FleetWatch always cheers when we hear of a fleet being accredited as RTMS compliant for it means more trucks on the road visibly showing they are operating with a management team which is aiming for Best Practice standards.
It thus came as great news to hear that ZZ2, the multi-million Rand farming conglomerate based in the Mooketsi valley in Limpopo, has become the latest company to be RTMS accredited and the fleet’s distinctive yellow trucks with their red logos will now be displaying the RTMS placard.
ZZ2 is a producer and deliverer of high quality primary agricultural products. Its biggest product is tomatoes (132 000 tons per annum) and 98 percent of this is produced in open fields. It has winter and summer growing regions to ensure produce all-year round.
It also produces onions (30 000 tons p.a.), avocados (4 000 tons p.a.), deciduous fruit (12 000 tons p.a.) and livestock and game of a market value of R40-million, servicing national fresh produce markets.
Road transport is at present the only option for ZZ2 to get its produce to market. Because of the remoteness of farms and the fact that fresh produce must be delivered in time, rail transport is not an option. ZZ2 thus operates its own fleet of trucks transporting products to the national fresh produce markets in taut-liners and for those going to the supermarkets, in refrigerated trucks.
It was a proud Japie Burger, transport manager at ZZ2, who received the accreditation saying the RTMS programme conforms to what is a daily way of life at ZZ2 where all systems and processes are focussed on being the best.
As proof of this, ZZ2 also complies to the Global Gap standard as far as its production processes are concerned and the pack-houses also comply to the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system (HACCP). This is a process control system that identifies where food safety hazards may occur in a food production process and puts into place stringent controls to prevent the hazards from occurring.
It is obvious that ZZ2 has a culture of Best Practice running through its operations and according to Burger, it is thus “we opted to get accredited with RTMS to have a guideline – or measure – to which we can compare ourselves to ensure we conform to a standard compiled by the CSIR.”
As Burger points out, the main legs on which the Road Transport Management System (RTMS) rest are:
- Good control over maintenance and assurance that only reliable and roadworthy vehicles go on the roads.
- Good control over the drivers regarding their health and competence to be safe drivers.
- Ensure that we only carry loads which comply to the masses as prescribed by the Act.
“We’ve always managed our fleet to be efficient and to comply with all the necessary rules and regulations contained in the Act so the accreditation was just a matter of getting the documentation in the correct format. We also comply to carry loads in the Dangerous Goods category.”
Burger is a passionate transport man who studied Mechanical Engineering after completion of his trade as an artisan diesel mechanic. He also completed the Road Transport Management Diploma Course at RAU and then went on to top all this with a course in Middle Management at the Business School for post graduates at the University of Potchefstroom. As leader of the RTMS programme, he is assisted by Vincent De La Gey who is busy with his studies at the University of Johannesburg in Road Transport Management.
“The fact that we now sport the RTMS sign on our vehicles also reminds everybody involved that we must never relax and always strive to be ahead of the opposition and abide to the rules. It ties in with a saying we have in ZZ2: “Always be constructively unsatisfied”.
This goes for everything like vehicle selection, fuel management, selection and training of people and all other areas. “Never feel that you have arrived and always strive to do better today than yesterday,” is a saying Burger instils in his staff.
The ZZ2 brand is a well known icon in South Africa and has a proud history. The RTMS system is a fitting addition to this brand and FleetWatch congratulates Japie Burger and his team on this great achievement
Editor’s Footnote: I have often been asked where the name ZZ2 comes from. Here’s the story behind the brand. When the Anglo Boer War ended in 1902, a measure was introduced whereby farmers would get a registered number to brand their cattle. Burt van Zyl, grandfather of Bertie van Zyl – considered the founder of the ZZ2 farming enterprise – registered the brand number ZZ2 in 1903. The brand has migrated over time from a cattle brand to a brand representing all of ZZ2’s products. Interesting is that a viable commercial herd consisting mainly of Pinzgauers is still run on the non-arable land, primarily for the breeding of weaners and high value stud cattle. So the cattle brand is still there.