Humble European company focuses on Australian market

From two people in Belgium to a global supplier of industrial equipment parts, TVH has become an established part of the Australian marketplace. Australian Mining writes.

Fifty years ago, in the Belgian town of Gullegem, Paul Thermote and Paul Vanhalst started to purchase, repair and sell agricultural machinery and former military lift trucks.

The duo, both descendants from agricultural families, initially focused on purchasing used lift trucks from Belgium and surrounding countries. The European market became too confined, however, and their focus shifted to Japan.

They then started to purchase thousands of forklift trucks, after which they were repaired and sold around Europe.

From humble beginnings, TVH is now an industry giant that has grown from two founders to over 6000 employees, with offices and distribution centres globally.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, TVH (formerly Thermote and Vanhalst) is capitalising on the global demand of spare parts for repairs and accessories, for materials handling, industrial and agricultural equipment.

TVH works directly or indirectly alongside some of the world’s mining giants to maintain the health of their forklifts, including intricate parts such as chains, rims, tyres, seats and more.

With branches in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, TVH is thriving in Australia, due to heavy investment in ways to improve the customer experience, which is contributing to business growth.

TVH’s head office in Brisbane.


TVH’s holistic approach to covering the many aspects that contribute to a fully functioning truck performing at optimum efficiency has also driven the success of the company.

For TVH Australia general manager Daniel Brownlie, the advice is to give  equipment “good service, quality parts and treat them well, given that the conditions they work in can be extremely harsh”.

TVH provides that by supplying quality parts for a wide range of industrial equipment that is both swift and reliable through its strategic partnerships with numerous mining companies. In the Australian market, the company formed a relationship with Toll Freight, capitalising on the demand mining companies have for next day delivery, particularly in regional centres.

This coincides with TVH’s partnership with Grammer Seats, whose incorporation of ergonomics within vehicles has been tailored towards an increased industry-wide focus on the health and safety of operators. Many mine site-based pieces of equipment have Grammer seating fitted from original equipment manufacturers.

The company’s growth has also emanated in part from offering diagnostic software from Jaltest, which further alerts mining companies of errors that may occur with trucks and how to resolve them.

Jaltest’s software has a particularly strong presence in off highway trucks given its ability to conduct multi-platform diagnostics, including trucks, earth moving and materials handling within the one tool.

“If something is going on with the trucks, Jaltest gives signal information on what is going on and how to fix it,” Brownlie explains.

“It has different harnesses depending on the brand of equipment and can interface with trucks.”

TVH has also recently shifted its focus onto the development of mining company’s workforce through its acquisition of fleet management and telematics company GEM One.

Through managing driver access, licensing requirements and safety compliance, the ability for TVH and GEM to offer results that are quantifiable allows for companies to decipher drivers that are in need of support or further training.

While the company has ramped up its expansion, the sky is the limit, according to Brownlie.

“TVH Australia are continually striving to increase the product range and improve services and processes in order to be a true ‘one stop shop’,” Brownlie concludes.

This article also appears in the August edition of Australian Mining.

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