VW Titan chosen to ferry MAN bus chassis and truck tractors

Leading South African heavy commercial vehicle ferrying company, Siyaduma Auto Ferriers, has purchased a Volkswagen Titan truck tractor to transport MAN and Volkswagen bus chassis and truck tractors from the MAN assembly plant in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, to bus bodybuilding plants and dealerships in Gauteng.

The Volkswagen Titan 19.320 forms part of the latest Constellation range of truck tractors supplied to MAN Truck & Bus Africa by MAN Latin America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MAN SE in Germany.

Launched in 1998 by Nicola Scott, Siyaduma Auto Ferriers has depots in Johannesburg, Rosslyn, Durban and Port Elizabeth. The company is contracted by no less than 11 commercial vehicle manufacturers, including MAN Truck & Bus Africa, to deliver new vehicles from production sites and vehicle assembly plants to dealerships and customers around the country and cross-border.

Siyaduma employs some 150 Code 10 and Code 14 professional drivers. Working in pairs on the carrier, Siyaduma drivers conduct extensive long-haul duty and demand power, safety and comfort from the vehicles they drive.

According to Siyaduma’s training manager, Dries Strydom, “Our driver team operates 24/7 and is trained on an ongoing basis in all aspects of safety, defensive and economical driving. Drivers are also skilled on how to load the trailer correctly to avoid unnecessary vehicle wear and cargo damage, as well as getting axle masses correct to avoid costly weighbridge penalties.”

Siyaduma’s custom-built auto-carrier trailers are supplied by local trailer manufacturer, Afrit, and carry two and three bus chassis combinations.

The new 4x2 Volkswagen Titan is powered by a Euro III Cummins (turbo-Intercooler) engine, developing 235kW of power at 2000rpm and 1288Nm of torque at 1300-1600rpm. The 16 Speed ZF manual transmission comes equipped with Servo Assisted Shifting, helping drivers remain in the optimum ‘green band’ rpm range.

“The Titan’s gross vehicle mass (GVM) is 19000kg and with the loaded trailer behind it, has a gross combination mass (GCM) of 35000kg,” says Strydom. “We generally carry around 13000kg of payload so our GCM rarely exceeds the permissible limit.”

Siyaduma’s new Volkswagen Titan 19.320 is equipped with ABS brakes, air suspension and an engine valve brake. “It certainly is a comfortable vehicle to drive and our drivers are very happy with its air-conditioned cab, air-sprung seats and radio/CD player,” adds Strydom.

The voluminous sleeper cab has a double bunk and almost two metres of standing room, all of which helping to reduce driver-fatigue on long-haul trips.

“Fuel consumption is a major concern for all commercial transporters and our VW Titan is clocking an impressive three kilometers per liter, thanks to our skilled drivers and the Titan’s on-board computer that gives drivers real-time fuel consumption readings on the instrument panel. Another bonus feature of the Titan is its 25000km service interval – 5000km more than its Asian competitor in our fleet,” concludes Strydom.