MAZ, a truck and machinery manufacturer from Belarus, is preparing to enter the heavy-duty segment of the southern African market. The brand will have two trucks on display at Futuroad, the truck and bus expo which is being co-located with Automechanika Johannesburg, a trade fair for the automotive aftermarket, at Expo Centre, Nasrec, from September 18-21.
Valery Tarasenko, the local representative of the company, says they have been preparing to enter the African right-hand drive market for the past two years.
“We’ve completed homologation on several models, including the two we will have on display on our stand at Expo Centre. They are the MAZ-656587 (8×4), a 27-ton tipper and a truck tractor MAZ-646087 which is capable of pulling a load of 60 tons on a dumper semi-trailer,” says Tarasenko. (South Africa’s limit is 56tons GCM).
So where the heck is Belarus? Don’t feel bad. I also didn’t have a clue and had to look it up. It is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is city is Minsk.
As for the truck marque MAZ, I’ve never heard of it, although it is apparently a regular and strong competitor in the annual Dakar Rally. We’ve heard of Kamaz but not MAZ. According to what we’ve received, MAZ has been making trucks at its plant in Minsk in the former Soviet Union since 1944 focusing on heavy duty operations and special applications. The right-hand drive MAZ trucks are planned to be assembled at a factory in Richards Bay for sale in East and South Africa.
FleetWatch will be popping into the show and will get some more information for our readers. In the meantime, we say: “Phew! A brave move!”