Donaldson is 100

Frank Donaldson, 1915
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In 1915, Donaldson started as a three-man shop, when Frank Donaldson Senior developed and manufactured simple air cleaners for farm tractors. Today, after expanding its product portfolio and becoming a worldwide corporation, Donaldson is 100 years old.

Success and innovation in agricultural equipment led directly to opportunities in the construction and mining industries, and later to the over-the-road truck market.

Donaldson South Africa, a subsidiary of Donaldson Company Incorporated (DCI), listed on the NYSE, was established in 1965, 50 years ago.

The first premise, which comprised of a sales office and warehouse facility measuring a mere 25m², was located in South Africa’s business hub of Johannesburg.

We were first known as Donaldson Air Cleaners and in 1973 changed our name to Donaldson Filtration Systems (Pty) Ltd. In 1973, a manufacturing site was established in Epping, Cape Town. Frank Donaldson Junior officially opened the facility on the 5th of December 1979 and it is known as Frank Donaldson House. 

In 1996, an additional manufacturing plant was established in Alrode and in 2006 we moved into our custom built facility in Longmeadow Business Park, Johannesburg. This facility includes a sales office and a large distribution centre measuring 9000m².

Johannesburg is the springboard into sub-Saharan Africa and with acquisitions and globalization of the South African economy, the profile of our business and markets has changed significantly. The biggest shift has been from a predominantly OEM focus to the primarily Aftermarket focus in our engine filtration enterprises. The other significant change has been in the addition of our IAF divisions and growth of our Industrial business units.

Today, Donaldson Filtration Systems employs over 400 people.

We have developed a footprint through an extensive distribution network in both South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa. We have over 30 distributors within our South African border and 24 in Sub Saharan Africa, including countries Namibia, Mauritius, Zambia, Madagascar, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Angola, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

Donaldson also has a rich history of innovative technologies and these are being tried and tested in demanding conditions in the Donaldson Cross Country Championship. The championship continues at the Vryburg Endurance race event in North West on 11 – 12th this month. For more information visit our website

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