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Aiming hire: KZN company marks 40th birthday with change at the top

Home Engineering Engineering & Allied Supplies Aiming hire: KZN company marks 40th birthday with change at the top

FROM humble beginnings as a construction equipment hire and repair business, to the official launch of its Kwagga equipment range, this year sees Durban-based Hire It celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Another milestone in 2021 is the 70th birthday of Doug Fraser, originally in charge of sales and operations, with mom Louise Fraser managing the finances. Doug is now handing over the reins to the next generation in the form of son Richard Fraser.

“I have to thank the customers who have supported Hire it over the years through thick and thin. Our dedicated staff have also contributed to our success by being loyal and very knowledgeable. Richard is going to take the company through a new growth phase. I am positive he will enjoy the journey as much as I have,” said Doug.

With over 15 years’ experience in finance and five years working with his father, Richard believes he is well-poised to take over the company which has been a part of his life since he was a boy.

“I am excited and honoured to be leading Hire It into the 21st century. Online platforms, supporting local and focusing on quality, service and back-up are all key drivers we are focusing on to maintain and grow our gem of a company,” Richard said.

The original premises in Gale Street, Umbilo eventually became the head office. As Hire It grew, it rapidly opened up four more branches. Franchising was the next big step, with Hire It expanding to include eight franchise operations. By the early 2000s, Doug had consolidated the business, bought new premises in Pinetown and focused more on sales.

Richard joined in 2015, and soon thereafter Hire It expanded its warehouse to start importing equipment, selling online and offering a national sales distribution.

From early on Hire It has always partnered with good-quality construction brands, and Honda was there from the start. Around the mid-1980s, Hire It became an official dealer of Honda Power Products. The partnership with Honda has continued until today. When Hire It launched its own in-house Kwagga brand in 2018, it was powered by Honda.

The Kwagga range is supplied with a standard one-year warranty and is also competitively priced against imported products. The range includes compaction equipment such as tamping rammers and plate compactors, floor saws, scarifying machines, drive units, poker vibrators, submersible pumps, generators, high-pressure cleaners and water pumps.

Using Honda engines to power the equipment and assembling it on-site proved a winning recipe. A highlight for the brand was receiving the stamp of approval from none other than Kwagga Smith, a member of the rugby world cup-winning South African team that brought home the Webb Ellis Cup trophy in 2019.

Not only does Kwagga endorse the equipment, he uses the Kwagga pressure cleaner and generator on his own farm.

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