Tough, fire-fighting, survival – these are the words used by Sandro Scherf, CEO of Pilot Crushtec International, to describe the last few years. “Bulk Handling Today” attended an open day at their premises in October.

Says Sandro, “We don’t realistically expect the market to pick up significantly in the short-term but we are definitely driven to grow our share of the market pie. Our exports have been almost non-existent in the last two years but recent orders from New Zealand and more significantly Australia have been received and these territories are showing promising signs of strong growth.
“Globally, Metso is reporting strong demand in the USA, Australia, South America, Europe and Asia and western Africa and we look forward to leveraging this growth for our export sales.”
Legendary after-sales service
Pilot Crushtec has recently taken on the distribution of Metso’s aggregate equipment in southern Africa. Renowned for their legendary after-sales support, five long-term service contracts supporting Metso equipment have already been signed. Sandro adds, “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the Metso people who are fully supportive. Should any problems arise, they are on it in no time and the issue is resolved properly and completely without any dramas or finger-pointing.”
Metso has provided technical support personnel on-site and clients are well taken care of in the field. Process simulation software, dubbed Bruno, means that customers have a good idea of what to expect from the machinery and there is an EPS (Equipment Protection Services) 5-year warranty on most of what makes up the machine.
Sandro says, “Although there is some resistance to using OEM parts which are anything from 0 to 10% more expensive than pirates, Metso has given us some keen pricing so we are making some inroads in the pirate ‘war’.”
With over a hundred million rand in spare parts, this division of the business represents about 50% of turnover with Metso spares making up around half of this amount. On the new machinery front, Sandro expects Metso to make up 50% of the company’s turnover in the near future.
New for Pilot is its recently launched Modular Maxiscalp 600 which has been designed and manufactured entirely in-house. The company believes this product offers substantial benefits over a tracked machine eliminating hydraulics, tracks and the diesel engine which will substantially increase availability of the machine and drastically reduce operating costs.
From night to day
To fully service customers and in keeping with the mobile theme, Pilot Crushtec is marketing a line of mobile lighting systems with a large order of 24 units having just been filled for a construction company. Generators are expected to be added to the line-up during the course of 2018.
“Bulk Handling Today” particularly enjoyed the mini bottle recycling ‘bin’, standing proudly among the ‘giants’ on the floor and invented by Sandro. We’re imagining it in bars, restaurants and hey, even maybe in a convenient spot at home.
Forthright, open and accessible, Sandro as head of the Pilot Crushtec family-owned business made for a great host on an informative day.

Pilot Crushtec International, Sandro Scherf,