Hino moves Storah Farms

Ix­opo mixed trans­porter in­creases fleet of Ja­panese truck trac­tors to a round dozen

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT -

HINO trucks are prov­ing so suc­cess­ful in a mixed trans­port op­er­a­tion in KwaZulu- Natal that the op­er­a­tor, Evan Storah, of Storah Farm­ing near Ix­opo, has in­creased the num­ber of Hino trucks in his fleet from one to 12 over the past four years.

The op­er­a­tion, which in­volves Hino 700- Se­ries 2845 truck­trac­tors in haul­ing trail­ers car­ry­ing live­stock and wood chips and 700- se­ries 2845 freight car­ri­ers and trail­ers trans­port­ing loads of wooden logs, is par­tic­u­larly de­mand­ing in view of the fact that a great deal of the trans­port takes place over rough or un­made roads in forests and farms.

Evan Storah says the ma­jor at­tributes of the Hino trucks which make them ideal for his op­er­a­tion are re­li­a­bil­ity, dura­bil­ity, good fuel econ­omy, ease of main­te­nance and the over­all low run­ning costs.

“Hino has kept the ba­sic de­sign of its trucks fairly sim­ple, mak­ing them well- suited for tough off- road use, while also be­ing easy to ser­vice,” ex­plained Storah.

“Hino also has a wide net­work of deal­ers and we en­joy a par­tic­u­larly good re­la­tion­ship with our lo­cal deal­er­ship, Hino Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, which is headed up by Piet van Rom­burgh. We know we can call on Piet and his team at any time for as­sis­tance.”

Evan Storah was a man­ager on his fa­ther’s farm, near Creighton, when he took over the part- time run­ning of the farm’s ve­hi­cle fleet. When he bought the first Hino, a used 700- Se­ries in 2012 there were only five trucks in the fleet. Now there are 15 with 12 of them Hi­nos and Evan is in­volved full time in run­ning the trans­port op­er­a­tion. In fact the farm it­self is leased out these days.

The first Hino in the fleet, a 700- Se­ries 57- 450 model, was bought as a used truck from Hino Pi­eter­mar­itzburg. It is still op­er­at­ing in the fleet with more than 800 000km on the odome­ter and hav­ing re­quired lit­tle in the way of re­pairs over the years. For in­stance brake lin­ings were re­placed only at 700 000km. This first unit per­formed so well that since its in­tro­duc­tion to the Storah Farm­ing fleet Hino is the only brand of truck that Evan has bought and he plans to even­tu­ally change the whole fleet to Hino.

There are cur­rently four 700Series 2845 truck- trac­tors pulling live­stock trail­ers and a bulk wood­chip trailer to­gether with eight ex­tended chas­sis rigid 2845’ s with draw­bar trail­ers car­ry­ing wooden logs and op­er­at­ing at a GCM of 38 tons. Most of the wood is trans­ported on round trips of about 80km to Chep SA for mak­ing into pal­lets.

The Storah Farm­ing fleet cur­rently moves 5 000 tons of pine and 3 500 tons of gum an­nu­ally, to­gether with 60 tons of wood chips a day. The vol­ume trailer car­ries 32 tons or 96m3 of wood chips on 400km round trips to and from a pulp­ing plant. Live­stock is moved to and from many parts of the coun­try.

Weightech sys­tems are used to en­sure max­i­mum le­gal loads and the best pro­duc­tiv­ity. So­phis­ti­cated equip­ment from Tracker mon­i­tors driver be­hav­iour as well as keep­ing track of the trucks them­selves.

Much of the reg­u­lar main­te­nance is car­ried out weekly on the com­pany’s premises on a 20 000 km cy­cle, with any re­pairs nec­es­sary be­ing car­ried out by Hino Pi­eter­mar­itzburg.

There are 18 driv­ers on the staff, all hav­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion at the de­pot. Alec Har­ris, a com- mer­cial ve­hi­cle sales con­sul­tant at Hino Pi­eter­mar­itzburg is re­spon­si­ble for driver train­ing. Har­ris is also the link be­tween this grow­ing Hino fleet and the deal­er­ship.

The Storah Farm­ing op­er­a­tion re­mains very much a fam­ily busi­ness, with Evan’s wife, Han­dri, re­spon­si­ble for ad­min­is­tra­tion and fi­nance, while the long­est run­ning trans­port con­tract is with Evan’s fa­ther, Chris, for de­liv­er­ing bulk milk to his cheese fac­tory in Creighton.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

Evan and Han­dri Storah, of Storah Farm­ing in KwaZulu- Natal, flanked by Piet van Rom­burgh ( left), Gen­eral Man­ager of Hino Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, and Alec Har­ris ( right), Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Sales Con­sul­tant at Hino Pi­eter­mar­itzburg.

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