CTC Plant celebrate 25 years

Those with a good memory will remember a special occasion in a particular year, say 1992, others will identify events, songs or movies perhaps.

It was the year of the Olympics and some of the major highlights were; South Africa was allowed to compete for the first time since 1960; Germany sent a single unified team for the first time since 1964; baseball was officially included as part of the games, and at an individual level, Chinese diver Fu Mingxia became the youngest Olympic gold medal winner ever at the age of 13.

Tiger Woods was just 16 years old when he made his debut in a PGA event to become the youngest player ever to play in the PGA. Though he missed the cut in the event, what he has achieved in the years that followed is a well-known history.

It was also the year of Cricket World Cup which Pakistan won by defeating England in the finals. This was the first time coloured clothing, white balls and matches under floodlights were introduced in the world cup.

The Bodyguard, Basic Instinct and Aladdin were the some of that year’s popular movies; songs that made it include “Would I lie to you”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Don’t let the sun go down on me”.

On a more serious note White South Africans voted in favour of political reforms which ended the apartheid policy, F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace prize and created a power-sharing multi-racial government.

The maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour began when the spacecraft was successfully launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Hurricane Andrew hits South Florida, Bill Clinton was nominated asthe 42nd President of the USA and Prince Charles and Princess Diana separated.

While Colin McOwen remembers these events his most vivid memory of 1992 was the day when he set up shop in the then 5 000 m2, now 20 000 m2, premises in Airport Industria and CTC Plant Company opened its doors for the first time. Fast forward to September 2017 when he celebrated the firm’s 25th anniversary – no mean feat for a small business that operates in the cut and thrust, highly competitive world of used construction plant.

Colin’s venture in trading in used equipment in Cape Town, had its foundations in the construction machinery business, initially with the Hitachi/Michigan dealer Premier Metal and then with Bell Equipment with whom he has had a career long friendship. Cutting his teeth in this tough world of even tougher machines stood him in good stead when he started CTC Plant Company and its success has been based on those early lessons learnt with large dollops of hard work which ensured customer satisfaction.

Few if any competitors can match CTC Plant’s experience and broad service offering. Seeing opportunities has led to the company expanding into related products and services which complement the original concept of offering reliable, fully reconditioned parts and equipment at competitive prices.

Best in class workshops

The backbone of the reconditioning business is a well-appointed and expertly staffed workshop where parts and machines can be returned to OEM specifications thus ensuring customers of the reliability and performance of a new machine.

CTC Plant Company boast perhaps the best equipped workshop in the Western Cape coupled with engineering expertise second to none. This is borne out by contracts with major OE earthmoving supply companies who have come to rely on CTC Plant’s capabilities, entrusting their brand to safe hands.

Operations undertaken include complete machine strip down, sandblast and rebuild to OEM specifications, presenting the customer with a virtually new machine. Skilled workshop personnel can manufacture or rebuild all a machine’s working parts including any size of bucket, repair or manufacture excavator booms and all hydraulic pipes, cylinders and seals using the latest manufacturing techniques and state of the art equipment.

The workshop incorporates an engine and transmission rebuild centre, an electrical division and a machine shop to repair or re-manufacture hydraulic cylinders and control systems. Executing all aspects of the machine’s refurbishment under one 20 000 m2 roof ensures strict quality control can be managed without reliance on outsourcing of vital machined components. The end result is a satisfied customer who keeps coming back and tells his or her friends about their experience!

Transporting heavy loads

The transportation of naturally heavy, bulky and robust earthmoving machines and equipment led CTC Plant to establish a transport division as an additional service offering. This division has expanded and today comprises a fleet of nine mechanical horses and lowbed trailers and a crane truck, which not only transport customers machines to and from refurbishment but also contract for other heavy loads. The transport division operate over the length and breadth of the country offering a safe reliable service at competitive rates.

The refurbishing business relies on the acquisition of quality earthmoving machines, not only rebuilding or repairing a customer’s own machine. These machines are purchased for stock after thorough inspection to ensure they are capable of being repaired or rebuilt to original specifications. CTC Plant’s range of used machines represents good value with the added confidence that comes with expertise developed over 25 years.

This expertise is found in the more than 80 staff members of the company, many of whom have more than 10 years’ service with the company and who are steeped in various aspects of the earth moving machinery business. This means that customers get the correct advice as to which machines are most suitable for their application. 

Customers return

More than 70% of used equipment turnover comes from existing customers which confirms the honesty and value they receive. Satisfied customers always come back for more of the same! They might not always get the cheapest price compared with others in the business but reliability and dependable customer service ensure that the machine will earn him money and not be standing idle while waiting for parts due to an unexpected breakdown.

Hydraulic hammers and attachments are part and parcel of the earthmoving game and it was a natural progression for CTC Plant to be able to offer a quality range of these implements. But like most things in life, there are good and bad hammers and attachments which can make or break a company’s reputation for quality and customer service.

Having the experience and knowing how to recognise the good from the bad and weed out inferior products, led CTC Plant to form an association with the TEMPO Attachment range of hammers and attachments. The product’s superior performance has quickly made this brand the market leader in the Cape since its introduction. TEMPO Attachment’s superior design and quality extends to its wide product range which includes grapples, tyres handlers, long and extended booms, quick attachments, screening buckets, drum cutters, augers, rippers and demolition attachments. Its superior quality reflects in high levels of reliability and low operating costs and the product range is naturally supported by CTC Plant who carry an extensive range of spare parts. The parts store also stocks spares for most other brands of hammers and consumables such as moils.

Crushers & crushing

Operating out of a specialised division and manned by experienced hands-on experts, CTC Plant’s crusher division provides a full onsite back up service for these specialised machines. It is not enough to simply sell these machines but also to provide on-site services such as commissioning, machine adjustments and servicing to ensure full production volumes are achieved.

A plentiful stock of wear parts is always available – an absolute necessity for these machines which operate in a hostile environment. As with its other divisions, crusher customers have grown to trust and respect the in depth knowledge and experience offered which back up CTC Plant’s crushing division. 

Finance and future

Securing bank finance for used equipment is not always easy but CTC Plant has built up a respected relationship and track record with most financial institutions since it opened its doors. So much so that it often assists in securing finance for clients that would otherwise not be available. This aspect has resulted in CTC Plant offering in-house financing options to selected blue chip clients.

Ensuring that high standards of engineering are maintained is what drives the CTC Plant apprenticeship scheme which recently saw four youngsters successfully complete their four year MerSETA course to become qualified as Earthmoving Diesel Artisans and Diesel Mechanics. “We only strive for excellence and we are proud of what they have accomplished” commented their mentors, Oltman van den Heever and John Buchanan.

Doyen of used earth moving machine business

The inherent toughness of earth moving machinery means that by design, they last a long time. Contractors have long since found that it is often preferable to purchase fully refurbished parts or a complete used machine, backed by CTC Plant’s warranty and reputation, than outlay hard earned cash on new, particularly in today’s economic climate.

Good used parts and machines is the cornerstone of CTC Plant’s business and popular machines are continuously being acquired and stripped for usable parts and components. Where necessary, high quality repair or refurbishment is undertaken to restore the part to full working condition where it is offered at a fraction of the price of a new component. Meeting the demand for quality parts at attractive prices has been CTC Plant’s mantra from the day it opened its doors 25 years ago.

Alongside their extensive inventory of used parts, CTC Plant offers a large range of new replacement parts, particularly hydraulic pumps, motors, swing motors and similar components.

Today the company boast what is arguably the largest stock holding of used parts in the Western Cape, if not in the country, saving customers time and money, as a one stop destination for keeping these hard working machines, working.