MARITIME: John Deere Ploughing the Seas
Recent Western Cape Business News
PENINSULA Power Products, with many years of experience in the marine business, has made a flying start as a new John Deere marine dealer, selling some 40 auxiliary and propulsion John Deere engines in the first six months.“We started working with John Deere distributor New Way only last year, but have already established a strong relationship,” says Alistair Lockhart, sales director of Peninsula Power Products. “Our work ethics are similar, and New Way is not afraid to hold large stocks, which has been fortunate for us as our sales figures have definitely exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
Peninsula Power Products has sold John Deere engines into numerous industries, but the most significant sales have been to the chokka fisheries. And based on the positive feedback, Lockhart is optimistic about future possibilities. Customers are reportedly keen on the John Deere 4 and 6 cylinder generator sets (4.5L and 6.8L engines). “The energy requirements on chokka boats are demanding as refrigeration and lights need to be running constantly. But customers have reported extremely stable voltages with the 6.8L engines; there are no dips, even in the transition from no load to full load,” he says.
“We’ve also recently sold our first 12.5L engine. It has been installed in a trawler ‘Santa Isabella’. As you can imagine, with considerable potential for repowering in the fishing industry, everyone was keeping a close eye on its performance,” Lockhart says.
And this installation is a success, according to Marius van Heerden, the owner of ‘Santa Isabella’ who declares: “The performance of the John Deere 12.5L engine is such that I am saving over 50% in fuel, compared to my previous engine.”
Besides fishing, Peninsula Power Products sees promise in the rescue, salvage and charter vessel industries.
Salvage company Smit has already repowered one of its supply boats with a John Deere 8.1L engine and is looking at the possibility of more engines. Meanwhile, a company running a tourist charter vessel out of Cape Town harbour has purchased two 12.5L engines, with another two 6.8L engines scheduled for smaller vessels.
“John Deere allows us to provide excellent solutions, and with the 8.1L and 12.5L, we can serve customers we could not help before. It means business opportunities for us and great engines for our customers,” Lockhart says.
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