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Coca-Cola refreshed with smart trucks

May 9, 2019

Seventy-eight percent – that’s the projected number by which loads transported between Bloemfontein and Upington will be reduced, with the use of the 44-pallet performance-based standard (PBS) trailer that has been added to the Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) fleet.

The PBS trailer is 27,9-m long and can transport 44 pallets, compared to the conventional 30-pallet trailer.

“This five-year pilot project is part of an ongoing programme for CCBSA to continuously develop new ways of delivering to our customers, while contributing towards minimising damage, improving safety and reducing congestion on South Africa’s road infrastructure,” says CCBSA logistics director, Flora Jika.

PBS specifies the performance required of a heavy vehicle on particular routes, bearing in mind both safety and the nature of the road infrastructure itself.

“Performance-based standards provide greater leeway for vehicle designers to come up with innovative ideas. Trucks and trailers designed in this way are often called ‘smart trucks’,” Jika comments.

CCBSA and the Department of Transport (DoT) are exploring a partnership aimed at designing, manufacturing and operating a number of projects to demonstrate the PBS concept, and the impact it could make on South Africa’s logistics industry from multiple perspectives, especially safety and productivity.

As part of this partnership, CCBSA has already made two of its state-of-the-art simulators available to the DoT for one day a week for the purpose of training truck and bus drivers across the country. These simulators are used by CCBSA to train its own drivers, including those who will be driving the new PBS vehicles.

“CCBSA views safety as non-negotiable, which is why we are collaborating with the DoT to test the PBS vehicles, and why we are making our simulators available to a wider group than just our own drivers,” Jika says.

“We are very excited by the potential of this project to redefine safety and productivity in the road-freight industry in this country,” she concludes.

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.

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