Our History

From my youngest days growing up, I always had a crane in my toy collection.

This fascination with cranes and rigging occurred when Northfield Engineering was fortunate enough to assemble the 1st phase of Woodlands’ dairy in 1995. Several mobile cranes and crane trucks were used during the installation of the process equipment and tanks. Northfield Engineering traditionally rented our crane requirements until attending a Telkom auction in 2004. 

Our 1st Toyota 8-tonne truck with a crane mounted behind the cab was acquired. The primary motivation for this purchase was that milk cooling tanks were getting bigger, and anything more significant than about 6 000 litres becomes challenging to handle on and off a trailer. We wanted to avoid damage to the tank delivery, which is common if done by hand. 

The logical next step was to start moving tanks ourselves

The logical next step was to start moving tanks ourselves with a crane and simplify loading, offloading and delivery. The only issue which seemed to prevail; is that we never seem to have a big enough truck. As dairy farmers’ businesses expanded, and all dairy farmers suffered the same fate, their cooling tank purchases were never big enough; we subsequently ran into the same problem, the truck we had was too small.
The Toyota was replaced with an 8-tonne Mercedes and a larger crane; the crane was later changed out with a new larger Palfinger Crane to lift heavier loads and containers etc.
As the tank sales developed past 18 000 litres to 30 000 litres, the tank lengths went to 11.5m, so in 2016 we bought our second truck, a Mercedes Axor 3340. This truck initially had an 18-tonne/meter crane, which was later changed to a 38-tonne/meter and then refitted with a 50-tonne/meter crane with a maximum reach of 29 meters. The new crane has all the latest technology and is entirely remotely controlled by the operator, allowing the operator to stand where the work takes place instead of standing at the back truck away from the work area. 

All trucks are operated with drawbar trailers, with any load longer than 6 meters loaded onto the trailer. With the addition of the 2nd truck, Northfield started taking on crane work for various other customers; this, coupled with all our internal work, spurred us to put together another truck and crane. We hunted down an older truck, a Mercedes 2228 and mounted our 38 ton/ meter on the truck. This older truck and Black PM crane have consistently exceeded their weight category. Being black and white in colour and extremely tough, the rig got named Badger.

Our Badger family had begun with three crane trucks

The driver of the 8-ton crane truck David Stoffel Sithole brought about his vehicle being named after the Badger “Stoffel”, who stars in many YouTube videos and is an escape artist supreme.
Our Badger family had begun with three crane trucks, “The Badger”, “Stoffel”, and “JFK.” 
At this point, all trucks, including our transport trucks, were put into a single pool and the company NF Hire was started in 2019.
Recently we have added a 4th crane truck to the Family/ Fleet, “Ratel”, a 475 hp twin steer International truck with a 56 tonne/meter Pesci specialist machine moving crane mounted on the rear of the truck.
Our current customer base that we remove, install and rig equipment for is as follows:

  • Generator hire and moving up 1 000 KVA
  • Milk processing equipment, milk filling equipment, and milk silos (Max to date 150 000L)
  • Wind turbine main gearbox 24 tons, loading and unloading for transport.
  • Medical processing equipment.
  • Installation of emergency pumping equipment.
  • Installing and removal of large water valves.
  • Automotive pressing equipment.
  • Complete processing plant relocation.
  • Installing of Injection moulding equipment.

Should you be travelling around the Eastern Cape or further afield, please keep an eye out for our Badger family safely removing, transporting and installing various types of equipment.
We look forward to do business with you.

Regards Rob Archibald

Our Future

Our fleet is expanding as we climb the ranks of being the first choice in methodical, trusted, and economical crane hire, rigging, and moving services.

We believe in our capabilities, respect our peers and look forward to proving our worth to all our clients.
In the future, we will build on these foundations to become not just the first but the only choice within our area of expertise.

BEE is a focal point as we grow and progress; the development and inclusion of the NF hire staff into management and ownership of the company is essential.

NF Hire offers onsite training and external training to our entire team.
Our operators and riggers attend, amongst other rigging and forklift courses, and we endeavour to prepare and assist our team in qualifying as Red Seal Riggers.

Our Fleet

Truck: 2010 International 9800I Twin steer Rigid Truck
Crane: Pesci
Lifting capacity: 56T/m
Maximum reach: 8,75m
Truck: Mercedes Axor 3340 Rigid Crane Truck
Crane: Palfinger PK 50002- EH
Lifting capacity: 50T/m
Maximum reach: 28m
Fly Jib: Mounted on crane
Truck: Mercedes Axor 2228 Rigid Crane Truck
Crane: PM
Lifting capacity: 38T/m
Maximum reach: 12,45m
Truck: Mercedes Atago 1680 Rigid Crane Truck
Crane: Palfinger PK 15500
Lifting capacity: 15,5T/m
Maximum reach: 10m


The Safety of our clients staff and our personnel is of utmost importance and at the core of our service.
Our in-house Health and Safety officer meets all health and safety protocols.

NF Hire’s Fleet Consist of:

  • 56 tonne-meter Pesci Crane
  • 50 tonne-meter Palfinger Crane
  • 42 tonne PM Crane
  • 15.5 tonne-meter Palfinger Crane
  • 8-tonne Mercedes Truck
  • 4-tonne Isuzu Truck
  • Forklifts
  • 40T Crawler set
  • 12T Crawler set
  • 4 x 5T Machine jacks
  • 60T crawler set
  • Machine Jacks – varying from 5tonnes to 40 tonnes
  • 5.5 Tonne forklift
  • 2.5 Tonne forklift

Hire Fleet Pumps:

Northfield offers a comprehensive range of pumps for hire, from electrically operated Submersible pump sets to 250mm diesel-driven engine pump sets of 150 KW. These are complemented by accompanying pipe work and assembled on-site by our competent field staff.

A dedicated municipal support team focuses on solutions for all fluid-related municipal solutions.