ESP’s 38 Year Journey

The 80’s (1980-1989)

1980, ESP Africa (Pty) Ltd opened its doors of its first branch based in Isando, Johannesburg, South Africa to offer the end users of Caterpillar earthmoving machinery in South Africa, an alternate replacement parts option to that of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

1981, ESP continues to expand and broaden its replacement parts range suitable for Caterpillar to include engine parts, transmission parts, final drive parts, track frame parts, bucket control parts, hydraulic parts and steering clutch parts to suit all of the popular models and makes of Caterpillar earthmoving equipment.

1982, ESP, opens its second branch based in Pinetown, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa.

1983, ESP introduces its ground engaging tools product range suitable for Caterpillar and Komatsu machinery. ESP acquires Rusper Spares, a medium size business based in Cape Town specialising in replacement parts for Caterpillar machinery. Utilising the existing staff, warehouse and inventory of Rusper Spares, as taken on through the acquisition, ESP opens its third branch based in Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa.

1984, ESP introduces its replacement parts product range suitable for all of the popular models of Komatsu earthmoving machinery. ESP opens its fourth branch based in Silverton, Pretoria, South Africa.

1985, ESP expands its product range to include replacement engine parts suitable for Detroit Diesel engines.

1986, ESP explores the opportunity of moving into the undercarriage parts business by negotiating with Premier Equipment Company for the possible acquisition of their undercarriage division, Mayne and Allen, who were then the exclusive Berco distributor in South Africa for many years.

1987, ESP becomes the Berco undercarriage distributor through its acquisition of Mayne & Allen. ESP opens its main undercarriage division in Jet Park, Isando, Johannesburg. ESP introduces its range of replacement parts for the Cummins diesel engines. ESP opens its 5th branch in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa. ESP Pretoria moves into larger premises. ESP introduces its range of Korody Colyer brand engine parts for Cummins engines.

1988, ESP Pinetown moves into larger premises. ESP’s total staff head count stands at 96.

1989, ESP Bloemfontein moves into larger premises. ESP introduces its replacement parts range for John Deere agricultural tractors.

The 90’s (1990-1999)

1990, ESP Isando moves into larger premises, the Jet Park undercarriage division is closed and is consolidated within the new premises in Isando. ESP Cape Town moves into larger premises. ESP introduces its range of replacement parts for Deutz engines.

1991, ESP acquires the parts business Powtrac, a company specialising in replacement parts for Cummins engines and US Truck parts. ESP introduces the Allison Transmission parts range to complement its existing range of Korody Colyer brand Detroit Diesel engine parts. ESP introduces replacement parts for the popular American made trucks.

1992, ESP Pinetown moves into larger premises.

1993, ESP Pretoria adds additional premises for a new undercarriage workshop.

1994, ESP Isando expands its existing warehouse capacity to accommodate the large scale growth from its undercarriage products.

1995, Ron Los, Managing Director and father figure of ESP announces his resignation and his intent to emigrate from South Africa to Australia, with his family. Ron Los was a founder member of ESP and started the company from grass roots in 1980. Andrew Grobler is appointed as his successor. Andrew joined ESP in 1982 as a sales representative and played an instrumental in opening ESP’s branch in Pinetown in the same year. In 1983, he was appointed to Branch Manager of ESP Pinetown, In 1987, he became a Director of ESP. In 1990, he transferred to ESP’s Head Office based in Isando as Marketing Director for the company. Later in 1993, he took on the responsibilities as Regional Sales Director for all of the Northern provinces of South Africa.

1996, ESP introduces a logistics centre. ESP expands its premises in Isando by 2000 m2 and creates 3 parts divisions: Earthmoving, Undercarriage and Truck. This follows on from ESP’s launch of the new TSP (Truck Spare Parts) division which was set up within ESP’s countrywide branch network to focus on the needs of its truck customers for Mercedes, ZF, Fuller, Rockwell and USA Truck parts. ESP introduces Cummins 4BT/6BT parts. ESP’s total staff head count stands at 164.

1997, ESP opens its 8th branch in Middelburg, Mapumalanga, South Africa. ESP’s truck parts division TSP, introduces the Mercedes Benz & ZF product ranges. ESP introduces Cummins N14, 6CTA8.3

1998, ESP acquires the new parts business of Dozer Parts, a company specialising in replacement parts for Caterpillar and based in Johannesburg. This company was incorporated into ESP’s branch in Johannesburg.

