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The rite solution for the job

Scania South Africa and Shoprite might have a fledgling relationship, but it’s already returning excellent results.

When a company has 620 drivers transporting 420 loads per day to 550 stores, averaging up to 700 000 km per week, or up to four million per month, ultimate efficiency and uptime are not negotiable.

For the Centurion-based Shoprite depot, this begins with partnering with the right vehicle supplier – most recently, with Scania South Africa. Gordon Brown, group technical manager at Shorprite, explains that, following a successful trial, the depot purchased six R410 6×4 double-sleeper-cab truck tractors to run to Botswana.

Covering 3 500 km per return trip, these units have returned very good performance figures.

So good, in fact, that in September the depot took delivery of another 15 P410 6×4 single-sleeper-cab truck tractors to service the northern region of South Africa between Welkom, Free State, and Musina, Limpopo.

“We had a look at the current Shoprite fleet to benchmark the various vehicles, which led us to specify the P410. We believe it’ll be the best vehicle for the application and will do well on the mixed routes,” comments Johnny-Ray Basset, key account manager, Scania South Africa.

So far, the Scania truck tractors are performing well. “They have proved to be reliable, fuel efficient and comfortable for the drivers, who enjoy the power and lack of fatigue when driving them,” says Brown.

“Fuel is a major cost consideration; the Centurion depot uses around 56 000 litres a day, so good consumption makes a huge difference. The trucks were also specified with a retarder, to ensure safety on the road and reduced maintenance,” he adds.

Each vehicle is fitted with the Scania Fleet Management System Control Package, which provides 24-hour access to key fleet details directly through the Scania Fleet Management Portal – including fuel consumption, service planning and discrepancies in the trucks’ performances.

“Users can sort, filter and generate reports for analysis and follow performance trends over time. Add the messaging service and operators can also communicate more easily and efficiently with their drivers,” says Basset.

“However, buying the trucks is the easy part. How Scania handles our aftersales needs and any breakdowns will be the most important aspect,” Brown notes.

The first piece of this puzzle is the four-year/840 000 km repair and maintenance contract affixed to each vehicle. This is based specifically on Shoprite’s needs and calculated to 20 000 km per vehicle per month.

“Scania always tries to offer the best repair and maintenance rate. We engineer a cost of ownership over five years. Those true figures will then make the decision to purchase more vehicles much easier,” smiles Basset.

Allied to this is on-site servicing by Scania technicians. In the long term, Scania will have a presence at Shoprite’s on-site workshop – aiding preventative maintenance and again lowering downtime. “Giving Shoprite the best service will ensure a long-standing relationship,” comments Basset.

It seems Scania is already on its way to achieving this…

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

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