Hino vice pres­i­dent turns truck driver to de­liver new unit

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT -

ERNIE Traut­mann, the vice pres­i­dent of Hino SA, who re­cently ob­tained his Code 14 truck driv­ing li­cence, per­son­ally de­liv­ered a 6x4 Hino 700-Se­ries 2848, the latest ad­di­tion to the fleet of Transvaal Heavy Trans­port (THT), to the com­pany’s head of­fice in Al­rode.

Traut­mann is now ac­tively en­cour­ag­ing his col­leagues to fol­low his ex­am­ple and ob­tain a heavy duty li­cence.

THT, which has a to­tal fleet of 65 bakkies, freight car­ri­ers and truck-trac­tors as well as more than 100 trail­ers, is a long-stand­ing Hino cus­tomer, hav­ing bought the first Hino, a Su­per Dol­phin, in 1986.

There are cur­rently 40 Hino trucks in the THT fleet, with the latest ad­di­tions be­ing two 6x4 700-Se­ries 2848 truck-trac­tors supplied by Hino East Rand and fin­ished in the com­pany’s dis­tinc­tive green and red colour scheme.

The com­pany fleet in­cludes the full range of Hino trucks, be­ing six Hino 300-Se­ries/Toy­ota Dy­nas, eight 500-Se­ries, 20 700Series and six Su­per Dol­phins. In ad­di­tion there are 10 Toy­ota Hilux bakkies and eight Toy­ota Avanza pan­el­vans.

THT must be one of the long­est run­ning pri­vately-owned trans­port fleets in South Africa, hav­ing been es­tab­lished by GHJ Swanepoel in 1961 and reg­is­tered as a com­pany in 1967. Sampie Swanepoel, the son of the founder and present CEO, joined his fa­ther’s busi­ness in 1986 and has con­tin­ued on the very suc­cess­ful path walked by his fa­ther from those early days.

THT em­ploys about 160 peo­ple, with 60 of them be­ing driv­ers and another 60 be­ing driver as­sis­tants as the pol­icy at the com­pany is to al­lo­cate a driver to each spe­cific truck so that he knows he is re­spon­si­ble for it in all as­pects of its us­age, from ser­vic­ing to its ap­pear­ance. The older and more ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers get the latest trucks.

All the ve­hi­cles in the THT fleet are fit­ted with C-Track track­ing and telem­at­ics sys­tems for re­al­time mon­i­tor­ing which is prov­ing an ad­van­tage for the oper­a­tions team.

The com­pany spe­cialises in ab­nor­mal loads with a wide va­ri­ety of trail­ers that can move loads of up to 100 tons.

Most of the THT cus­tomers are in the min­ing and con­struc­tion in­dus­tries but over the years THT, with its ver­sa­tile fleet, has un­der­taken trans­port con­tracts for com­pa­nies and or­gan­i­sa­tions in most sec­tors of the lo­cal econ­omy.

THT op­er­ates not only in South Africa, but also in Namibia, Botswana, Zim­babwe, Zam­bia and Mozam­bique with some con­tracts last­ing sev­eral months, such as one in Jeffrey’s Bay where THT was re­spon­si­ble for trans­port­ing all the huge com­po­nents for erect­ing a big wind farm.

Sampie Swanepoel says that in view of the com­par­a­tively short dis­tances trav­elled each day by his trucks he keeps them for be­tween 10-15 years or one mil­lion kilo­me­tres, so dura­bil­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity over a long pe­riod are crit­i­cal and this is one of the main rea­sons he is so loyal to Hino.

The THT se­nior ex­ec­u­tive says he has no trou­ble get­ting rid of his used trucks as they are well main­tained and regularly ser­viced by the dealer dur­ing the war­ranty pe­riod and af­ter that at the in-house work­shop in Al­rode. He also quotes good fuel econ­omy and a low life­cy­cle cost as another rea­son for buy­ing Hino trucks.

PHOTO: QUICK­PIC

Sampie Swanepoel wel­comes Hino’s Ernie Traut­man to the main de­pot of THT in Al­rode.

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