Bell Equipment opened for business in 1954, when Irvine Bell established a small engineering business in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and began manufacturing equipment for the sugar cane and forest industries. Bell entered the construction industry, in 1982, with the launch of its own wheel loaders, and by 1984, had also introduced its own articulated dump truck (ADT). The company today offers ADT models up to 50 tons capacity and lays claim to 20 percent of the ADT world market.
Bell established an alliance with Kato in 1992 to sell a branded excavator in South Africa, and struck a similar deal in 1995 with John Deere Construction and Forestry Equipment, giving the company access to crawlers, backhoes and motor graders. In turn, Deere began in 1999 to brand and distribute Bell trucks in the Americas. Bell also has alliances with Hitachi in Australia and Liebherr in Europe.