1999, ESP acquires G & R Spares, a company based in Durban and Johannesburg specialising in replacement parts for Caterpillar. ESP incorporates the G & R Spares business into its branches based in the same locality. ESP closes its Pretoria undercarriage workshop in preference to having a central workshop facility based in Isando, Johannesburg.

A new Millenium 2000-2018

2000, ESP opens its 9th branch based in Kimberley, Free State, South Africa. ESP changes its computer system to ACS Embrace. A New sales office is built for the Isando Earthmoving Parts Division.

2001, ESP reconstructs its website www.espa.co.za. The website is frequented at an average of 250 visits per month from countries throughout the globe. ESP continues to expand its truck parts range for its TSP Division. Three Division Managers (Earthmoving, Undercarriage & Truck) are appointed to head the newly formulated parts divisions based in Isando. The Undercarriage workshop in Bloemfontein, Free State was closed and the undercarriage equipment was incorporated into the central undercarriage workshop based in Isando, Johannesburg. ESP’s total staff head count stands at 168.

2002, ESP’s sales turnover leaps forward, based on buoyant economies being experienced in both the mining and construction market sectors. Three National Product Managers are appointed at ESP to head the sales drive for Earthmoving Parts, Undercarriage Parts and Truck Parts. A new 350 ton undercarriage track press is installed into ESP’s central undercarriage workshop in Isando, Johannesburg. The new track press allows assembling and disassembling of track chains for Caterpillar D10N/R/T and D11N/R/T, Komatsu PC1000-, D375A-2/3 and Liebherr R984B/C size earthmoving machines. ESP’s total head count now stands at 178.

2003, ESP acquires the business of AMT Services (Pty) Ltd, a company that was established in 1978, specialising in ITM undercarriage and Ground Engaging Tools with branches based in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The acquisition enables ESP to boost its sales turnover considerably. The three AMT divisions continue to trade as is, under the new ownership of ESP. Two of ESP’s directors transfer across to AMT to work jointly with the two AMT owners so as to ensure the smooth take-over of the of the AMT business. The acquisition also enables ESP to continue with the distribution agreements held by AMT for the ITM undercarriage brand and also for the ESCO, MTG and PYRSA ground engaging tools distributor agreements. ESP’s total head count including AMT staff now stands at 290.

2004, ESP acquires exclusivity for ETE brand of ground engaging tools in South Africa and neighbouring countries. ESP expands its Komatsu replacement parts engine range to include 95, 102, 108, 110, 140 series engine parts. ESP’s expands its mining based product range, particularly for undercarriage and ground engaging tools.

2005, Delta Electrical Industries the holding company of ESP Africa (Pty) Ltd for 25 years, sells all of its businesses to a consortium known as Savcio Holdings.

2006, ESP Middelburg moves into larger premises. ESP launches a new range of low cost ITR brand undercarriage from Korean manufacturers and the ground engaging tools from Chinese manufacturers. ESP decides to rationalise the stocks sold by TSP (the truck parts division of ESP). This is done in favour of broadening ESP’s undercarriage and ground engaging tools range which has become the core business of the company. ESP consolidates the Johannesburg undercarriage workshops of ESP and AMT into one central undercarriage workshop based at the premises of AMT in Benoni, Johannesburg.

2007, The ESP and AMT undercarriage workshops based in Durban and Cape Town are consolidated into the AMT divisions in the same areas. Savcio Holdings decides to dispose of ESP, as it is not recognised as a core business and has no strategic fit within the group. GB Group, an Italian company that owns GB Ricambi, CGR Ghinassi,, American Crane And Tractor and Tractiv Group, acquires 75% of ESP and ESP’s management retain 25% of ESP.

2008, ESP formulates a strategic partnership with CGR Ghinassi and American Crane & Tractor. ESP ceases to trade with ITR Undercarriage brand and instead distributes Kian Ann’s CF and PE ranges of Korean manufactured undercarriage.

2009, ESP introduces the FUTURA brand of Ground Engaging Tools. ESP expands its range of Chinese manufactured ground engaging tools as well as its range of Korean manufactured undercarriage. ESP introduces the MTG StarMet hammerless range. The AMT and ESP businesses in Durban are consolidated into one company, trading as ESP. The ESP building in Durban is expanded to accommodate this. The TSP Truck Spare Parts division was terminated midway through 2009. In the interest of focusing on the core products such as Undercarriage, GET and replacement parts for Caterpillar. ESP merges and integrates the ESP and AMT computer systems in to one operating system. ESP acquires exclusivity for the Futura range of GET products from BYG in Spain. ESP’s total head count now stands at 225. The reduction in the headcount from 290 in 2003 down to 225 was achieved through a process of natural attrition over the past 6 years.

