shepstone-based Desmond Equipment (Dezzi) first saw the light as a transport company before moving on to plant hire and finally establishing itself as a manufacturer of earth-moving equipment.

Desmond Gutzeit, who founded the company in 1973, purchased used “yellow-metal equipment” such as front-end loaders and excavators to be repaired and used in his own fleet. As the business grew and Gutzeit acquired progressively more equipment, the company’s focus shifted to the purchase, repair and sale of yellow-metal equipment.

By that time, Gutzeit had developed a deep understanding of these machines and building his own front-end loader was, in the words of his son and current Dezzi MD Carl Gutzeit, a “natural process”.

Based on his knowledge of these machines and the technologies available, Desmond Gutzeit assembled what he regarded as the perfect machine, cherry-picking the best solutions from various OEMs and adding them to his own ideas and solutions.

Today, the company participates in the sugar; forestry; agricultural; mining; quarrying; building; construction and plant-hire sectors. It manufactures and sells haulage tractors; articulated haulage tractors; articulated dump trucks (ADTs); graders; wheel loaders; timber trucks; skidders and loggers, among others.

The first Dezzi wheel loader rolled off the assembly line in 1996 and today the company has 21 branches and dealers nationwide, including sub-Saharan Africa. Its machines have extremely high local content and are fully designed, manufactured and assembled in South Africa.

Today, Dezzi Equipment manufactures and sells new product only. Gutzeit says some 95% of manufacturing is done on order and the machines are distributed either factory-direct to the client or through the company’s national distribution network of dealers.

He says the company is 100% certified and approved by all banks and financial institutions, and has its own in-house financial offering, DezziFin, through which client finance is arranged.

Dezzi has been trading for nearly a quarter century without any outside investment and Gutzeit ascribes this to the fact that “all the links in the chain are strong and work together toward a mutual goal.”

Gutzeit cites two reasons for the company’s success: very strong after-sales support and a diverse product range servicing market sectors as diverse as timber and sugar production, bulk materials handling, mining, forestry and agriculture.

“We have very experienced people who know how to read the market,” he says. “Dezzi can customise bespoke solutions, unlike other OEMs who are unable to produce one-offs. In addition, opposition companies in this market sector must order from abroad complete, assembled machines whereas our units can be customised to the needs of each individual client.”

1) Drivetrain

While Dezzi equipment is manufactured locally, the company imports engines, axles and drivetrains for incorporation into its designs.

Gutzeit says the world trend in terms of drivetrains is to achieve smaller engine displacement and so enable theoretical fuel savings. While this is plausible in the automotive industry, the engine and drivetrain in yellow-metal machinery are subject to “much more abuse”.

“Conditions and applications in the industries we cater for vary broadly and a one-size-fits-all approach would not work. For instance, you can put a four-cylinder engine in a haulage tractor and it would work well, even with a trailer attached. However, you sometimes need to attach up to four trailers, which exceeds the abilities of any four-cylinder engine.”

2) Forty-tonner for mining

Gutzeit says Dezzi is not impacted by the current slump in the mining industry as the company is not focused on this sector, other than some units aimed at open-pit mining.

The company is, however, developing a 40-tonne articulated dump truck (ADT) for African conditions in response to demand from its dealer network.

“Our 40-tonne ADT market share currently stands at zero as we haven’t produced them at all, until now. If we capture only 1% market share in the first year of production, we’d be growing the business appreciably. Should the ADT market come under pressure, the effect on us would be minimal as we come off a low base and only produce one unit per month, say.”

He says the company is currently experiencing a year-on-year growth trajectory in excess of 24%, for parts and new machine sales.

“Turnover has almost tripled in last five years because we entered the TLB market, starting at zero annual sales and gradually growing the base. We may ultimately only get to 50 TLBs a year but the point is, we are showing growth in these adverse times.”

3) Mining automation

Mines are looking for cost-effective, simple solutions as opposed to sophisticated automation technologies.”

Key to the Dezzi success story are the company’s after-sales service offering and its policy of never losing a customer.

“Our customers want solutions which move the highest achievable tonnage per hour at the lowest possible cost,” says Gutzeit. “Dezzi provides these solutions by keeping it simple, offering customised machines and by designing for local conditions.”


For more information, please feel free to contact us below.
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Dezzi Machine Sales

Phone: 039 685 4100
Email: info@dezzi.co.za

Dezzi Raceway

Phone: 084 952 1973
Email: raceway@dezzi.co.za

MON-FRI 07:30 - 17:00
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