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Positivity abounds at Nampo 2019

Nampo 2019 grew on records from previous years, and so it’s impossible to cover the entire show in one report. That’s not stopped us from trying, though

In 2018 Nampo attracted a record attendance of almost 83 000 visitors and, with more than 775 exhibitors (60 of which were new) at what was this year the 53rd running of the event, Nampo 2019 pointed to the more positive vibe within the local agricultural industry of late (even though attendance was down slightly to 81 345).

Daimler Trucks & Buses

Taking up a key position on the Mercedes-Benz stand from the recently launched Arocs range was the 2636L/57 with refrigerated body. It was joined by the Actros 3345S/33 and the Actros 2645LS/33, which were introduced to the local market last year.

However, the Unimog U529, introduced locally late last year specifically for use in the agricultural sector, was undoubtedly the star attraction at the brand’s stand. “The U529 is a robust and versatile implement carrier, and presents a fuel-efficient alternative to conventional tractors when used in applications requiring high speed or high power-to-weight ratios.

“The key concept behind the Unimog U529 is its amazing versatility; allowing it to be used in all four seasons, fulfilling agricultural roles including manure spreading, high-speed haulage, crop spraying, fertilizer spreading, mowing, raking, baling, firefighting and combine-harvester chasing,” explained Jasper Hafkamp, CEO of Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa.

Also on the stand were offerings from the Fuso stable, including the FE 6-109 with a drop-side body, the FA 9-137 FC chassis cab, and the FJ 16-230 L with a cattle body.

“The built-in flexibility of the chassis cab design allows fitment of different body types to suit any application. Rugged and reliable, yet highly specified for comfort and safety, this medium-duty truck builds a tough base for customers’ individual needs,” Hafkamp commented.

The vehicles on the Hino stand all featured customer branding.

Hino

Hino took a different approach with its stand at Nampo 2019: most of the vehicles on display were customer vehicles that represented different companies and applications related to the agricultural industry … from dairy to meat transport. “It tells a story; it gives a personal feel to the stand – visitors are not just seeing plain trucks,” commented Ernie Trautmann, vice president of Hino South Africa.

While the usual Dyna, 300-, 500- and 700-Series trucks were on display, a key exhibit was the new Hino 500-Series Crew Cab. Available in two 1627 derivatives (one with a six-speed manual gearbox and the other with a six-speed Allision automatic), the Crew Cab provides seating for up to seven occupants. Key features of the Crew Cab include a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 16 000 kg, full air-braking system, a tighter turning circle and improved gradeability.

“The Hino 500 Wide Cab range was introduced to South Africa at the end of 2017 and has been well accepted in the market. Now we can fill requirements in another niche segment with the arrival of the Crew Cab models,”
said Trautmann.

Iveco

It was impossible to miss the Iveco stand. Yes, the usual Daily, Eurocargo, Trakker and Stralis models were there (as well as an Afriway commuter bus), but the stand also included some intriguing new models…

First was the all-new Starlis X-Way, which enjoyed its first public outing at Nampo ahead of its market launch later in the year. Elvis Mutseura, product marketing manager at Iveco South Africa, explained that the Stralis X-Way fills an important gap in the Iveco line-up.

“The Trakker is mainly for off-road application, where it offers a high 38-t payload capacity, but if it’s used on road its heavy chassis means a loss of payload. This is where the Stralis X-Way comes in, which combines the Stralis platform with steel suspension,” Mutseura explained.

Only the 261 kW (350 hp) derivative is planned to begin with (powered by the Cursor 8 7,8-litre engine), but there will be many different wheelbases and applications. The vehicle on the stand featured a very long wheelbase of 5 790 mm and was fitted with an 8,5-m body – giving it a 15-t payload or capacity for 16 pallets.

“We cover the whole rigid market very well – from short-medium and medium-long distance requirements,” said Mutseura.

The second intriguing model was the Astra 8×4. An Iveco brand, Astra makes some serious off-road machines. With its high payload, 50-t GVM and 125-t gross combination mass (GCM), this 8×4 is powered by a 328 kW (440 hp) engine and uses hub-reduction axles. It shares componentry with the Trakker platform.

