The introduction of the complete Anaconda Equipment range of crushers, screens and mobile conveyors, says MD Frank Beerthuis, allows Vermeer Equipment Suppliers to broaden its offering. The company has been the exclusive distributor of US-based Vermeer Manufacturing Company in sub-Saharan Africa for 17 years, offering Vermeer’s full line of utility, pipeline, surface miners, tree care, landscape, recycling, forestry and agricultural equipment.
While Vermeer Equipment Suppliers has Anaconda distribution rights for sub-Saharan Africa, where it already has an established footprint across the region, Beerthuis says initial focus will be on southern Africa. Countries in question include South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
“Our intention for the Anaconda product is to cover the same territory as we do with the Vermeer product. This allows us to take full advantage of our organisational and people footprint in the region. For the initial two years, however, we have limited ourselves to southern Africa. The reason for that is that we want to gain experience in supporting this new product line before we take it to the rest of the markets in sub-Saharan Africa,” explains Beerthuis.
While the distribution agreement allows Vermeer Equipment Suppliers to supply the full Anaconda Equipment range of crushers, scalping and finishing screens, as well as trommels, washing equipment and mobile conveyors, Shaun O’Toole, sales manager – Mining, Crushing and Screening at Vermeer, says the company will initially bring to market crushers, screens (scalping and finishing) and mobile conveyors. The rest of the product lines will be rolled out at a later stage.
The crusher range comprises the J12 jaw and I12 impact crushers (open and closed circuit). This is complemented by a range of three scalping screen models and a four-model finishing screen line, as well as a mobile conveyor and feeder conveyor range of six models.
A key competitive edge, which Beerthuis believes will be key in the brand’s breakthrough in such a competitive marketplace, is that the Anaconda is said to be the only crusher range in the market that comes with interchangeable chambers. Core to the concept is that the same running chassis can be integrated with either an interchangeable, hydraulically driven, jaw or impact crusher chamber. “The aim is to allow ease of use and productivity to the customer for them to receive the best value for their money,” says O’Toole.
In Universal crusher boxes from Anaconda Equipment’s parent company, US-based McLanahan Corporation, these jaw and impact crushers have proven pedigree. With over 7,000 jaw chambers and 1,500 impact chambers placed worldwide over the past 130 years, the McLanahan Corporation chambers are household names in the crushing industry and help give further credibility to the Anaconda product range, especially in a new market.
“The generic chassis is the backbone of the Anaconda crushing range. It allows for the placement of either crushing chamber, giving the customer immense flexibility in their fleet and the ability to reduce inventory costs. It increases fleet utilisation by allowing customers the versatility of converting the machine from a jaw to an impactor and vice versa in minimal time,” says Beerthuis. “Anaconda has created a machine where one can lift out the chamber and create either a jaw or impact crusher on the same chassis, and no other manufacturer has ever done that in the market.”
To feed these crusher chambers, Anaconda has provided its crushers with a wide and heavy-duty grizzly feeder that can deal with the harshest of feed materials. The feeder is lined with replaceable wear resistant plates and has a robust grizzly screen as standard. This will remove fines from the feed material and improve the performance of the crushers while reducing the wear on the crusher plates and blow bars.
Below the feeder there is a two-way chute that allows the user to divert the screened fines either to a wide dirt belt or onto the heavy-duty main conveyor, dependent on application. The main conveyor is of heavy construction with impact bars directly under the crusher discharge area and powered with twin hydraulic drives to convey the heaviest of loads.
Meanwhile, the Anaconda mobile scalping screen range has been designed to deal with heavy duty applications where scalping away bulky overs at the first stage of screening is a key aspect. The finishing screen range has been designed to deal with applications where retaining as many fines from a given material is of utmost importance.
Having been in business for nearly 20 years in southern Africa, Beerthuis says the recent economic developments in the region have reduced the company’s opportunities for organic growth within its existing fields of operation. The Anaconda range, he says, boosts Vermeer Equipment Suppliers’ offering, while complementing the company’s existing range of continuous surface miners.
“We have entered this market segment because we believe that there are strong synergies between our Vermeer product line for the mining industry and the Anaconda product. Adding Anaconda to our offering means that, on the one hand, we are now able to reach mining customers processing minerals and materials that cannot be processed by our Vermeer surface miners,” he says. “On the other hand, the Anaconda product allows us to extend our offering to existing customers of our Vermeer surface miners who are looking to further process their product.”
Commenting on the competitive nature of the mobile crushing and screening market in southern Africa, Beerthuis is adamant that there is a place for the Anaconda product line in the market. However, he alludes to the fact that “with so many players in the market, the piece of the pie is getting smaller”.
Beerthuis believes that, apart from the product itself, the growth of the Anaconda brand in southern Africa will hinge on unparalleled product support efforts of both the principal and the dealer. “I sensed a lot of cultural similarities between the Anaconda organisation and Vermeer Equipment Suppliers and I think we share the same business ethics, passion for product, customer engagement and the desire to grow our businesses. Anaconda and Vermeer joining forces with a can-do mentality will certainly lead to a successful partnership,” says Beerthuis.
From a service perspective, Beerthuis says Vermeer is known in the local market for providing “top notch” aftersales support in terms of parts supply as well as equipment service, maintenance and repairs. “That is where we will certainly make a difference. We truly believe that we are a supplier that can offer a little bit extra to the customer,” he says.
“There are many opportunities for mobile crushing, screening, washing and stacking equipment in the mining, quarrying and recycling industries. We look forward with genuine confidence to finding and capturing these opportunities as we extend our market reach with this young, vibrant and forward-thinking company – Anaconda,” says Beerthuis.
In conclusion, Joe McCormack, international sales manager at Anaconda Equipment, says: “We are very excited to be working with Vermeer Equipment Suppliers. The company has established itself for the past 17 years as a reliable partner of choice with strong relationship building and dedication to its customers. I look forward to seeing Vermeer build a strong network across the recycling, quarrying and mining sectors of southern Africa. Vermeer possesses all the key values and core qualities we look for in a partner and I am eager to continue developing a long-standing working partnership over the coming years.”