A Tata eight-tonne dropside that’s used as a maximum-load workhorse by Meyerton-based animal feedstock manufacturer, Hi-Performance Feeds, has clocked more than 1,1-million kilometres.
The 2007 Tata 1518 plies routes from Meyerton to Stilfontein, Klerksdorp, Magaliesberg, Hammanskraal and Kriel, and also delivers feedstock to retail outlets in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
“The vehicle has played a vital part in the company’s growth and it’s still working as hard as it ever did,” comments company owner Charles Waller.
“Before buying our first Tata we tried various brands. The Tata’s low cost of ownership and the latest five-year/500 000 km warranty ensured that we made the right decision.
“We were looking for a truck that would prove robust and economical; be easy to manoeuvre in and out of tight spaces; be quick to load and off-load; carry eight tonnes of feed three or four times a day, five days a week, and not break down; and would cope with inner city routes as efficiently as it would with open-road driving.
“Over the years, it has excelled in all of those areas. The engine has never been opened – and neither has the diff,” Waller explains.
Major services and routine maintenance are left to the local dealer, Tata Meyerton.
Though the plan is to buy a new Tata, there is no intention of trading in or selling the original. “I’d like to have it repainted and branded with Hi-Performance Feeds’s new 3D logos and have the interior refurbished,” says Waller.
“When we bought the vehicle, we had no idea that it would serve us so well for so long. If you’d asked me in 2007 whether I thought the truck would last for 12 years I probably would have said no – now I’m looking to at least a 20-year lifespan, perhaps even more.
“It has served us incredibly well and continues to do so,” Waller concludes.