The scheduled service every 15 000 km is one of the secrets that allowed one Western Cape farmer to clock up over a million kilometres on one of his delivery trucks.
Oubaas van Zyl, owner and managing director of Heidedal Boerdery/Piekenierskloof Vrugte near Citrusdal in the Western Cape, knows this all too well.
“This was our first Hino and its major attributes include the reliability of the truck and excellent service from Citrusdal Hino,” says Van Zyl.
Jacques Snyman, the Dealer Principal and “general master of all things Hino” at Citrusdal Hino, says the most important aspect of owning any vehicle, is its regular scheduled services by trained technicians using original OEM parts.
“I sold Mr Van Zyl’s Hino to him back in 2009, and the vehicle has been back with us for every scheduled service – every 15 000 km,” he recalls.
“The only non-service component ever replaced, was when the regular driver fell ill and was replaced by someone who was more used to driving trucks with an automatic transmission. The clutch had to be replaced, but since the vehicle’s regular driver has been back behind the wheel, it has been plain sailing,” says Snyman.
This is proof of the practical advantage of having a single driver for every truck, he says.
The regular driver on the vehicle's main route, André Romburg drives the Hino, pulling a 30-ton tri-axle trailer, from the farm Heidedal Boerdery/Piekenierskloof Vrugte, on the Piekenierskloof Plateau, near Citrusdal in the Western Cape, to Cape Town harbour (around 175-200 km per trip) to deliver citrus fruit, peaches, and apricots to be exported.
During the regular servicing, only items such as batteries, air pipes, brake linings and the like have been replaced. Apart from the clutch, no major work has been required on the engine, gearbox, propeller shaft or rear axles during this period.
“The per kilometre cost of operating this truck is still very acceptable considering that during the period that it clocked up a million kilometres, major costs have been limited, basically to servicing and tyre replacement, so it will remain a mainstay in our fleet,” concluded Van Zyl.
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) kept the wheels rolling this year with the opening of five new dealerships in four provinces.
The latest addition to the Stellantis dealer network is a large, new Super Group multi-franchise facility in Jacaranda Street, Hennopspark, Centurion, for Jeep, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot and Citroën.
We can overcome all the hurdles placed in front of us if we recognise our biggest asset in business is our people, says Rob Downs the Dealer Principal at CMH Nissan and Mitsubishi Pinetown.