Lifting the game
Cape-based PAHLTECH and CTS Trailers are set to bring new thinking to the light commercial vehicle market.
The world of light delivery vehicles and trailers is about to be turned on its head. Two companies from the Cape, the established CTS Trailers and new kid on the block, PAHLTECH, unleashed a range of new and innovative products to their respective markets at the Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) in October.
PAHLTECH was founded in 2010 with the aim of picking the best from the respective fields of parts, accessories, hydraulic equipment and lifting equipment (hence PAHLTECH) and bringing these products to the South African market under one banner.
“PAHLTECH presents a range of new concepts for LDVs (light delivery vehicles),” says Deon le Roux, PAHLTECH marketing director. “It came from the need to lift loads between 100 and 500 kg on to bakkies.”
At present, PAHLTECH is concentrating on two products in particular – Tommy Gate and the Maxilift. Tommy Gate is an American brand of tail lifts and was the original product PAHLTECH brought to South Africa, testing 10 units for over a year. Essentially, the lightweight lift – which weighs 200 kg and lifts 590 kg – fits like a towbar and replaces the tailgate on an LCV when not in use.
The product is not a traditional rail-lift, but rather a simple hydraulic cylinder system. It has a free-flow down movement, so as to only draw power when lifting. The system runs directly off the vehicle’s battery and Le Roux says that, so far, there have been no battery failures – although a deep-cycle battery can be used for extreme conditions.
Tommy Gate has been on the market for 40 years, and Le Roux points out that the integrity of the design is such that it has not changed in any significant way since then.
A slightly different and unique version of the Tommy Gate is the Sprinter Lift. This is a new product which was launched in the United States in March and designed specifically for vans. It doubles up and folds away neatly behind the van when not in use.
The Sprinter Lift weighs in at 300 kg and has the capacity to lift 590 kg. While it has overseas opposition, it is claimed that none can match its light weight and powerful lifting capacity.
PAHLTECH has secured exclusive rights to Tommy Gate for the southern African region. The range was launched in Australia two years ago and currently sells about 100 units a year, while in the United States the popularity of Tommy Gate is well entrenched, with about 20 000 units a year being sold.
The Maxilift is the second product that PAHLTECH had to wow visitors to its stand. “Maxilift is an established Italian brand and, in Australia, they sell the two (Maxilift and Tommy Gate) together, so we thought it was a good idea here as well,” explains Le Roux. Targeted at mines and municipalities, these small cranes are intended for fitment to smaller vehicles.
“The key to this range is that the cranes are very light,” says Le Roux. “The biggest one, for example, weighs 500 kg. They are purpose-built for small commercial vehicles, especially standard one-ton pick-ups. Although we go all the way to virtually an eight-tonner, our main focus is on the smaller stuff.”
All kits are bolt-on, so there is no welding or cutting of the vehicle. The cranes can also be static-mounted, meaning it is possible to mount them on a trolley and use them away from the vehicle.
“For users, savings will be achieved by having fewer vehicles on the road, as turn-around times are quicker. The whole set-up is cheap compared to trucks, as the bakkies can travel faster while using less fuel,” notes Le Roux.
The Cramaro power-top system is the next product in line to expand PAHLTECH’s range. It is still in the development stage for bakkies, but PAHLTECH has sole distribution rights for a range suitable for tippers and trailers.
CTS Trailers, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, is a well-known player in South Africa’s tipper and trailer market.
“Our biggest niche market in the early days was tippers; and now we want to put emphasis on the Euro tipper – called the CTS Euro tipper,” says Deon Prinsloo, managing director of CTS. “It has a 16-tonne payload capacity (10 m3), for typical sand and stone applications, while we also make a 15 m3 city tipper for larger trucks.
Prinsloo originally went to the construction show in Verona, Italy where he saw these Hardox Euro tippers. Hardox is a metal that is substantially stronger than traditional steel.
“I think we are the first 10 m3 tipper manufacturer to offer a 16-tonne payload. A very important point, also, is the airflow dynamics afforded by these tippers, which allow fuel savings upwards of R22 000 a year – a huge amount off operating costs.”
CTS also had its patented CTS barrier system for curtain-side trailers on display at JIMS. It was specially developed for Imperial Cargo, one of CTS’ biggest customers, which has already received 30 of these interlinks, with 10 more on order.
The system’s unique design allows for a variety of loading options, essentially creating multiple trailers in one. It is very lightweight, versatile and secure (the canvas can have a steel-mesh backing) and can be retrofitted to older trailers or manufactured from scratch.
Similar to this is the Italian version, the multi-purpose Cramaro Tarp-all sided trailer. This trailer has a rear section (manufactured under license by CTS) which double winches and opens to allow the Cramaro canvas system to slide back past the trailer’s edge. This allows for maximum use of the trailer when loading.
JIMS proved to be the ideal showcase for both CTS and PAHLTECH, with several customers submitting orders during the show.