Our History

The Barloworld Equipment story began in 1902, when Major Ernest ‘Billy’ Barlow formed Thos. Barlow & Sons in Durban, South Africa. Since then, we’ve grown to become part of a multinational brand distribution company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and are the sole dealer for Cat® machines in southern Africa.

Here’s a look at where our journey has taken us over the years:

1927: Charles Sydney ‘Punch’ Barlow (Major Barlow’s son) negotiates the appointment of Thos. Barlow & Sons as the Cat® distributor for the Natal and the then Transvaal regions.

1960: Work starts on our flagship facility in Isando.

1973: The company (now named Barlow Rand Ltd after the acquisition of Rand Mines) successfully expands into Botswana and Namibia. Our Tractor Division grows to 30 companies occupying 64 hectares of land, with over 2000 staff members.

1993: We continue to increase our footprint when the Cat® dealerships in Spain (Barloworld Finanzauto) and Portugal (Barloworld STET) are included in our operations.

1994: We are appointed as the Cat® dealer for Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

1998: Southwest Siberia is incorporated into our dealership territories – and this eventually expands into a dealership area of 9.8 million square kilometres, covering six time zones, and including Eastern Siberia, Yakutia and the Russian Far East.

2006: We enter into a joint venture with French Cat® dealer Tractafric to form Congo Equipment, which becomes the Cat® dealer for the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Katanga Province, a rich mining territory with enormous potential.