Renault woos the agricultural industry
We all know that farmers are set in their ways and their choice of vehicle brands … but Renault is set on changing their minds and showing how its Kerax can rough it in the veld, in the fields and everywhere in between.
According to Rory Kirton, national sales manager for Renault Trucks Southern Africa, the attendance at this year’s annual Nampo Agricultural Trade Show (which took place from May 14 to 17, just outside Bothaville in the Free State) has been good for the company. “A lot of the visitors showed a keen interest in our vehicles,” he points out.
This is great for Renault as Kirton says that the show was all about creating brand awareness. “Renault is always looking for ways to increase brand awareness,” he explains. “A lot of people have come to find us at the show.”
So Renault could strut its trucking stuff and show all that it has to offer. “We’re trying to find the right positioning, the right market segmentation for our brand,” states Kirton. And this year’s Nampo show – themed “Technology for sustainable production” – offered the ideal platform to show just how much of a boer the French can be.
“The Kerax is well poised for the agricultural sector because of its high payload,” Kirton points out. “It is a heavy-duty off-road vehicle, making it ideal for roughing it on the farm.” The vehicle is available in two chassis models, medium and heavy, with the 8×4 medium version sporting a 20-tonne carrying capacity. The 8×4 heavy derivative can handle a payload of up to 30 tonnes. However, the Renault Kerax range is also available in 4×2, 4×4, 6×4 and 6×6 configurations.
A new, even more resilient quality of steel, with internal reinforcement gauged to match the demands of any application, offers high torsion resistance with no risk of deformation. This enables the Kerax chassis to handle anything that challenging operating conditions can throw at it.
The chassis, which is assembled by bolting and riveting, is also straight and smooth throughout its entire usable length and features pre-drilled side members, a specific overhang for each application, fixings with brackets or plates and pre-fittings for various items of equipment – making it ideal for the farming community that often requires odd bins and body sizes for its operations.
Renault’s Kerax also has a 385 mm ground clearance underneath the front axle sets, enabling it to trot over anything and everything on the most untamed farm routes.
However, payload and ground clearance mean nothing without power and the Kerax has a range of DXi11 Euro-3 engines to choose from. The three variants respectively offer 243 kW, 279 kW and 321 kW at 1 900 r/min – with 1 650 Nm and 1 900 Nm of torque being offered between 1 000 to 1 440 r/min for the first two derivatives, and 2 000 Nm between 1 000 to 1400 r/min for the big boy.
This power is delivered to the wheels via the Optidriver+ automated gearbox, which offers 12 forward speeds and two for reverse. “A lot of farmers are used to the old manual gearboxes, but the vehicles we’ve brought along all have automatic gearboxes, which are proving to be more fuel efficient, easier to run and offer the drivers a more comfortable drive,” says Kirton. “Many farmers are saying that they want something that is easy to manage and convenient to drive, which the Kerax is providing – throwing toughness into the mix as well.”
Renault, with its heavy-duty Kerax range, is proving that it is well poised for the agricultural industry, providing a can do vehicle for all who make a living from the land and provide food for the masses, or who just need a tough workhorse for whatever application.
Grab the next edition of FOCUS for an in-depth report back on Nampo and more on what the show meant for Renault Trucks Southern Africa.