Engen has been an organising partner behind the Truck Test series since its inception. GAVIN MYERS engages in some questions and answers with Lindsay Bassett, Engen Commercial Fuels key account manager: transport, to understand why participation in the test is so important to the company
What sort of participation will Engen have in the test this year and which Engen garages will be used?
At the moment we will sponsor the fuel. The test is planned to start from Super Park (the head office of Super Group) in Isando. We’ll use the Belfast One Stop on the N4 (on both legs) for brunch, with Lebombo Truck Stop at Komatipoort being used as the overnight parking facility and for refuelling between the two legs of the trip.
What are the Truck Stop/One Stop managers’ thoughts regarding the test?
Retail highway sites, such as Belfast Engen 1 Stop and Lebombo Engen Truck Stop, rely heavily on the service levels that they provide (including secure parking facilities, food offerings, competitive fuel pricing, and so on) to attract business on to their forecourts. “Word of mouth” references are very important in their endeavours and Truck Test 2015 allows these Engen sites to showcase their hospitality and facilities to the transport industry.
Their prompt and positive responses when we approached them to become involved, clearly demonstrates their commitment to the truckers travelling on the N4.
What value does Engen see in the Truck Test programme?
By far the biggest value that Truck Test offers is the information, which appears when the results are published. This affords transport companies a clearer picture of the performance of the tested vehicles, under controlled conditions, but on public roads. This can assist them to make more informed buying choices.
This year’s test, which will include identical trailers and loads behind the participating truck tractors, will provide an even more relevant comparison of performance. It is extremely important for Engen to be able to demonstrate our commitment to the transport industry (one in which Engen is the largest supplier of fuel), by partnering with Truck Test 2015.
What has Engen learned from its participation in the Truck Test series over the years?
The camaraderie between truckers and the dedication of the original equipment manufacturers to produce the best, safest and most fuel-efficient vehicles possible, stand out as features. In addition, the recognition that Engen receives from stakeholders within the transport industry, has confirmed how valuable Engen’s support of the Truck Test programme is.
Have any of your clients ever commented on Truck Test and/or your involvement in it?
Each year, since 2012 when the Truck Test series began, we have received numerous positive comments from many of our transport customers. Generally, the sentiment is one of appreciation for Engen’s support of what is seen by many transporters as a true “value-add” to their businesses … the ability to make better-informed choices on vehicles for specific applications, due to information gathered during the Truck Test programme.
What do you think of the new route this year?
The Johannesburg to Komatipoort route is ideal for this year’s test of 6×4 truck tractors, because of the length of the route and the fact that it includes a variety of road conditions, with plenty of significant gradients. It is a route that accurately and realistically represents typical routes plied by 6×4 combinations, and will provide valuable information on comparative vehicle performance.
Engen is well represented along the N4 route and is proud to be able to showcase two of our trucker-friendly sites.
How do you think this year’s test will differ from the last running of 6x4s in 2012?
The slightly shorter duration and the fact that Truck Test 2015 will not form part of another event, such as the Road Freight Association (RFA) Convention back in 2012, will keep the focus very much on the performance of the various trucks taking part.
Hopefully, the experience gained by the organisers since 2012 will ensure an even smoother and more enjoyable two days for all those involved.
In addition, the planned “group braai”, at the Komatipoort Golf Club, between the two legs, should be a good opportunity for all the drivers, support crews and organisers to relax and network. Finally, the use of identical trailers on his year’s test will, no doubt, make the comparative performance information even more relevant.