March 2019
Conceptualisation and Research starts
Research: prototype 1

The need for efficient and cost effective farm vehicles in South Africa was identified.

The concept of this vehicle stemmed from the need of
emerging farmers and small holding owners that make
use of bakkies, commercial tractors, donkeys or similar,
which is not always best suited to the task and can be unaffordable.

Market research showed that there are numerous self-made transport vehicles worldwide, the aim is to produce something similar to meet the needs of these emerging farmers.

April 2019
Design of Prototype 1
Design: prototype 1

Following the research phase, the design phase of Prototype 1 kicked off. The technical design drawings were Completed. The product was modelled using CAD software and a 3D printed model was produced. Prototype 1 was named
Imbovane which means "Ant" in Xhosa

June 2019
Production of Prototype 1 starts
Production: Prototype 1

Procurement begun and all components were ordered at the end of May 2019 and arrived by Mid-July 2019.

Fabrication began shortly thereafter.

August 2019
Testing of Prototype 1
Testing: Prototype 1

Prototype 1 was tested at Hennops on the 4x4 trail. The testing of the axle twisting and the pivot was successful. We found that the mechanical transmission was however, at risk of damage on the rough terrain. Having not met the desired level of robustness and reliability, we went back to the drawing board.

February 2020
New warehouse opened
New Workshop

A new workshop was opened in February of 2020 and the repairs to Prototype 1 began.

March 2020
Start of COVID-19 Lockdown. Development of Prototype 2
Development: Prototype 2

COVID-19 Lockdown resulted in the design of Prototype 2 being shifted to April 2020. With lessons learnt and improvements in mind, the design of Prototype 2 began. The biggest change was to shift from critical mechanical components to a hydraulic transmission. This offered better protection from the rough terrain. With the new design in hand, new parts were sourced. 

July 2020
Production of Prototype 2
Procurement: Prototype 2

Prototype components were received during July of 2020. Major changes that were introduced into Prototype 2: Each wheel was now individually powered. All hydraulic components are widely and readily available in South Africa. The pivot was redesigned to use of off the-shelf parts. The drive shaft was removed. Where possible, components from Prototype 1 were re- sed for Prototype 2.

August 2020
procurement of Prototype 2
Production: Prototype 2

Prototype 2 was fabricated, in the new warehouse. The hydraulic system and components were outsourced to hydraulic experts. Prototype 2 was fondly named Kotonki. Kotonki is an abbreviation of "Koloi ya tonki" which means "donkey cart" in Setswana.

September 2020
Testing and optimisation of Prototype 2.
Optimisation: Prototype 2

With all the improvements, Prototype 2 is now optimised to use the power of the engine in the most efficient manner. The marketability of the product began to take off.

February 2021
Real world testing of Prototype 2
Testing: Prototype 2

Prototype 2 was taken to the Hennops 4x4 trail where it exceeded our expectations on the track.

April 2021
Upgrade of Prototype 2
Upgrade: Prototype 2

Further improvements were made to prototype 2 by upgraded the front cabin and modifying the control system

November 2021
Varied testing of Prototype 2
Varied Testing: Prototype 2

Prototype 2 underwent further rigorous testing that included load, pressure and hydraulic testing. Diesel and petrol motor are now interchangeable.

March 2022
Market Ready
Market ready

After minor aesthetic touch-ups, and the completion of the marketing material, Kontonki is ready to be marketed.

April 2022
Kotonki's Inaugural Showcase

Captured for Marketing Excellence

July 2022

Interviews and filming for SAB innovation awards commence

September 2022
Embarking on a Journey

Crafting Kotonki Congo to Revitalize Lake Tanganyika's Beaches

The journey of fabricating Kotonki Congo, a purpose-built vehicle designed to rejuvenate the shores of Lake Tanganyika by cleaning its sandy beaches

October 2022
SAB Foundation Awards

Kotonki takes first place at SAB foundation innovation awards

November 2022
Final Testing

Kotonki Congo final  testing and prepare to ship to Congo

December 2022
Holiday Spirit

Santa has some fun with Kotonki

New Version

The year kicks off with a bang as we receive a request for a Kotonki designed to operate similarly to a skip. Our research, design, and development efforts are now in full swing, marking the beginning of an exciting journey.