A mega company’s mega commitment
Manline Mega has made history! It is the first South African company dedicated to the transport of abnormal loads to have earned Road Transport Management System (RTMS) accreditation. CHARLEEN CLARKE celebrates this success at the company’s head office in Durban.
Rogan Brent, managing director of Manline Mega, is a man on a mission – he wants to lead the way in the abnormal loads industry and says that Manline Mega’s accreditation shows its commitment to operational excellence, continuous improvement, governance and sustainability.
With depots in Durban, Johannesburg, Harare and Lusaka, Manline Mega is a substantial player in the market. It runs 50 trucks (Mercedes-Benz and Volvo; soon to be exclusively Mercedes-Benz) with the capacity to move a maximum payload of 90 t. A total of 20 new trucks are on order to cope with growth and, by the end of October this year, the entire fleet will be under a year old.
But back to the game in which Manline Mega participates. Abnormal transport has a rotten reputation – in some cases, deservedly so. Manline Mega, on the other hand, prides itself on being a reputable and ethical company. As Brent notes wryly: “I’m the world’s biggest worrier. I need to do things right – otherwise I lie awake at night.”
Practically, this smoothed the road to RTMS accreditation – because this industry-led, government-supported, voluntary, self-regulation scheme is, after all, about doing things right and sticking to the rules of the road. As one of the founders of RTMS, Paul Nordengen, from the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), explains: “RTMS is not rocket science. It’s about doing things the right way.”
Still, this accolade is not to be sneezed at – otherwise there would be scores of abnormal trucks proudly brandishing the distinctive yellow RTMS logo.
To all intents and purposes, Manline Mega sprang out of the RTMS running blocks in June last year, when the company (previously called TCS Logistics) was acquired by Barloworld Transport .
As Adrian van Tonder, chairman of the RTMS national committee and senior manager at Barloworld Transport, notes, RTMS is a way of life within the group. “We have the greatest number of RTMS-accredited vehicles in the country. As a group, we are sticking our hands up and saying we are doing things by the book. We are voluntarily complying with the rules of the road,” he explains.
Now that the company has made history within the abnormal transport industry on this continent, Brent would like to see the entire sector lift its game. And it’s clear that the sector as a whole has quite a long way to go …
According to Brent, abnormal transport is the most complicated and difficult sector in the transport industry. “Customers rely on us to move their machines safely, reliably and ethically, but the environment is complex and, unfortunately, filled with challenges. The risks are monumental and high-value loads are expected to move through Africa with no consideration for anything but price,” he reveals.
“Our RTMS is not a marketing or tick-box exercise. This is a statement to the industry, the public and the Department of Transport that we will be compliant. We will do it right and we will move the loads.
“RTMS is Manline Mega’s commitment to the public in South African and our neighbouring states that we are committed to doing business the right way and the smart way. We will not play in this industry with anything other than 100-percent commitment to this system,” Brent stresses.
Can RTMS and its increased support from the industry make a difference within this industry? We’d bet on it …