One of the leading manufacturers in the world of heavy equipment designed to transport materials in industries such as mining, construction, forestry and agriculture, Bell Equipment Limited has come far from its humble beginnings. Managing Director of Bell Equipment Europe, Marc Schürmann, is well aware of these beginnings and says the company honours them to this day.
Founded by Irvine Bell and his wife Eunice in South Africa in the 1950s, the company now has its equipment on every continent in the world except Antarctica. "It started as a family company," Marc says. "Irvine Bell was joined by his brother Rob and brother-in-law Malcolm Campbell and they operated a small agricultural engineering and repair workshop on a farm in the sugar-cane belt of KwaZulu-Natal. In time, his three sons, Peter, Gary, and Paul, also joined him in the business and each has their own diversified areas of focus and skills."
Marc believes the involvement of Irvine and his sons in the company set the tone for years to come. "It really laid down the foundation for future development, and all three sons are still actively involved in the company to this day, which has seen Bell continue to nurture its strong family roots."
One of the strengths of Bell Equipment is how it has been able to retain this family feel while expanding internationally. "I think the people who the company has employed and nurtured over the years, many of whom have achieved 30 or more years of service, have been brought up with the set of family values and have passed these on to new employees. We are a very informal kind of company; from the start, everyone is on first-name terms."