2010, ESP celebrates its 30th anniversary of being in the parts business. The ESP and AMT businesses in Cape Town are consolidated into one company, trading as ESP. The warehouse of ESP Cape Town is expanded to handle this change.

2011, ESP produces its own ESP brand of bucket tips and adapters. The consolidation of ESP’s workshops in Durban and Cape Town has greatly streamlined working efficiencies. ESP discontinues its GET Wholesale Division and concentrates purely on retail sales for GET. ESP extensively upgrades its computer system and merges the existing dual systems for ESP and AMT into one operating system. ESP re-structures its sales processes in the Gauteng & Northern Province divisions and reforms the 4 sales branches (Isando, Middelburg, Pretoria and Middelburg) into a unified sales team. GB Group enters negotiations to dispose of ESP Africa (Pty) Ltd.

2012, Invicta Holdings Ltd acquires 100% of ESP Africa (Pty) Ltd from the GB Group. ESP and AMT undercarriage sales operations and workshops are consolidated into one trading division based at Benoni, Johannesburg. This is the final consolidation of the ESP and AMT divisions. As a result of this, the AMT trade name is dropped and the company continues to trade only under the ESP banner, at all of its branches. ESP opens its 9th branch based in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa. ESP acquires the exclusive distributorship for KBJ brand undercarriage from Hoe Leong Corporation. ESP introduces TGW brand grouser shoes. ESP introduces the FUTURA TWISTER brand of GET as an alternative replacement option to ESCO.

2013, ESP becomes the exclusive distributor in RSA for TGW brand ground engaging tools, undercarriage, USG brand filters and Dura brand seal groups. ESP’s total head count now stands at 208, down from 225 in 2009, through a process of natural attrition. A new Berco PT350 track press is added to the Benoni workshop. The total undercarriage track presses now held at ESP workshops is 12. Good sales growth was achieved by ESP from the Construction and Mining sectors.

2014, Two directors of ESP, immigrate to Australia. ESP introduces the NEW FORCE brand, an alternative cost effective option for Caterpillar and Komatsu replacement parts. ESP introduces KMP brand filters. Parts for the Caterpillar C series engines is introduced. ESP discontinues the GET forgings range following the liquidation of Italricambi. ESP opens its 10th branch in Kathu. ESP Pretoria and Middelburg pool their resources together to serve the Northern Province sales territories of RSA, more effectively. ESP introduces the ASP brand of replacement parts suitable for Caterpillar machinery. A new Berco PT250 track press is added to the Pinetown workshop. ESP orders GET replacement options as an alternative to the popular Helix style system. ESP continues with its developments into the bucket repair business. The range of Komatsu machine parts is substantially expanded. The USG and KMP filter brand ranges are introduced.

2015, ESP adds the Volvo excavator bucket teeth and adapters to its range. The Komatsu machine parts range continues to be expanded. ESP’s own brand of Bofor tips and adapters is introduced. ESP’s headcount now stands at 199, down from the 208 in 2013, through a process of natural attrition. A new PT250 track press is added to the Cape Town workshop.

2016, ESP expands its Caterpillar range to include new product lines suitable for the new generation of Caterpillar machines and engines. ESP’s Komatsu range continues to be broadened. The MTG StarMet range is expanded to cover the 60 series and to include the ProMet wing shrouds and bucket shrouds plus heel shrouds. Parts are introduced to cover the 60 series Detroit Engine. A new Berco PT250 track press is added to the Cape Town workshop. ESP reduces its headcount to 180 through natural attrition. Mainly, due to retirements, ESP’s branch management structure undergoes substantial changes. New management appointments are made for the Middelburg, Benoni, Pinetown, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Kathu branches. Eight of the new appointments are implemented through succession planning.

2017, ESP’s Managing Director, Andrew Grobler celebrates 35 years with the company. ESP’s Kathu branch moves into a larger warehouse. ESP introduces the new Xtrem range of ETE brand ground engaging tools. ESP’s staff complement reduces to 178.

2018, ESP introduces its own brand of undercarriage rollers, as an additional option, to its other related brands for undercarriage. A new high quality range of ESP brand ground engaging tools with excellent self sharpening features and durability is added to the range, this is known as the X Series and is complementary to the existing F Series.