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Barloworld Transport Solutions buys 215 MAN trucks

On February 13th 2014, Barloworld Transport Solutions (BWTS) and its sub-sidiary, Manline, signed a deal with MAN Truck & Bus South Africa for the supply of 215 MAN TGS 26.440 6x4 truck tractors to be introduced into the BWTS and Manline fleets over a six month period (April – September 2014). The new units form part of fleet expansion (32 units) and fleet replacement (183 units) programmes within BWTS and Manline.

According to Bruce Dickson, CEO, MAN Truck & Bus South Africa, “This deal is an important milestone for MAN. The dynamic joint approach towards con-tinuous improvement shared by BWTS and MAN has enabled us to structure the best possible solution for the BWTS group.”

Commenting on the synergies unlocked by the 2013 merger between Bar-loworld Logistics’ Dedicated Transport Services division and the Manline group of companies, Neil Henderson, CEO, BWTS, states that: “The merger allowed us to combine the resources, capacities and capabilities of both businesses to offer our clients a unique suite of transport solutions and to create a platform to grow our business and grow our people. The result is an exciting combination of entrepreneurial agility and corporate muscle.”

With a partnership that stretches back to 1998, Manline and MAN Truck & Bus South Africa have established a close-knit relationship that provided the necessary impetus for the 215-truck deal, which is MAN’s biggest ever single order in its 52-year history in South Africa.

“The new units have been configured to BWTS’s custom specifications which include a steel bumper, air suspension, aluminium rims, a swing step and paint and livery applications to comply with the corporate identities of the various businesses in the BWTS Group,” states Dickson.

As an organisation committed to best-practice business principles, BWTS has stringent truck procurement criteria, with an emphasis on enhanced safety, fuel efficiency, low environmental impact, driver comfort and best-in-class total-cost-of-ownership.

“We took delivery of our first batch of MAN TGS vehicles in 2010 and the actual fuel consumption and inflation-adjusted repair and maintenance costs of all the TGS vehicles in our fleet were used in the total-cost-of-ownership calculation which underpinned the latest order,“ adds Henderson. “Further-more, employing and training professional truck drivers is core to our business. We have established a dedicated fulltime driver-selection and training team to employ and train drivers who cater to the needs of our growing business.”

The new TGS 26.440 BLS-LX truck-tractors will be deployed in three of the four BWTS business units, servicing line-haul (general freight), tipper (bulk commodities) and tanker (fuel, chemical, gas and dry bulk) customers throughout southern Africa.

“The MAN TGS 26.440 has proved itself over the last four years in all key areas. As a cross-border operation, Manline relies on MAN’s extensive sub-equatorial dealer network which includes 22 service partners and dealerships north of the Limpopo,” Dickson continues. “MAN’s Uptime Principle, along with the MAN TGS’s class-leading extended warranty and 40 000km service interval, has been extremely effective in keeping Manline’s fleet profitable and reliable.”

Powered by the Euro 2, six-cylinder, 12.419 litre in-line MAN D26 Common-rail diesel engine, the TGS 26.440 BLS-LX 6x4 truck tractor has a power rating of 440hp (324kW) at 1700-1900rpm, with a torque output of 2100Nm at 1000-1400rpm.

As a built-for-purpose longhaul prime-mover equipped with air suspension and hypoid rear axles, the MAN TGS 26.440 has a low tare mass of 8 234kg, with a Gross Combination Mass of 65 000kg, making it capable of carrying maximum permissible payloads across southern Africa.

Enhanced driver comfort and vehicle safety are top of the Manline ‘wish list’ and, accordingly, are key features of the TGS range, with MAN’s TipMatic automated manual transmission and advanced BrakeMatic braking system helping to reduce driver fatigue, improve braking performance and limit wear on drive line components and service brake linings. A double sleeper cab, orthopaedic bunks, air conditioning and a quality sound system assist in mak-ing long-haul trips all the more manageable.

Once all the new MAN TGS units have been delivered, 98% of the Manline Freight and Energy fleet of 403 trucks will comprise MAN derivatives. “The MAN TGS is our drivers’ truck of choice and our driver management systems, together with integrated vehicle telematics and fleet management tools allow us to proactively manage our on-road risk,” Henderson adds.

Acknowledging MAN Truck & Bus South Africa’s emphasis on ‘customer proximity’, Henderson closes by saying: “MAN stands behind its products, through good times and bad. Product delivery, after-sales service and cus-tomer support are more about people than they are about trucks. MAN has a good team who consistently support their products and their brand.”

Dickson concludes thus: “Manline has been a test fleet for MAN for several years and the trust Neil and his colleagues place in our new products and our service support has resulted in a working relationship that is both consistent and mutually beneficial. Ultimately, we see the success of our customers as our success and BWTS’ growth will spur MAN’s penetration into important new areas across the SADC region.”