This is certainly not a ‘hold the front page’ news story. Rather, it is one which warms the heart of FleetWatch for it demonstrates the importance of knowledge of the task combined with good relationships – on all fronts – as being a key to success in transport.
The transport market in South Africa requires several specialist, niche operators ranging from those able to move abnormal loads to those able to handle certain fragile or sensitive cargoes.
One of the companies that has found a niche in the latter cargo category is Consolidated
Transport, Rigging and Logistics, based in Bredell, near the OR Tambo Airport. Founded in 1994 by Nico van Jaarsveld, this company has grown in scope and stature over the years and now operates a fleet of 25 Hino trucks, virtually all of them fitted with Pesci cranes.
“The main reason for our success is that we understand the business and have the right equipment for the job which has enabled us to build a solid core of loyal customers,” says Van Jaarsveld.
Van Jaarsveld’s background has given him the winning edge for he started his working career in the electronics business as a salesman for uninterrupted power systems and learned the hard way how this type of equipment can be damaged if it is not transported correctly.
“This led to me buying a used truck with a crane and setting up my own company specialising in moving fragile electronic equipment,” he recalls.
A quick ramp up of business with further contracts followed and as the company grew, it has expanded the range of specialised services on offer. The specialities now range from moving X-ray machines to CT scanners, air conditioning equipment, generating sets and fragile electrical equipment such as transformers. The services include cross-border deliveries in Sub Saharan Africa and countrywide in South Africa.
Over the years the company has become more and more a family business with wife Elaine looking after the finances and son Wayne, who has a B.Com, now understudying his dad so he can take over responsibilities. A second son, Andre, is studying law so that when he joins the company he can look after contractual obligations. And as if that were not enough, Colin and Stephen Coetzee, two brothers-in-law, are also involved looking after the day-to-day operations and quotations respectively.
Consolidated Transport continues to operate from a large site in Bredell and does not make use of any depots elsewhere in the country. Regular servicing of the fleet of Hino trucks is carried out on site, with Hino East Rand looking after any repairs.
Van Jaarsveld says he is very particular about oil changes and specifies top grade lubricants, with oil changes on all models other the the 700 Series taking place every 10 000km. The 700 models have an oil change every 15 000km. Interesting is that he ascribes clean oil as being a major factor in the low amount of maintenance required on the Hino engines. “I’ve only had one engine fail and that was due to work done on it by a roadside mechanic when the truck had a problem on a delivery trip and the correct procedures were not followed.”
Otherwise there are several Hinos in the fleet of 25 that have covered well over a million kilometres with no repair work required on the engine, only regular maintenance. The fleet consists of 1.5-ton, 8-ton and 14-ton models and includes freight carriers and truck-tractors.
Because the cargo is specialised and usually has to be delivered in a specific time frame, they cannot afford breakdowns. Reliability is paramount and in this regard, he reckons that since the fleet has been confined to Hino trucks since 1997, it has been extremely reliable with low operating costs.
Going back to ‘relationships’, all the trucks have been bought from Hino East Rand in Benoni with most of the dealings being handled by Jors van der Linde, who is now sales manager at the dealership and was the Hino Sales Knight of the Year in 2014.
Good levels of service from the Hino East Rand team combined with the durability of the Hino trucks makes for a good relationship and a happy transporter – which is exactly what Consolidated Transport, Rigging and Logistics is. It’s a good news story.