The Daewoo K7CEF 6×4 rigid is the brand’s latest model and ideal for the agricultural sector (top). The new Iveco Astra and X-Way are the brand’s rugged heavy hitters (below).

Mahindra

Celebrating a year of production of the Mahindra Pik Up at its Durban plant (in which time 1 500 units have been produced), Mahindra launched the Pik Up S6 Kalahari at Nampo 2019.

“With the Pik Up now locally manufactured, we are able to develop special-edition models that fit our customers’ tastes, while still keeping our affordable prices,” said Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa.

The S6 Kalahari joins the S10 Karoo and S11 Scorpio and features various enhancements. This 4×2 or 4×4 single cab features replacement bumpers from BTM and special custom off-road alloys from A Line fitted with 235/R70 16-inch dual-purpose tyres. It also has a tonneau cover, a roll bar and side steps as standard and is fitted with a chrome accent grille.

Mahindra has also unveiled a special Farmer’s Kit for the Pik Up. It bundles several of the most popular optional extras requested by farmers into an affordable special; including cattle rails, a front wrap-around replacement bumper, a rear replacement bumper and a snorkel.

MAN

Interestingly, one of the vehicles that attracted the most attention at the MAN stand was a MAN TopUsed TGM 25.280 fitted with a multipurpose body.

“Farmers appreciate having options; they want an all-purpose vehicle: they can load it with cattle, then they can load grain, and then they can use it as a flat deck for pallets,” said Dave van Graan, head of special sales projects at MAN Automotive. This specific vehicle was fitted with an automatic transmission and a sleeper cab. It looks the part, too; considering it’s a four-year old example, it’s remarkably clean.

“When we talk about vehicles fit for agriculture, the TGM offers a multi-purpose solution when a vehicle that doesn’t do high mileage is needed,” he said, moving onto the TGS and TGX haulers on the opposite side of the stand.

“Those same farms would take something like this TGS 27.480, which they’d use with tipper trailers for feed, for example. As the XHD (extra-heavy-duty) unit, this vehicle has heavy-duty steel suspension front and rear with single-reduction hypoid axles and heavy-duty componentry (it’s good for up to 120 t). So, it offers fuel efficiency for the long haul combined with rigidity for the rough sections.

“Then, the TGX flagship would run long distance. It’s a nice range that fits all aspects of the agricultural market,” he concluded.

Mercedes-Benz Vans

Under the Mercedes-Benz Vans umbrella, visitors to Nampo could experience a wide range of transportation solutions including the Sprinter, Vito, V-Class and X-Class.

“In the face of constantly growing agricultural needs, Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa continues to offer economical and versatile vehicle solutions. The demand for industrious agricultural transport solutions are provided for by the Sprinter, Vito and X-Class.

“For more luxurious and leisurely applications, the V-Class is the perfect reward for those who toil on farms and other agricultural spaces,” said Nadia Trimmel, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa.

Interestingly, the new Sprinter (launched earlier this year), was displayed in freight carrier and camper van guise, though it offers a number of applications for many industries, including the agricultural sector. “It is available in a number of variants – depending on body length, payload, cargo space, roof heights and equipment options,” said Trimmel.

Nissan

While Nissan South Africa displayed all its bakkie offerings at Nampo, it was the introduction of the new Navara Stealth that attracted the most attention at the brand’s stand.

“Nissan has more than 50 years of heritage in South Africa. The new Nissan Navara Stealth has been engineered specifically with the South African customer in mind, to meet the demands that are placed on them and to reflect something of who they are,” said Kabelo Rabotho, director of marketing.

The Navara Stealth presents a more rugged, yet refined, version of the standard Navara. The standard brightwork has been replaced with black trim highlighted by orange accents, while a roll-bar, side steps and black alloy wheels complete the picture.

The two-tone theme is carried through into the interior, with seats featuring black leather side bolsters and orange material inserts and stitching.

