Some powerful new models are stepping out of the Renault stable, French designed but evidently built for Africa.
When we think “France” most of us think Champs Elysees, designer clothes, yappy poodles peeking out of some waif’s handbag, wine, cheese and baguettes. If we travel a little further back in history however, some of us might stumble upon the thoughts “French Revolution”, “Napoleon” and that the French might just be a pretty powerful force to reckon with after all. And indeed, the French Revolution, starting back in 1789, is one of the most famed revolutions of all time, with the French celebrating it to this day as Bastille Day.
Now, a good 220 years later, Renault Trucks is continuing this philosophy of strategic power-play by placing itself where it is needed the most. African conditions are known to be some of the hardest to traverse, with dirt roads, massive potholes and extreme weather conditions. Renault has therefore found it to be a niche market for its product range of construction trucks that boast quality and sturdiness. Already a raging success in countries such as Cameroon and the DRC, Renault sees its next strategic point as South Africa.
As Alan Caugant, managing director of Renault Trucks South Africa, points out, “The Renault Trucks Construction range is ‘built to build’. They are suitable for the toughest heavy duty assignments and have exact precision.” Now in 2010, two more vehicles are being added to the already impressive product line-up, ensuring that there really is a vehicle available for every application. The first addition is the XTREM version of the Kerax 8×4. This vehicle offers added frame reinforcement and rear suspensions with
38 tons load capacity, making it the most robust vehicle of its category.
The second is the new Premium Lander OptiTrack. This vehicle is fitted with a system that enables the vehicle to switch between the 4×2 and 4×4 modes at the touch of a button on the dashboard. The switch is achieved through the use of two hydraulic motors incorporated into the wheel hubs. This enables the vehicle to have enough power to overcome any tricky situation.
The Renault Trucks Construction range can now be said to fully cater to every activity within the construction sector. The highly versatile and reliable vehicles are capable of carrying maximum loads and are safe and efficient. Caugant adds that Renault Trucks can guarantee “reliability and resilience under the most intensive of operating conditions all year round”. He laughs that this should not be mistaken for French arrogance; it is merely confidence in his product.
An important factor for any operator is that Renault Trucks vehicles run on optimum levels of fuel consumption, keeping costs down as well as reducing carbon emissions. This is made possible through its Optifuel Solutions programme, which involves both full control over fuel consumption and training for good driving practices. A feature of this programme, the Optidriver+ gearbox – which saves 3% in fuel consumption when compared to a manual gearbox – is fitted as standard on every Kerax.
Each of Renault Truck’s products is put through a rigorous testing schedule before being released onto the market. The Kerax, for instance, was driven the equivalent of
6 million kilometres on test tracks involving bumps, dirt tracks, gradients and fords.
Once the vehicles have been brought onto the market, Renault Trucks’ extensive service plan including 24/7 emergency assistance, ensures that customers are kept happy. Vive le France!