Long-haul Luminaries

Long-haul Luminaries

Cargo Motors and LOUTRANS believe in the power of Freightliner products to ensure they remain at the head of South Africa’s marathon trucking pack.

As an emerging economy, South Africa faces many socio-economic challenges, not least of which is the growing pressure on its land-based logistics infrastructure, where heavy-duty trucks play the predominant role in moving freight from city to city, harbour to inland distribution centre.

As the country’s logistics requirements intensify, the more competitive becomes its truck transport industry, with truck OEMs from Europe, the Americas and Asia vying for market share in an industry that is constantly striving to improve cost efficiency and lower operational risk. Consequently, it is those truck suppliers who offer a quality vehicle backed by rigorous aftersales customer support who take pride of place in SA’s leading road freight fleets.

One such fleet is LOUTRANS, a dedicated long-haul road freight operation based in Trompsburg, south of Bloemfontein, that has built its reputation on the power and reliability of Freightliner trucks.

According to Lourens Terreblanche, owner of LOUTRANS, “we run 60 6×4 truck tractors pulling tautliner interlink trailers all across the country. Of these rigs, 52 are Freightliners.” The most recent 20 units supplemented the fleet in a deal with Cargo Motors Germiston, a franchised dealership in the Imperial Group.

LOUTRANS has been in operation since 1998 and employs 125 people, the bulk of whom are highly skilled long-haul truck drivers.

“LOUTRANS swears by the power, reliability and economy of two Freightliner models, the Argosy 90 DDC440 and the Argosy 90 CUM500. These truck tractors have become legends in the world of long-haul trucking by proving consistently to be the most cost effective long-haul vehicles. This gives operators like ourselves a competitive advantage, and our customers, in turn, benefit from the economical and effective service we can offer,” says Terreblanche.

Equipped with Eaton-Fuller 18-speed Autoshift transmissions, air suspension and ABS braking systems, both Argosy derivatives have a maximum pulling capacity of 60 000 kg and come standard with dual
492 litre fuel tanks, helping to optimise in-service hours. The engines are fuelled via common-rail injection configured to Euro3 emissions specifications.

“The support we get from our Freightliner dealers extends well beyond simply supplying us with new trucks. Driver training is a core focus at LOUTRANS and as a result our drivers are fully conversant with the technologies in both Freightliner models,” adds Terreblanche.

To assist in keeping its vehicle uptime at optimum levels, LOUTRANS has its own accredited workshop at the Trompsburg depot. “The power-to-weight ratios of both Argosy models help keep drive-line wear at acceptable levels and the auxiliary brake technologies from Jacobs and Cummins help promote safety and greater service life on brake linings, as well as improving fuel consumption and trip times,” Terreblanche explains.

“In the long-haul game, predictability is everything and to achieve this, teamwork between fleet and truck supplier is crucial. The two-year/400 000 km warranty on the drivetrains and five-year/800 000 km on the engines of both Argosy models bring LOUTRANS much needed peace of mind. In an industry that will try its best to keep you up all night, this is priceless,” concludes Terreblanche.

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