South Africa’s premiere independent longhaul trucking operations, boasting a combined fleet of 485 trucks. In April 2013, RTG forged a landmark deal with MAN Truck & Bus South Africa, procuring 140 MAN TGS 27.440BBS 6x4 truck-tractors to service its Rustenburg-based Chrome Carriers division.
Forging a winning partnership - Derick Reinhardt and Bruce Dickson.
Speaking at the official MAY 3rd 2013 hand-over ceremony at RTG headquarters in Nigel, Gauteng, RTG deputy CEO, Graham Gaskell stated that, “our Chrome Carriers fleet comprises 255 side-tipper interlink truck-trailer combinations transporting loads of between 33 and 34 tons of chrome-related products from the Highveld to the ports of Richards Bay and Maputo. The deal with MAN followed a stringent process of product analysis of several leading extra-heavy truck OEMs to determine which derivative would offer lowest total cost of ownership and deliver optimum productivity.”
With an average fleet age of 14 months and an annual turnover of R1,2billion, RTG “is the most technically-advanced and modern fleet in South Africa, with a fleet size than enables transportation of large volumes with economies of scale that deliver both flexibility and cost-savings to our clients,” added Gaskell.
In 2012, Chrome Carriers deployed four MAN TGS 27.440BBS units into the fleet on a trial basis and, according to RTG CEO, Derick Reinhardt, “it was primarily the fact that the TGS units, after notching up over 200 000km each without a single technical issue being reported, that we chose MAN over its competitors. The decision was supported by a number of other positive factors including impressive fuel consumption figures, competitive pricing, driver comfort, comprehensive product support and a warranty and maintenance structure that meets our fixed-cost targets.”
The 440-horsepower TGS 27.440BBS is designed for on/off-highway applications, displacing 2100Nm of torque from 1000-1400rpm, enabling optimum tractive force at low engine speeds, making it ideal for applications such as mining where muddy conditions are prevalent. The truck-tractor has a driveline optimised for longhaul bulk transport and is equipped with MAN’s class-leading TipMatic automated manual transmission and BrakeMatic intarder, allowing for safe and economical operation on the open road.
The TGS units are backed by a standard four-year/600 000km driveline warranty and a three-year/450 000km bumper-to-bumper warranty.
According to MAN Truck & Bus South Africa’s truck division CEO, Bruce Dickson, “MAN’s Driving Academy conducted a comprehensive ‘train the trainer’ programme with Chrome Carriers’ driver-trainers to ensure every TGS driver in the fleet is fully conversant with all the safety and economy technologies on the vehicle. With the correct driving style, fuel savings of between seven and ten percent can be achieved. The environmental benefits from these savings extend to a carbon emissions reduction of 2.63kg of CO2 for every litre of fuel saved, an important factor for any fleet operator serving blue-chip clients.”
MAN’s Uptime Principle, which ensures fleet vehicles are serviced swiftly with minimal downtime, also helped forge the deal, added Dickson: “Our dealer representation in the Highveld mining belt is particularly strong with the route running east from Rustenburg through Gauteng and Mpumalanga to the coast covered by no less than five MAN dealerships. MAN’s parts supply infrastructure and Mobile24 roadside assist service ensure our customers’ trucks don’t stand for a minute longer than they absolutely have to.”
With a three-year/600 000km fleet replacement cycle, Chrome Carriers has replaced 100 units of its existing fleet and expanded by 40 units following its deal with MAN.
“We are constantly expanding our horizons and our partnership with MAN has enabled us to significantly reduce our technical risk, fix our maintenance costs and positively influence our trade-in values. With the commitment from MAN to meet our service levels, I am confident our relationship with MAN will grow from strength to strength,” said Reinhardt.
For MAN, “It is a privilege to be associated with such a high-profile fleet. The industry at large looks to Reinhardt Transport for best-practice benchmarks and being able to enter the Chrome Carriers fleet with such resounding success gives all of us at MAN much to be proud of,” concluded Dickson.