Isuzu Trucks ended last year on a high note with Dairy Day – well-known for their high-quality dairy produce brands, Honeydew and Stonelees – acquiring a new, 50-strong Isuzu truck fleet.
Karkloof Country Club was the scene for the official launch and handover of this new truck fleet where Dairy Day CEO, Paul Marshall, commented: “The dairy industry is a competitive business with seasonal fluctuations, tight health standards and products bound to expiry dates – not to mention the threat of drought.
“Dairy Day’s investment in this new Isuzu truck fleet will not only reduce and ring-fence our distribution costs but also creates huge brand awareness for our branded products such as Honeydew.”
And huge awareness it will be as can be seen from the terrific branding on the trucks in the accompanying photographs.
Modern Isuzu trucking technology with the latest refrigeration equipment ensures the new fleet preserves Dairy Day’s cold chain for products into consumer homes.
A total of 45 various makes of old trucks were traded in against 50 new Isuzu trucks in a complex deal with underwriting of residual values. The cargo bodies have been designed to last two economic cycles of four years each with the original body being transferred to a new Isuzu truck chassis after four years. Negotiations were initiated in February 2016 with Wesbank supporting the transaction.
Over 90% of the fleet also use Isuzu automated manual transmissions (AMT) which is ideally suited to stop-n-drop deliveries into the consumer market. The Isuzu F-Series 4×2 models are the only heavy-duty trucks in South Africa that offer AMT drivelines coupled to Hill Start Assist (HSA) which makes driving a pleasure in the many steep KZN gradients encountered. On-road safety includes ABS braking systems with EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) as standard.
Three body builders were contracted to supply the refrigerated cargo bodies in order to match the deadline. All of this to meet a detailed spec laid down by Dairy Day’s general transport manager, Craig Warr.
Specially designed one-to-two-third split and sealing rear doors are fitted with plastic curtaining to preserve the cold chain for consumers. The refrigerated cargo bodies are equipped with new Thermo King cooling units that can be coupled into electrical power for nighttime refrigeration.
On-board telematics track the temperature inside the refrigerated cargo body to warn of any drop in cold-temperature levels for fleet controllers to advise drivers. In addition, telematics allows Dairy Day to split engine fuel consumption from the fuel drawn to power the Thermo King refrigeration unit.
Dairy Day’s new 15 000m2 facility on the N3 highway near Howick is one of the country’s most sophisticated dairy plants. It can process up to 600 000 litres of fresh milk every day.
Interesting is that dairy farmers are shareholders in Dairy Day and thus the farm workers and dairy farmers share in all the profits of the brands produced.
The 30 Dairy Day shareholders can be proud of the logistical operation running out of the KZN Howick processing plant. The eye-catching Dairy Day fleet branding will certainly cause a stir on the highways and byways of KwaZulu-Natal to achieve a major boost in their KZN marketing efforts.
Craig Uren, Chief Operating Officer of Isuzu Trucks, is chuffed with the deal saying: “We understand and align the Isuzu Truck organisation in South Africa with Dairy Day’s service needs as essentially, Isuzu Truck South Africa is also in a service industry supplying a range of services and parts for the Isuzu Trucks which we market.”