COMPLEX NATURE OF SA TRANSPORT INDUSTRY PROVIDES NICHE MARKETS FOR INNOVATIVE TRUCK OPERATORS
The transport market in South Africa nowadays requires several specialist, niche operators ranging from those able to move abnormal loads to those able to handle certain fragile or sensitive cargoes.
One of the companies that has found a niche in the latter cargo category is Consolidated Transport, Rigging and Logistics, based in Bredell, near the OR Tambo Airport. Founded in 1994 by Nico van Jaarsveld this company has grown in scope and stature over the years and now operates a fleet of 25 Hino trucks, virtually all of them fitted with Pesci cranes.
“The main reason for our success is that we understand the business and have the right equipment for the job, which has enabled us to build a solid core of loyal customers,” explained Van Jaarsveld.
“I started my working career in the electronics business as a salesman for uninterrupted power systems and learned the hard way how this type of equipment can be damaged if it is not transported correctly. This led to me buying a used truck with a crane and setting up my own company specialising in moving fragile electronic equipment.”
A quick ramp up of business with further contracts followed and, as the company has grown, it has also expanded the range of specialised services it offers. The specialities now range from moving X-ray machines to CT scanners, air conditioning equipment, generating sets and fragile electrical equipment such as transformers.
The services include cross-border deliveries in Sub Saharan Africa and countrywide in South Africa.
Over the years the company has become more and more a family business, with wife Elaine looking after the finance and son Wayne, who has a B. Com, now understudying Nico so he can take over responsibilities, while a second son, Andre, is studying law so that when he joins the company he can look after contractual obligations. Colin and Stephen Coetzee, two brothers-in-law, look after the day-to-day operations and quotations respectively.
Consolidated Transport continues to operate from a large site in Bredell and does not make use of any depots elsewhere in the country.
Regular servicing of the fleet of Hino trucks is carried out on site, with Hino East Rand looking after any repairs.
Nico van Jaarsveld says that he is very particular about oil changes and specifies top grade lubricants, with oil changes on all models other the the 700 Series taking place every 10 000km. The 700 models have an oil change every 15 000km.
The owner believes that making sure oil is clean is a major factor in the low amount of maintenance required on the Hino engines. “I have only had one engine fail and that was due to work done on it by a roadside mechanic when the truck had a problem on a delivery trip and the correct procedures were not followed.
Otherwise there are several Hinos in the fleet of 25 that have covered well over a million kilometres with no repair work required on the engine, only regular maintenance. The fleet consists of 1.5-ton, 8-ton and 14-ton models and includes freight carriers and truck-tractors.
“The fleet has been very reliable with low operating costs since I confined it to Hino trucks only from 1997,” explained Van Jaarsveld. “Reliability is very important in our type of operation where the cargo is specialised and usually has to be delivered in a specific time frame. We cannot afford breakdowns.
“All of the trucks have been bought from Hino East Rand in Benoni and for most of this time we have dealt with Jors van der Linde, who is now sales manager at the dealership and was the Hino Sales Knight of the Year in 2014. We are very satisfied with the level of service we enjoy from the Hino East Rand team. Added to this is the durability of the Hino trucks and it all adds up to making good business sense for a transport operator such as Consolidated,” concluded Van Jaarsveld.