LAY­ING THE FOUN­DA­TIONS FOR BUSI­NESS

FAW Trucks will soon re­lease its new 420hp truck line-up in this coun­try

Business Day - Motor News - - COMMERCIAL NEWS - Motor News Re­porter

FAW Trucks, which has an assem­bly plant in Coega in the Eastern Cape, will soon make avail­able its 33.420FT truck trac­tors range, which will duly re­place the 28.380FT line-up.

A num­ber of pi­lot units of the 33.420FT trucks have been on ex­ten­sive real-time test­ing with key clients across the coun­try op­er­at­ing in var­i­ous transport sec­tors, such as long­haul, con­struc­tion and agri­cul­ture, to name a few.

As the suc­ces­sor model to the older and pop­u­lar 28.380FT truck the new unit has some sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments, which all con­trib­ute to mak­ing this one of the most cost­ef­fec­tive in its class, says FAW, with a par­tic­u­larly low cost per kilo­me­tre. One of the most im­por­tant new fea­tures is the in­creased horse­power which is now rated at 420hp, hence the name. This power is pro­duced through a six-cylin­der in-line wa­ter-cooled, tur­bocharged and in­ter­cooled FAW en­gine.

The Euro 2 vehicle has torque of 1,750Nm at between 1,200 and 1,600r/min, and a power out­put of 309kW com­ing in at 2,200r/min. The en­gine also fea­tures an air fil­ter with a pre-fil­ter for cleaner op­er­a­tion and 24V elec­tri­cal sys­tems with easy ac­cess to elec­tric re­lays.

The com­pany says that the man­ual 12-speed trans­mis­sion makes for easy driv­ing and de­liv­ers di­rect con­tact with the road, giv­ing the driver to­tal con­trol of the vehicle. The ro­bust chas­sis is of the straight lad­der type and is riv­eted with no bolts or chas­sis flanges.

A num­ber of other new fea­tures in­clude the change of the size of the fuel tank to a larger 600l alu­minium tank. The brak­ing sys­tem fea­tures full air-brak­ing ABS, drum brakes with S-cams and au­to­matic slack ad­justers, and an ex­haust brake, all con­tribut­ing to the ease of driv­ing and safety on and off the road.

The semi-sleeper for­wardtilt­ing cab has been de­signed with driver and pas­sen­ger safety and com­fort in mind, as well as easy ac­cess for main­te­nance. Fea­tures in­clude air-con­di­tion­ing and a ra­dio with MP3 and USB con­nec­tion.

A large wind­screen and an­gled side win­dows, to­gether with large prox­im­ity mir­rors and kerb-side mir­rors, of­fer ex­cep­tional vis­i­bil­ity. Mak­ing the driver’s “of­fice” even more com­fort­able and safer are a heavy-duty air-sus­pen­sion seat with height ad­justable con­trol, mov­able and tele­scopic steer­ing column, and in­er­ti­atype driver and pas­sen­ger seat belts. For added con­ve­nience the tube­less ra­dial tyres (315/80 R22.5 16PR) can be in­flated via a tyre in­fla­tion pipe straight from the air tank.

One of the com­pa­nies that has put the new model to the test is Afrimat Ready-Mix Divi­sion, part of the larger JSElisted Afrimat group.

Ri­cus van Heer­den, who is re­spon­si­ble for its Western and North­ern Cape re­gion, em­pha­sises how cru­cial lo­gis­tics, plan­ning, col­lab­o­ra­tion and trust are in a busi­ness such as theirs.

“While we con­cen­trate on our core prod­uct, its qual­ity man­u­fac­ture, we also rely on our out­sourced transport teams to up­hold our cus­tomer prom­ise and thus our rep­u­ta­tion,” says Van Heer­den.

He also paints a scene to put some per­spec­tive on how you can­not af­ford to have a weak link in your chain of part­ners as this could be a costly ex­er­cise should there be a bro­ken link.

“The ex­am­ple of 500,000m3, could be a sub­stan­tial mall or huge mul­ti­storey build­ing in the heart of a me­trop­o­lis. On such sites an on-site con­crete batch plant is not fea­si­ble, so it has to be driven in from one of Afrimat’s fixed batch plants in the re­gion.

“This is when you may see a row of seven or more FAW 33.330FC mix­ers with 6m3, or 35.340FC mix­ers with 8m3, wait­ing in line to drop their loads, each load with only about three hours’ mar­gin between them to place the con­crete in a spe­cific se­quence.

“Let me as­sure you, it is in sit­u­a­tions like this that you do not want one of those trucks to sud­denly have me­chan­i­cal prob­lems,” says Van Heer­den.

“We make use of a large va­ri­ety of transport sub­con­trac­tors, from big transport com­pany mixer truck fleets to smaller two to six truck op­er­a­tions, to LODs (lorry owner driv­ers). In this way we put to­gether the most cost­ef­fec­tive team for each in­di­vid­ual project we get. In the case of the smaller sub­con­trac­tors and the LODs we part­ner closely, from pro­vid­ing surety to fi­nance their ve­hi­cles, to pro­vid­ing busi­ness skills sup­port.

“The con­struc­tion in­dus­try is ex­tremely price sen­si­tive. This is why the en­tire lo­gis­tics chain has to be 100% net­worked. We have to col­lab­o­rate on best so­lu­tions for our client and then with the great­est pre­ci­sion im­ple­ment­ing the plans. This is one of the many rea­sons we ad­vo­cate that our trans­porters run FAW mixer trucks.”

Judg­ing from the pop­u­lar­ity of the pre­de­ces­sor model 28.380FT, the new FAW 33.420FT looks likely to get good sup­port from the mar­ket.

FAW says that cus­tomers are al­ready or­der­ing for var­i­ous ap­pli­ca­tions such as on-road long-haul, short and medium haul on and off-road, side tip­pers, agri­cul­tural op­er­a­tions, con­struc­tion and min­ing.

OTHER FEA­TURES IN­CLUDE THE CHANGE OF THE SIZE OF THE FUEL TANK TO A LARGER 600l ALU­MINIUM TANK

A fleet of Afrimax’s FAW 33.330FC and 35.340FC mix­ers.

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