The diesel price is now touching R10 a litre representing 45% of operating costs for long distance haulage. Vehicles and allied equipment prices are edging up. However, strong competition helps to keep the lid on final prices. Access to funding for vehicle purchases is a major concern especially for small fleet operators. Short term funding currently comes with paying a substantial deposits, mostly without a final balloon payment and submitting a comprehensive CV if the operator is not known.
Maintenance costs are expected to rise as the shortage of competent technicians places an increasing strain on OEMS, their dealers and trailer builders to provide service and maintenance back up. Tyre prices continue to rise at regular intervals. Beware of inferior imported tyres that are proving to be hopelessly inadequate for South African operating conditions. Driver’s wages went up at the end of February. The OCB reflects an average increase of 10% from March 2011.