Isuzu backs development of locally designed and built cherry picker

The SLT 180 telescopic aerial platform will be developed and manufactured locally by Isuzu business partner Smith Capital Equipment to reach heights of 16-18 metres, which previously could be achieved only with imported platforms
GOING UP: The SLT 180 telescopic aerial platform will be developed and manufactured locally by Isuzu business partner Smith Capital Equipment to reach heights of 16-18 metres, which previously could be achieved only with imported platforms
Image: Supplied

Isuzu Motors SA (IMSAf) has made almost R500,000 available to elevate the aspect of localisation through the development of an extended-reach aerial platform also known as a cherry picker in SA.

The SLT 180 telescopic aerial platform will be developed and manufactured locally by Isuzu business partner Smith Capital Equipment (SCE) to reach heights of 16-18 metres, which previously could be achieved only with imported platforms.

The SLT 180 will typically fit on an Isuzu truck, and is set to provide state-of-the-art truck body solutions for Isuzu customers in a range of industries.

SCE CEO Fortunate Mdanda said the first engineering prototype of the SLT 180 manufactured in SA was expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

“With the growing preference for telescoping aerial units over articulating units, the SLT 180 will be the first locally manufactured telescoping unit able to reach heights beyond 16m, therefore it presents great market opportunities,” Mdanda said.

She said the new venture, which is supported by Isuzu with an investment of R485,000 through its enterprise development grant, would allow SCE to upskill its development capabilities and labour force.

“The development of this new product will help with job retention as it poses new market possibilities likely to expand the company product range and consequently cultivate internal skills development.”

The senior vice-president of technical operations at IMSAf, Dominic Rimmer, said SCE was no stranger to Isuzu, as it was a subsidiary of Isipho Capital Holdings, which is run by Mdanda and her husband, Sipho.

In 2019 Isipho Capital Holdings made history with the purchase of Bates Shelly Beach, as the first Isuzu dealership to be 100% black-owned, in addition to being 65% woman-owned.

“Isuzu is committed to transformation and continues to drive a culture of inclusivity,” Rimmer said.

“If we do not empower our value chain, the economy cannot grow.

“We therefore ensure that we support supplier and dealer transformation initiatives, as well as the deepening of the local value chain through enterprise development initiatives such as this partnership with SCE.” 

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