According to the July/Aug 2018 ENaTIS statistics, there are more than 2.8 million trucks on South African roads, ranging from panel vans to heavy load vehicles, accounting for as much as 25% of all registered vehicles. There are more than 15 000 truck fleets operated in our country, and more often than not, our newspapers feature news of accidents, un-roadworthy vehicles and infrastructure damage due to ill-maintained vehicles. October is Transport month, with the Department of Transport emphasising the local industry, road safety and all things “truck”. As a substantial, and responsible, player within the Transport industry, we at Barloworld Logistics not only support this initiative during the month of October but strive to build a better industry for all through everything we do, in every aspect of our business, every day.
Across our Transport division, Barloworld Logistics operates a truck and trailer fleet of approximately 3 800 vehicles, ranging from light vans, through hazardous tankers, to outsized abnormal freight trucks. We take immense pride in our ability to deliver our client's freight safely and effectively across the length and breadth of the country, and an essential part of this ability is our world-class vehicle maintenance programme. It is often said that “a craftsman is only as good as his tools”, and while we ensure that our drivers are the utmost professional's thanks to stringent recruitment requirements, and ongoing skills training, we know even the best driver is only as good as the vehicle he climbs into.
Across the country, we operate 21 maintenance depots, of which 10 are fully manufacturer accredited where qualified technicians keep a close, and preventative, eye on every truck we operate. Not only are our vehicles fully serviced in accordance with manufacturer requirements, but each truck undergoes a comprehensive inspection every time it enters or exits a depot or workshop. There is a direct correlation between improved road safety and vehicle maintenance, and as such, a fully responsible fleet programme is far more than spanners and oil changes.
At Barloworld Logistics, we understand that a 360-degree approach is what ensures consistency, quality and excellence regarding vehicle maintenance. As such, not only are our workshops highly skilled, but operate in-line with an all-encompassing workshop management system measure via a daily, real-time dashboard, taking into account specialised equipment utilisation, technical and regulatory compliance, and efficiency. A key measure to this is the so-called “fix right, first-time” metric that drives individual performance, skill, KPI adherence and minimal off-road time due to repetitive issue resolution.
While stringent maintenance is a crucial component to effective vehicle management, it is by no means the only factor to consider when operating a world-class fleet. Management tactics underpinned by a cost-per-kilometre measure entrench an ethos of excellence throughout our Transport division. Taking responsibility for the full cost of ownership means that every vehicle is considered to be a full-service asset, requiring detailed monitoring of vehicle lifespan, service and repairs, tyres, technical performance, fuel consumption and behavioural management of all people involved. The calculation of each individual vehicles cost-per-kilometre allows our team to red flag issues, pre-plan off-road and disposal periods, and take full accountability for each and every set of wheels we place on the road. In-depth data records and analytics are necessary when determining the “sweet spot” of vehicle replacement. Factors such as maintenance stage and cost, on-road vehicle time, safety standards, disposal market value and other commercial criterion are all utilised in a matrix to determine viable vehicle lifespan and the best time for replacement.
The operation of our vehicles is intrinsic to the value we provide our clients and is supported by a broad-based depth of skill within our fleet operations. Years of experience, in-depth technical knowledge, continuous skills development and innovation all work together to create a fleet environment that is not only a source of pride for Barloworld Logistics as an organisation but offers peace of mind to our clients and every road user that encounters our trucks on the road.
If your business is in need of an end to end transport solution, get in touch with us and let's see how we can make this happen for you.