MAN and VW support SA’s farmers
The forthcoming annual Nampo agricultural show is the ideal place to engage with local farmers and offer them meaningful business solutions, according to MAN Truck & Bus South Africa. MICHAEL BRANDT explores this approach to customer care.
The farming industry is important to the MAN and Volkswagen Truck (VW) brands globally, according to Dave van Graan, head of truck sales of MAN Truck & Bus SA. “A wide range of the company’s products can be adapted to meet the needs of the industry to support all types of farmers,” he says. “At local level we understand the needs of farmers and that’s why, year on year, we display our products at Nampo.”
Livingstone Mulaudzi, head of product management at MAN Truck & Bus SA. elaborates: “Nampo is an ideal platform to engage with local farmers and listen to their requirements and problems. Farming is essential to the economy and reliable and efficient transport plays a vital role in the daily well-being of the country.”
On display at this year’s Nampo will be several models from the MAN/VW large-vehicle portfolio that can serve multiple applications ideally suited to agricultural and general farming needs.
The TGM 18.280 4×2 BB (L) long-wheelbase freight carrier is used in medium- to long-distance deliveries of light loads. Its robust parabolic suspension enables farmers to deliver fresh produce, and it has a sleeper cab. This versatile truck is also popular with a cattle body.
The VW Constellation 24.250 6×2 BB (L) long-wheelbase, rigid platform with steel suspension all round, is generally used with a flat deck and/or tautliner body and, with a gross combination mass of 35 t, can also pull a draw-bar trailer.
Also being showcased are two very popular truck tractors for long-haul, on-road use – the TGS 26.480 6×4 BLS (LX) with air suspension at the rear (particularly suitable for fragile goods) and the TGS 27.440 6×4 BBS (LX) with steel suspension.
The TGS 27.440 is one of MAN’s most versatile truck tractors that can be used for multiple purposes. With a suitable temperature-controlled van body semi-trailer, it is ideal for long-distance transportation of fresh produce directly from the farm to the market. Both models have sleeper cabs.
The TGM 25.280 6×2 BLL is ideal for distribution with a van or refrigerated body. It has air suspension for fragile loads, and a sleeper cab.
The TGM 18.280 and 25.280, and the VW 24.250 long-wheelbase models (our cover star) allow large loading platforms for optimal mass distribution or maximum-volume loads common in agricultural applications.
The CLA 26.280 6×4 BB (K) chassis is ideal for tipper operations for loads such as grain, fertilizer and organic compost that require ease of unloading. The tipper can traverse difficult terrain and is a versatile support vehicle.
Another interesting option is the TGM 25.280 from TopUsed, MAN-certified used vehicles giving an affordable solution to potential customers.
Vehicle operators have begun to understand that the most important consideration in running a vehicle is the “total cost of ownership” element. After-sales service is also important. “Some larger operators like farming groups can qualify as self-service operators and are monitored to our standards,” says Mulaudzi.
A fleet of mobile service vehicles can examine and service vehicles at outlying sites. If the maintenance or service cannot be completed on site, the vehicle is removed to a dealer for attention.
“We look at all vehicle solutions throughout the entire farming and agricultural value chain, and can adapt our vehicles to service every stage of the chain,” explains Mulaudzi. “We examine all operations including: service vehicles on the farms, long-haul operations, main centre markets, local retail distribution, and vehicles used for moving livestock.”
“MAN offers a truly complete service to support farmers, so that they can concentrate on the core business of farming,” Van Graan concludes.