Sharing the bounty
Bakers signs deal for most trucks yet
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.
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.