The Financial Manager and joint Managing Director, Arno Koch who took over the reins in 2001 carried on the tradition of using ‘no nonsense’ basic trucks with the introduction of a new brand into the fleet, the Iveco 440 Trakker with hub reduction. The overall performance of the Trakkers was the reason the pendulum swung towards Iveco to the extent that in 2005, soon after the takeover of the company by Orange River Cellars, the Trakkers were replaced by a fleet of Iveco Stralis Truck Tractors.
“The Iveco Stralis had just won International Truck of the Year and I saw this as an opportunity to break away from tradition and purchase the new model, which could save the company upwards of 40% in fuel costs alone. This meant that our saving on fuel consumption would enable the Stralis to pay for itself in five years”, said Arno Koch. Based on his financial background, Koch believes that cost management is the essence of running a transport company and has structured the company to run on extremely high standards of professionalism and accountability.
“The decision to standardise on a fleet of Iveco Stralis truck tractors which today sits at 65 units, has proved to be invaluable to the success of the company as we have developed an invaluable, strategic business partnership with Iveco which has grown from strength to strength over the years. This has enabled us to invest heavily in our in-house, Iveco-approved workshop and also our own network of technological advances such as satellite tracking and on-board cameras to ensure proficiency, reliability and safety. The technology enables us to stay in touch with the status of deliveries at all times,” added Koch.
The fleet uses GRW tanker trailers, to transport wine, ciders, fruit juices and pulped products from various locations in the Northern, Eastern and Western Cape, Namibia, Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal, for the major liquor and soft drink manufacturing companies.
Orange River Tankers is continuously upgrading its business levels by introducing enhancements to their fleet that ensure cost savings not only to themselves but their customers as well. The introduction of Iveco Euro V models into the fleet has prompted the installation of an aD Blue dispensing facility on site in Upington which will be extended to their depots in the major centres. Also, a Nitrogen plant has been built at the head office in Upington to ensure fleet tyre pressures are kept constant, thereby contributing to reducing fuel consumption.
The company is gearing itself to a different level of operation by diversifying into cross border transport with the addition of ten new Iveco 440 Trakkers with single reduction axles. These vehicles have been specified to meet the challenges of cross border operation especially with fuel saving and driver comfort in mind. An additional independent air-conditioning system is fitted to the vehicles to provide climate control in the cab whilst the engine is switched off. This ensures that Orange River Tankers can provide a comfortable working and living environment for their drivers, who often spend very long periods of time waiting to cross borders, whilst simultaneously eliminating the costly fuel consumption that would result from the excessive idling that would otherwise ensue.
The infrastructure of Orange River Tankers places it in a category of being a world class transport company that has a grasp on the financial potential of activities that prevent their staff from slipping back into bad habits even after official driving programmes have been completed. The driver is the key for achieving the highest efficiency in a transport fleet so the annual “Driver of the Year” competition, held recently in Upington offered Orange River Tanker drivers the opportunity to be made aware of road safety and also created a platform to compete with each other, thereby honing their skills at a high level.
The competition was started in 2010 with the involvement of the Department of Transport in the Northern Cape . Orange River Tankers realised the importance of the event and continued with the competition as an annual in-house event for their own drivers.
“The competition, now with the involvement of our suppliers as sponsors, has become an important event in the annual calendar of the company. It helps us towards team building and to focus on some core values such as communication, involvement and safety which are key elements in the “Arrive Alive” campaign. Also it gives me an opportunity to communicate, on a one on one level with my drivers who spend so much time on the road away from our base in Upington,” says Arno Koch.
“Orange River Tankers is fully dedicated to driver training and has introduced a learnership programme, which has been in existence for five years, employing persons who have a minimum of a code 8 licence, to be trained as long distance drivers. The successful learners obtain an International Certificate in Professional Driving at the end of twelve months and are integrated into the driver’s pool. We firmly believe that in order to remain competitive we need to upskill our employees to the highest level in their respective area of expertise. Well trained drivers bring benefits in the form of reduced insurance premiums, improvements in fuel economy, reduction in wear and tear costs and higher residual values because vehicles have been better looked after,” concluded Koch.
Iveco is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI). Iveco designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, off-road trucks, and vehicles for applications such as off-road missions. The brand’s wide range of products include the Daily, a vehicle that covers the 3 – 7 ton vehicle weight segment, the Eurocargo from 6 – 16 tons, the Trakker (dedicated to off-road missions) and the Stralis, both over 16 tons. In addition, the Iveco Astra brand builds off-road trucks, rigid and articulated dumpers as well as special vehicles. Iveco employs close to 21,000 individuals globally. It manages production sites in 7 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America where it produces vehicles featuring the latest advanced technologies. 4,200 sales and service outlets in over 160 countries guarantee technical support wherever an Iveco vehicle is at work. For further information about Iveco: www.iveco.com For further information about CNH Industrial: www.cnhindustrial.com
For further information, please contact: Iveco South Africa Marketing
Tel. 011 205 3700