John Williams Motors Bloemfontein recently delivered a fleet of 44 Freightliner Columbia truck tractors to 27 owner-drivers and 17 drivers of Barloworld Logistics, at the Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) factory near Dwaalboom in Limpopo.
This significant hand-over marks the renewal of a five-year contract with Barloworld Logistics for rigs to service PPC Cement at their Dwaalboom factory. The 44 Freightliner Columbias replace a fleet of 44 Freightliner Argosy truck tractors that were handed over to the owner-drivers in 2007.
"Freightliner Columbia is an ideal vehicle for the PPC Cement application because of its lightweight MBE4000 engine. The 6x4 truck tractor is light enough to allow Barloworld Logistics to achieve their required payloads. The vehicles will transport 20 cement pallets with a 40 400kg payload on an interlink trailer," says Godfrey Hani, the divisional manager for Freightliner, Fuso & Western Star at Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA).
Reliability is important
Barloworld Logistics, the transport operator, has a long-standing relationship with PPC Cement and this five year contract extension, will take the relationship to a milestone 20 years.
Francois van Rensburg divisional director of Dedicated Transport Services at Barloworld Logistics says: "Freightliner was an obvious choice. Reliability is very important for us to be able to deliver a superior service to our clients. The personalised service and product we get from MBSA and their dealer, John Williams Bloemfontein, is a winning formula and the vehicles are a good match for the application."
Van Rensburg adds that the relationship with MBSA is beneficial because the company knows what is important to them. Uptime is critical in the trucking industry and, especially with the construction industry as on-time delivery is imperative to customer requirements. Additionally, service levels need to be benchmark standards and MBSA always deliver to expectations.
Given the size of the fleet employed in the PPC operation, John Williams Motors has operated an on-site workshop for the last five years where the existing Freightliner fleet is maintained. This has proven to be a highly satisfactory arrangement for Barloworld Logistics as the vehicles don't have to travel long distances to the servicing dealer. The longevity of the previous fleet of Freightliner Argosy trucks, exceeding the one million km mark, is testament to the fact that the MBSA-trained technicians employed by John Williams Motors at Dwaalboom have done an excellent job of maintaining the fleet.
"It is very gratifying that, in the face of stiff competition, that we can renew an existing fleet of Freightliners. The last five years of commitment by our dealership staff and Barloworld in keeping the Dwaalboom fleet operating efficiently, and we are appreciative that Barloworld Logistics has chosen to place their trust in us. We look forward to a productive relationship over the next five years that these trucks will be in operation," Hani concludes.
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