“The new bakkie builds on the Navara’s name as a tough, luxurious and comfortable pickup. These updates are designed for the customer who is passionate about vehicle accessories and looking for a pickup that speaks to who they are,” Rabotho added.

Nampo 2019 was the first for Powerstar.

Powerstar

“The visitors to Nampo are not here to kick tyres; if they like a vehicle they want to buy it here and now,” said Rodney Selesnick, senior head: sales and marketing, at Ever Star Industries, as he expressed his elation with the brand’s first successful outing to Nampo.

“The waiting list for a Nampo stand is notoriously long, and we have always wanted to be here. For the farming community, this is their shopping centre for the year and the response has been good…

“The VX 2642 has been popular with visitors, but the smaller FT range has been a really good attraction. We’re showing three different applications, including a cattle carrier and a drop side. Some of the farmers’ bakkies cost more than these trucks, but the FT range has proved itself since launch with a remarkably low warranty claim rate,” Selesnick said.

“We don’t want to fight at the bottom end of the pond, we want to compete with the Japanese. We’re not here for a ‘quick love’ thing; we want to grow this smaller range of vehicles to complement our big trucks that are established. The FT8 launched in April has done well and a new, larger vehicle is coming soon!” he hinted.

Shell

Did you know that Shell was a founding member of Nampo when it first launched in 1967?    

“We see the agricultural sector as an integral part of the South African economy. Enabling farmers to support themselves, their communities and the nation as a whole is fundamental to our future plans,” said Anton Niemann, GM Lubricants Shell Downstream, South Africa.

At Nampo 2019, Shell showcased its various offerings for the sector, including its premium lubricants, commercial fuel and commercial fleet products. “We have multiple solutions for our customers and we offer a range of products to suit the needs of farmers. In terms of lubricants, we are focusing predominately on our gas-to-liquid (GTL) products,” Niemann said.

“Shell Lubricants’s Rimula range of products for the agricultural sector is designed to grow profitability in the sector and, as the demand for food increases, it will become exceedingly crucial for farmers to save time while reducing the total cost of ownership associated with the running costs of farming equipment and machinery. As such, we believe that the potential impact of effective equipment lubrication on equipment durability and reliability is too often underestimated,” Niemann added.

Tata

Tata celebrated a decade of participation at Nampo during 2019. “Being here is special, it gets us in touch with our customers,” commented Rajiv Jaiswal, regional manager, Southern and Eastern Africa, Tata Motors Limited, who was happy with the number of enquiries received at the show for drop-side and cattle-bodied vehicles.

“For agriculture, we offer value for money solutions with our cluster models – the 813 and 1518 4×2 freight carriers and the 2523 6×4. We’ve also displayed our newest platform, the Ultra; this 814 has a 5,5-m body with a 4,5-t payload. We have additional variants coming on this platform, such as the 1014 LWB,” he explained.

Willie Froneman, Daewoo product sales manager, Tata Automobile Corporation Southern Africa, took us through the offerings from the Daewoo stable.

“Daewoo relaunched last year, as a brand name, even though it’s been around for a number of years under Tata. People are getting used to it and understanding what it’s all about,” Froneman explained.

An eye-catching KL3TX Maximus 6×4 truck tractor showed what the brand can offer in a typical 6×4 application; with its 75-t GCM, and Cummins ISX 354 kW (475 hp)/2 500 Nm engine. The star of the show, though, was the new Daewoo K7CEF 6×4 rigid.

Volkswagen (top) and Nissan (bottom) displayed their respective ranges of commercial vehicles – suitably kitted out on both accounts.

“It’s ideal for agricultural customers who would fit it with a cattle body and drawbar trailer. It could even be used in a distribution environment with a drop side or flat deck. It’s versatile with a GVM of 31 t, a 253 kW (340 hp) Doosan engine and ten-speed manual gearbox,” he commented.

For the driver, air-suspended seats, a sleeper compartment, air-conditioning and a radio make for a liveable cabin environment.

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

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