AC Trading - Hippo Mills : Milling Grain Moving Equipment Hammer Mills Shelling
The Original Since 1928

Celebrating our 90th Anniversary!




The History of Hippo Mills

When 26 year old Arthur Collins stepped ashore in Durban in 1892, it was almost certainly not with the intention of designing products that 94 years later would still be in great demand. 

His first job as resident engineer with a Nigel gold mine lasted for five years before he moved to Pietermaritzburg to set up a business for himself as a millwright and blacksmith. It was here that he pioneered much of the machinery used in the Wattle Bark Industry. Some of these machines are still in use to this day.

When his son Frank was old enough to join his fathers business, they turned their joint attentions to the needs of the farmers. Arthur Collins was an outstanding engineer with an inventive turn of mind. He was also farsighted enough to realise that agriculture would inevitably turn more and more to mechanisation as demands upon the industry increased with the coming years. Consequently his preoccupation with farm machinery took most of his time and effort.

In 1902 "ARTHUR COLLINS&SON" exhibited their products at the Royal agricultural show. For the following 50 odd years the little company was a regular exhibitor and their machines won many gold, silver and bronze awards at this famous annual event.

Perhaps their greatest achievement was in 1928 when both father and son pooled their talents to produce the first ever South African manufactured hammer mill. this was so successful as to engender considerable pressure from local farmers to produce more and more mills. In 1931 the first 3 "assembly line" models were completed. These mills were built into wooden frames. It was at this time that the famous "HIPPO"trade mark was born. Nowadays the name Hippo is synonymous with a wide range of agricultural equipment-evidence of the outstanding popularity that these machines enjoy among South African farmers.

In 1958 Arthur Collins died, leaving a legacy of hundreds of mills in use all over the country. (Most of which are still in use to this day). Frank, his son, took over the reins and for the next eleven years guided the company through an uninterrupted period of growth and prosperity. He began looking beyond the borders of the republic for a wider more challenging market. Frank Collins retired in 1969 and now A.C.TRADING cc. are carrying on in the same spirit of design and development that has marked the history of Arthur Collins&son.

Notes: The name "HIPPO"came from a hippo called "HUBERT" which at the time the first hammer mills were produced was causing havoc with farmers by devouring farm produce.