Shar­ing the bounty

Bak­ers signs deal for most trucks yet

The Witness - Wheels - - MO­TOR­ING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

SINCE small be­gin­nings over 35 years ago, founder Abu- Baker Tayob has seen his com­pany grow into Bak­ers SA Lim­ited. Last week, the broadly smil­ing pa­tri­arch was one of three gen­er­a­tions who mark the han­dover of the big­gest con­sign­ment of trucks yet for the com­pany.

As is the norm of this devout Ayob fam­ily, the cer­e­mony opened with a sup­pli­ca­tion to God Almighty to grant the com­pany “barakah”, so that the staff could con­tinue shar­ing the bounty with their fam­ily, com­mu­nity and area.

Gar­den City Com­mer­cials’ Dave Walker said his re­la­tion­ship with Bak­ers goes back 26 years, and re­called how, in the BC days ( for Be­fore Com­put­ers), the founder Abu- Baker would be at work at 4 am, sin­gle- hand­edly dis­patch­ing driv­ers and loads across South Africa, a job that now re­quires 20 peo­ple.

“He has diesel in his veins and is a leg­end in the true sense of the word. It was in­cred­i­ble and amaz­ing to watch him is­sue or­ders. He worked with­out any of to­day’s tech­nol­ogy, and yet knew ev­ery hour where ev­ery driver was — and I could al­ways pop into the op­er­a­tions room for a smoke,” re­called Walker.

He thanked chief ex­ec­u­tive Ab­dul Tayob and fi­nance ex­ec­u­tive Naseem Ama­jee for be­ing tough but fair ne­go­tia­tors in what is the first “full- house” centsper- kilo­me­tre main­te­nance deal for Gar­den City Com­mer­cials.

Kobus van Zyl, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Daim­ler Trucks and Buses in south­ern Africa, re­called the con­tract was a tough one to draw up and thanked Clin­ton Sav­age and his team for the many hours they put into the spread­sheets both on the dealer side and the fi­nan­cial ser­vices side. “We love these ne­go­ti­a­tions, de­spite the blood, sweat and tears, and some­times cap­i­tal letters too,” he said.

Ab­dul gave the univer­sal greet­ing of peace and thanked all the Bak­ers’ clients for at­tend­ing the hand- over cer­e­mony.

“It is an his­toric mo­ment, tak­ing de­liv­ery of our big­gest fleet yet. We are re­ally hum­bled to achieve this mile­stone and all praise to God Almighty for mak­ing this unique deal pos­si­ble,” Tayob said. He ex­plained the his­toric cent- per- kilo­me­tre deal to main­tain the fleet us­ing Gar­den City’s ex­per­tise was more cost­ef­fec­tive than equip­ping Baker’s fa­cil­i­ties and de­pots across SA. And Ab­dul was only half jok­ing when re­minded all the guests that Bak­ers SA Ltd was al­ways open to talk busi­ness, even dur­ing the han­dover.

For­mer SA top driver and Bak­ers driver trainer Is­mail Khan said just get­ting and re­mov­ing the 101 new Ac­tros truck­trac­tors be­tween Pi­eter­mar­itzburg and the Shong­weni Eques­trian Cen­tre was a huge lo­gis­ti­cal op­er­a­tion. Bak­ers driv­ers moved the trucks in tranches stretch­ing over three days to avoid putting un­due pres­sure on the N3.

PHOTO: AL­WYN VILJOEN

Driv­ers for Bak­ers SA Ltd wait to start mov­ing the 101 new Ac­tros truck- trac­tors, af­ter Mercedes- Benz last week handed over the ve­hi­cles in the big­gest deal yet for the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg- based trans­port com­pany.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.