Returning Sassda member champions stainless steel in military applications

08 May 2018

With a reputation for creating some of the world’s toughest off-road stainless steel trailers, manufacturer and exporter Desert Wolf has recently reinstated its Sassda membership. The company’s unique designs, together with its significant stainless steel components, are recognised by commercial and military customers as indestructible and its product range now includes more than 70 specialised trailer outputs including: emergency rescue trailers, mobile generators, mobile clinics, mobile kitchens, campers and surveillance trailers.

Managing Director Hennie Kieser says; “The stainless steel market in South Africa has changed and grown. We saw fit to re-join Sassda to make it easier to network with local industry and over-border, service and information providers. Desert Wolf is a South African company and we plan to stay here and grow the business.”

In terms of its current product offering Kieser elaborates; “We only use stainless steel in the construction of all Desert Wolf trailers, with the chassis made from 3CR12 and the body 304 or 316, depending on the operating environment of the trailer. The joy of using stainless steel is when you see a customer bringing in a trailer for service that is more than 20 years old and still showing no signs of age.”

Military operations

It’s therefore no surprise that Desert Wolf is currently a preferred supplier to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and provides the South African military with stainless steel diesel field stoves and diesel modules. As such, it is very involved with Project Teamster, the new SANDF project to upgrade the complete field kitchen facilities for our armed forces.

“During 2016 and 2017 we completed the design and manufacture of the first phase of the project, which encompassed a mobile field cooking unit for 15 people (FCU-15). The cornerstone innovation comes from our BOMA-30D 5.5kW diesel stove using a combination of 304 and 3CR12 stainless steel, which runs in the field on any grade of diesel available across Africa.

“We are now starting on the next phase, where we will deliver the diesel cooking modules for the new 50-man and 200-man containerised kitchens, where we make extensive use of stainless steel throughout the manufacturing process, as these are busy kitchens and hygiene is a priority. Each container kitchen will feature two large boiling pans, a flat top double purpose griller and a large convection oven,” Kieser explains.

An inclusive approach

Discussing their competitive advantage, Kieser puts it down to Desert Wolf’s extensive experience in process analysis and monitoring for improvements in the manufacturing industry, coupled with expertise in system engineering which enables timely process analysis and diagnosis of problems.

“We specialise in short, effective engagements and share every step of our investigation and journey with our clients. We also understand the importance of plant and system availability, and the benefits of product integration with existing systems and solutions in our enterprise.”

This inclusive approach extends to one of the most uplifting aspects of the business, namely the company’s 51% Staff Trust of which employees are the sole beneficiaries and share accordingly in the profits of the company. “With many of our loyal staff members having been with us for years we wanted to empower our own ‘family’. Our decision to create a Trust not only empowers our own employees, it also empowers us to be more competitive as a level 2 BEE company within the industry.”

African expansion

Looking to expand its reach even further, Desert Wolf is now exporting to countries across Africa with its most recent distributions including surveillance and generator equipment to Ghana, Mozambique and Angola and mobile field kitchens to Namibia and Botswana.

“This year we have established Desert Wolf Zambia, a new arm of our business and we plan to export and locally manufacture our range of mobile surveillance equipment for the Zambian mining market. Each range of surveillance and communication trailers has been built with a specific purpose in mind, as surveillance units, communications units and repeater stations to allow for extremely long-range surveillance while at the same time handling rugged off-road and hostile environmental conditions. After a mere two months of operations, we are already in negotiations for significant orders,” says Kieser.