Truckers vie for top prizes
City Logistics stages first competition for top drivers
CITY Logistics last weekend held its first top drivers’ competition, with 10 finalists competing in the worthy event for KZN fleet operators.
Logistics guru in KZN, Dave Scott, was on hand to report on the event for Fleeetwatch, alongside
Wheels, as both titles want to encourage KZN’s many fleet operators to follow City Logistics’ lead by hosting more driver of the year competitions in order to raise safety on SA’s roads.
The first prize of R10 500 in City Logistics’ competition went to Samson Mofokeng, the second prize of R7 500 to Anesh Sundar and the third prize of R5 500 to Gilbert Chimvinga.
All 10 City Logistics’ finalists were treated to a gala dinner on the night before the day-long competition. At his speech during the gala dinner, City Logistics’ national fleet manager Clint Brooke hinted at one of the reasons why City Logistics has grown so fast.
In explaining why each of the prizes ended on R500, he said this was for the drivers, as he knew the rest would go to the wives.
All the drivers who Wheels spoke to said City is the first company they have driven for that gives them time with their families, instead of trying to squeeze in another “quick” six-day trip to Cape Town.
Transport director Anthony Naicker said the safety of both drivers and loads is paramount at City. No truck will leave the yard if there is not enough time in the day to reach the next depot within the company’s stipulated hours.
The test day started with a tough theoretical multiple-question exam, followed by even tougher practicals hosted by Jonke training. (One of the easier questions in the exam asked how much faster a tyre would wear if the tyres pressure went down by 0,7% bar.) For the practical test, the drivers were rated on their rig inspection before being rated on the road, and in the yard they had to execute a difficult alley dock with a three-axle trailer, then turn the rig in a tight space before snaking through a lane without touching the obstacles. The space was very tight and in the ribald but tense atmosphere, very few drivers managed to dock their rig without making several small mistakes.
Brook said the weekend’s event was City’s first competition, based on similar driver competitions conducted at Spar. Drivers were selected on their Mercedes-Benz Fleetboard scores. The Fleetboard system awards points up to 10 for smooth driving and the best in South Africa at the moment is 9,95.
To get to such a score, a driver has to be one with the topography of the route, concentrating every second to feed just enough diesel into the engine on the inclines and use the momentum of the load to maintain speed down hills.
Good truck drivers don’t touch the brakes unless it is to bring the rig to a gentle stop. As the saying goes: “Bad drivers brake, good drivers regulate”, which is why truck drivers get antsy when a motorist nips in front of the truck’s nose, only to realise too late there is no space and then slam on brakes.
Explaining the various names connected to City, from Couriers to Linehaul, marketing manager at City Logistics, Tessa Geyser, said City Logistics is the new umbrella name for the group which has grown organically since its dyslexic founder Richard Fisher saw a gap to deliver legal documents in Durban in 1988. But their long-standing clients just call them “City”.
City Logistics’ top 10 drivers:
Thomas Moletsane Charles Baleni Micheal Govender Paul Nyikadzino Anesh Sundar (second) Henk Goosen Samson Mofokeng (first) Gilbert Chimvinga (third Sifelani Sibanda Peter Mawononga.