Cahora & Tete

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A simple little complex solution

A simple little complex solution

A simple little complex solution

It’s quite simple but it’s a little complex. It can be found next door to the Berry Juice Complex in Matundo. And it’s where the likes of Pro Ferragem, Tete Fitment Centre and Maxim Lubrificantes can be found, as well as a little company called Mozambique Trading Company or Moztrade.

Moztrade was once a household name in Tete, but now the name is hardly known. Established by Donald Charles and Rusty Markham in 2002, Moztrade was the humble beginning of what has turned into a tight knit group of businesses, right on Tete’s door step.

Initially Moztrade operated as a sourcing and procurement service for companies in Tete – primarily for the rapidly expanding tobacco industry, but also providing inputs for the kapenta fishing industry and crocodile farms on Cahorra Bassa. Products ranged from paper clips to buses.

With advent of the consolidation of the tobacco industry, global recessions and expansion of mining interests in Tete, Moztrade took a bold move to expand its operations, to specialize and move away from sourcing – not least because investment in Tete by other companies meant that to a large extent, many imported requirements were becoming readily available.

The acquisition of a property in 2008 in Matundo and the establishment of offices and warehousing put Moztrade as one of the first, if not the first, private investment in the area where such well-known entities as Berry Juice, Vazal, Major Drilling and Rio Tinto now exist.

The little complex on the corner has seen six years of development, structuring, restructuring and a multitude of other adjustments. It is now a centre offering a range of automotive solutions at one end through the services of Tete Fitment Centre and Maxim Lubrificantes, while Pro Ferragem at the other end offers hardware and building products.

It is possible to drop the car off for a quick service and a change of tyres, grab some outboard oil from the oil shop for the weekend and stock up on the pool treatment for the month, in the time it takes the wife to nip next door for the biltong and veggies. It just doesn’t get any simpler than that!


Fitment at the forefront of safety

Vehicle safety standards are hitting an all time high in the mining and other industries in Tete; health and safety officers aren’t messing around anymore. Meet the grade or fail. Many businesses complain of downtime as a result of these draconian measures, but the reality is that the solution is simple.

Tete Fitment Centre has been representing Marven equipment and their well known brand of safety equipment for several years now. The popular Ndhlovu ROPS/FOPS (Roll Over/Fall On Protection Systems) as well as the range of internal ROPS,  front and rear bumpers, tool boxes and other safety products not only meet the required specifications of the highest standard of industry but they are well known to the feared health and safety official.

Vehicles sporting this equipment not only have great protection, but also help officialdom to sleep at night. The range of products is endless – mine bar lights, wheel chocks, wheel nut indicators, cargo nets, fire extinguishers, first aid kits – and all have one thing in common. They all meet or exceed the highest level of standards required.

So equipping at Tete Fitment Centre not only keeps the inspectors at bay and reduces downtime; it provides safety as well. And that is the real point of the exercise.


Keep on rolling

Harsh terrain is an understatement when describing the road conditions of Tete Province. Vehicles here can, and do, take one heck of a pounding. Keeping a vehicle rolling in these conditions requires constant preparation, preventative maintenance as well as quick and professional repairs when necessary.

Tete Fitment Centre is where this solution begins and ends. TFC supplies Firestone/Bridgestone tyres and supplies them big, bad and rugged to deal with the first line of attack – those questionable road conditions. Backed up by Maxiprest Maputo and officially representing Firestone Bridgestone in Tete, TFC has a wealth of experience on the ground as well as full support right back to the manufacturer. The range is extensive – from the smallest passenger car to the biggest OTR or agricultural application - it can be supplied.

In addition, a full workshop caters for vehicle fleet maintenance and repair work where the test of Tete has managed to destroy ball joints, break through sumps, wear down universal joints, snap drive shafts, shear off shock absorbers and all other nasty eventualities that lie in wait.

Workshop staff  handle these issues under the watchful eye of Gerson Zacarias in the tyres section and Anord Zimba on the mechanical side, while overall management rests in the hands of Shawn Reichard. Beating the harsh conditions of Tete is simple. Putting TFC between the vehicle and the road is the best solution.

Grease up

Tete has two seasons; mud season and dust season. And two temperatures; hot and hotter! Operating equipment and machinery in Tete is a constant struggle against the elements. It’s no surprise that the world’s single largest independent lubricants manufacturer has planted is feet firmly on the ground in Tete.

FUCHS Lubricants, represented directly by Maxim Lubrificantes Lda , are currently one the best stocked lubricants companies in Tete, holding products specifically selected for these conditions and for the equipment in use. General purpose products aren’t on the menu at Maxim.

Extreme pressure greases capable of handling high temperatures, high spec vehicle engine and transmission oils, synthetic gear oils for plant, oils and greases for drilling equipment, mould oils for concrete work, food grades for the catering industry as well as high grade outboard motor and motorcycle oils are all available ex stock.

These products thumb their noses at Tete conditions because they have been designed to meet them, head on!

Filter facts

Filters are a life support system for a vehicle; advanced First Aid for engines:-

The Air Cleaner allows the vehicle to breath. Engines run on air with a little bit of fuel. Block the filter, the engine suffocates and dies.

The fuel filter allows the fuel to be delivered to the engine free of impurities. It ensures that only good, healthy fuel gets to the engine in much the same way that a person requires good, clean drinking water. Bypass the filter and allow dirty fuel in and the engine will get sick and maybe even die! If the filter is blocked, the engine will effectively dehydrate and stop working altogether.

The oil filter is the engines kidney pack. It cleans the impurities out of the oil so that all moving parts work smoothly. Bypass the oil filter and impurities will cause all the working surfaces to wear and break down and the engine will suffer a form of arthritis! Let the filter get blocked, and the lack of oil will cause the engine to seize and die.

The full life support system for your vehicle can be purchased from Maxim Lubrificantes in Matundo, representatives for GUD Filters supplying genuine products direct from factory.

Pressing engagement

As part of an expansion program, Mozambique Leaf Tobacco Company in Tete have installed a second tobacco processing ‘threshing’ plant. The final process in this operation is the packing of the tobacco product into cases using hydraulic presses with a 15 centimetre diameter ram and an approximate 10 metre stroke. 


These presses are capable of packing tobacco into cases at a rate of one case per minute and run 24 hours a day, six days per week, in at times extremely hot conditions. Reliability of equipment to maintain this throughput is critical. MLTC has awarded Maxim Lubrificantes Lda, the contract to supply the FUCHS Renolin B20 oil for this press unit. Put simply, B20 is a mineral oil with a complex zinc-based additive package which allows it to cope with temperature extremes under continuous use, while minimising component wear.

More from this issue:

Zambezi Traveller (September 2014)