The 18 gleaming rigs may have been the focus of attention, but leading the (controlled, 80 km/hour) charge were teams of fully equipped emergency medical personnel. ER24 was the third-man participant in Truck Test 2012 for two important reasons.
With numerous branches along the main road connecting Johannesburg and Durban, ER24 knows about the number of truck-related accidents that occur on this 600 km-plus stretch of road.
“We felt it was important to offer our support for two reasons,” says ER24 marketing manager Marc Fourie. “Firstly, knowing the road so well put us in the ideal position to offer prompt assistance if required. Secondly, trucks are obviously a major concern with regards to road safety, and as a national emergency medical partner, we wanted to show our support and acknowledgement of the work the logistics industry is doing to improve the safety of these vehicles.”
ER24 made sure it had relevant information on all participants before the event. “Medical aid and Workmen’s Compensation information was all on file to make sure there wouldn’t be any delays in anyone receiving hospital treatment if it came to that,” says Fourie.
The company provided emergency support along the route through its various branches, with each area office looking after a particular section of the road to ensure that immediate assistance was on hand. “The branch teams are familiar with the route and the safety challenges each section provides,” says Fourie.
As participants left the City of Gold, they were escorted by emergency vehicles from ER24’s Johannesburg branch, with a replacement from the company’s Vaal office taking over in the Villiers area. Closer to Harrismith, the Bethlehem branch took over, and on the other side of Ladysmith, towards Mooi River, ER24’s Pietermaritzburg troops met the participants. The Durban branch led the trucks along the final stretch to Dube TradePort (the passenger and airfreight hub incorporating King Shaka International Airport at La Mercy, some 30 km north of Durban) where they also took part in the Truck Test 2012 parade on Monday, May 21.
ER24 also provided access to its National Emergency Contact Centre number.
Fourie echoes the sentiments of many when he says trucks are a major concern when it comes to road safety. “We appreciate that, with responsible operators, truck safety can greatly increase.”
He lauds Truck Test 2012 for testing and highlighting the safety aspects of trucks to drivers and others in the industry.
“South Africa’s entire economy is hinged on the transport industry,” he says. “That’s why we wanted to support the test – to show our support for this sector.”
So even though the general public may regard trucks as unsafe monstrosities polluting South African roads – Truck Test 2012 and ER24 have shown that being responsible while doing a responsible job needn’t be a drag.