Truck­ers vie for top prizes

City Lo­gis­tics stages first com­pe­ti­tion for top driv­ers

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

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.

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