Nyati Cross Border chooses MAN for DRC operations

Nyati Cross Border, a specialised Gauteng-based long-haul truck operation recently procured four MAN TGS 33.440 BBS 6x4 truck tractors to augment its fleet of 17 heavy-duty American trucks.

Formed in 2008 to render cross border transportation services into the SADC countries, Nyati Cross Border is contracted to Cargo 2 Congo cc, specialising in the transportation of mining equipment to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and returning with copper concentrate and cobalt loads.

According to Friedel Kirstein, co-director of Nyati Cross Border, “my partner, Jan Potgieter and I were looking for a more robust truck to handle the harsh operating conditions in the DRC’s mining region where over 600km of bad gravel road needs to be negotiated by our vehicles. We consulted with colleagues in the mining industry and the MAN TGS 33.440 drew the strongest recommendations.”

The new 440hp MAN TGS 33.440s will carry in the region of 35 tons of payload on flatdeck interlink trailers, notching up 4 500km per month. The primary features that give the TGS 33.440 the edge over its competitors in this demanding application are its impressive torque delivery of 2100Nm at 1000-1400rpm, its high ground clearance (364mm at front axle), rugged steel suspension and hub reduction axles for greater tractive force in muddy conditions. Additionally, steel bumpers and belly plates add to the build-strength of the vehicle.

With Nyati Cross Border drivers on the road for several weeks at a time, cab and ride comfort are crucial to help limit driver fatigue. A premium-class truck tractor, the TGS 33.440 is equipped with MAN’s automated TipMatic 12-speed gearbox with two reverse gears and an intarder for greater breaking efficiency and optimum fuel consumption. An orthopaedic bunk, air-conditioning and an air-sprung driver seat contribute to the overall ergonomics of the TGS sleeper cab.

“Our drivers were quite clear when the issue of a new truck model for the fleet arose,” says Kirstein. “They wanted MAN. Besides the remarkable mechanical abilities of the TGS, MAN offers the best maintenance and aftersales support in the industry. The TGS’s four-year/600 000km warranty and MAN’s 24/7 roadside assist services in the DRC went a long way to help clinch the deal.”

MAN driver trainers Uys Odendaal and Blackie Swarts ensured Nyati Cross Border’s drivers’ full competency behind the wheel of the new TGS before commencing duty in the trucks.

Tsietsi Nkoba, Strategic Account Manager, MAN Truck & Bus SA drew accolades from Potgieter and Kirstein for his willingness to spend time with them in order to fully service their specific needs.

“We are a unique operation with clearly defined CPK (cost-per-kilometre) benchmarks. The new MAN TGS will help us be more competitive by improving our turnaround times while lowering our total cost of ownership,” concludes Kirstein.