BEST TRUCKS FOR SA ROUTES
IMPERIAL Logistics has invested R1,6 million and devoted 12 months to test which truck works best on South Africa’s main delivery routes.
Francois Ehlers, technical executive at Imperial, explains that the year-long project focused on 10 premium brand 6x4 tractor trailers, which were tested twice on five different routes across South Africa using the same group of test drivers. Each driver left the starting point at the same time, to remove variables like the effect of air temperature on fuel consumption and each truck carried the same, full, testing load, and not a payload.
Imperial’s ultimate goal was to develop a cost of ownership model for each different vehicle over five years, which factored in its fuel consumption on the different routes. Drivers also scored the trucks’ comforts in the each cab as well ease of access to check filters in and outside the cabin, but the trucks emerged more or less even in ergonomics.
Ehlers said the final score showed some trucks were more fuel efficient than others at altitude, and likewise, some outperformed others at sea level. There are clearly different trucks for different operations and different routes. The vehicle selection model now enables the group to shortlist trucks from the premium brands that are best suited for each route, and focus on adding these to its substantial fleet of more than 5 300 vehicles.