The first time I saw one on the road was in June 2018. It was heading north on the N3 while I was heading south being ferried from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. It looked great and really stood out. It was badged Daiwoo Maximus and I managed to get a shot of it as we passed which I publish here. The company operating it was Beniesa Transport.
In all honesty, I was surprised when I saw the rig as Tata Automobile Corporation (SA) hadn’t made a big noise about any sales being made of this model. For those who don’t know, Tata Daewoo (officially Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company) is a commercial vehicle manufacturer headquartered in South Korea and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors. It is the second-largest heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer in South Korea. In South Africa, the units are sold and supported under Daiwoo Trucks South Africa.
Anyway, it’s good to hear that Daiwoo is making a good impression on its clients as evidenced by the fact that PA Stemmet Vervoer recently added three more Daewoo Maximus KL3TX truck tractors to its fleet, bringing to five the number of Daewoo’s in its daily operation.
PA Stemmet Vervoer started out in 1996 focusing on hazardous goods transportation. Today it provides transport services for all goods – except livestock and furniture – in and around the Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, Free State, Limpopo and Kwazulu-Natal provinces. The company operates a mixed fleet in excess of 20 trucks, the majority of which haul tautliner trailers across six of the country’s nine provinces.
Owner of the company, Piet Stemmet, tells how he originally brought the new brand into his fleet. “In 2018 I needed two new vehicles for my fleet and through prior knowledge of the Cummins ISX 475 engine and Eaton Ultrashift gearbox combination, I decided to purchase two Daewoo Maximus KL3TX truck tractors. I was 100% satisfied with the professional service I received and the competitive transaction offered. As they say, the rest is history.”
Daewoo Maximus trucks are powered by Cummins ISX 480 engines and feature either an 18-speed Eaton Ultrashift Plus AMT constant mesh transmission or 12-speed ZF Astronic AMT syncro mesh transmission. PA Stemmet makes use of the latter.
The initial two Daewoo trucks the company bought are now a year old and have been performing well in terms of fuel economy, power, comfort and most importantly, reliability and uptime. He adds that they are easy to drive with comfortable air-suspended seats and above average ride quality.
“We haven’t experienced any mechanical problems and combined with all the above-mentioned attributes, I recently decided to increase my Daewoo fleet. The standard warranty of three years or 600 000km is a great comfort to me and shows the confidence Daewoo Trucks South Africa has in their product,” says Stemmet.
What he also appreciates, of course, is the drivetrain. “We benefit from the high torque (2 509Nm) and horsepower (354kW) in these trucks, which means more revenue for my company and a happy driver behind the wheel.”
In terms of after sales support he is also happy with Daewoo Assist, a 24/7 call centre, being in place to assist with any issues that might arise on the road. Parts are also readily available from the dedicated Daewoo parts facility and servicing of his trucks can be done on a Saturday if required. There are 91 touch points dedicated to serving the brand throughout the country.
The trucking industry thrives on relationships and in this regard, Stemmet believes personal relationships in the transport business are vital to one’s success. “Willie Froneman, product sales manager at Daewoo Trucks South Africa, sorts out everything for us. I’ve known him for 10 years. He knows this product and he knows the transport industry well.”
There we go. Let no-one ever forget that cars are about transactions while trucks are about relationships.