Say hello to my litre friend
Engen was excited by the move to eight tonners for Truck Test 2013, as a large number of its customers form part of this market segment. But this isn’t the only reason the company joined the Truck Test bandwagon once again.
Engen’s key accounts manager of commercial fuels, Lindsay Bassett, says that the company received a lot of goodwill and positive feedback from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and from its customers regarding last year’s event, which – coupled with the importance of the transport industry to the company – inspired Engen to get involved with Truck Test 2013.
“Engen has four key account managers, each responsible for a different market sector,” explains Bassett. “The fact that the transport industry represents one of these sectors, which is also the sector to which Engen supplies the most of its diesel, demonstrates the importance of this market to us.”
He adds that the company is, therefore, always looking for opportunities to demonstrate its support for the transport industry – a critical driver of South Africa’s economy – and ways to give back to this sector.
“The participation of the major truck manufacturers last year and the interest that Truck Test 2012 generated were testimony to the value of the event to OEMs as well as transport operators,” notes Bassett.
He says that Truck Test 2013 also provided various benefits to manufacturers and their customers with the biggest being the credible data (made available to all) that is obtained from the tests, which were run under controlled but realistic operating conditions. “This information is invaluable to transport operators as it can assist in their vehicle buying decisions.”
Bassett adds that the manufacturers are similarly able to gain greater insight into the performance of their particular vehicles, which they can use to market their trucks more effectively by “packaging” deals to suit their customers’ needs.
However, it would be impossible to conduct the test if the trucks didn’t run, and here is where Engen provided great assistance as it sponsored around 3 300 litres of fuel – valued just over R40 000. This is nowhere near last year’s figures, but still a massive contribution. This year’s event also presented some new challenges, but these were dealt with in a collective Truck Test 2013 team effort.
“The challenges posed by the changes from last year were very well-handled through the collaborative efforts of the organisers, sponsors and participants,” Bassett points out. “The spirit in which Truck Test 2013 was run is an indication of the success of the planning that went into the event.” He adds that the camaraderie and co-operation of all involved in Truck Test 2013 was his number one highlight.
All those who manned Umfula One-Stop, at Hartbeespoort (referred to as Engen Hartbeespoort throughout the test), were very excited and pleased to be able to participate in the event. “They were just disappointed that the test was not held after the upcoming major site revamp and upgrade, as they are looking forward to having a site that will be even more attractive and user friendly in the future,” Bassett points out.
Engen Hartbeespoort dedicated an area of its restaurant to Truck Test 2013 for the duration of the three-day event and ensured that its diesel forecourt was kept clear of the trucks that usually park there. “This enabled the participating trucks to refuel quickly and safely,” Basset explains. “And the 14 trucks were parked safely on the premises overnight on the Monday.”
At the Engen Swartruggens Garage – which served as the destination for the two trips to this farming town (one trip laden and one unladen) to simulate the intercity journeys the eight-tonne segment frequently takes – the participants, organisers and sponsors were all provided with a quick and tasty meal. No refuelling took place here, although all the trucks had a compulsory stop.
“Despite the roadworks in the town and the fact that the trucks weren’t refuelling at the Swartruggens Garage, the dealer and his staff were very pleased to be able to assist Engen’s sponsorship efforts by providing light takeaway lunches and by allowing the trucks to be parked on the forecourt for a brief lunchtime interlude,” Bassett adds.
“While very satisfied with Truck Test 2013, we believe that with more time to plan next year’s event, Truck Test 2014 should be even more successful. However, I have no doubt that the information gained from this year’s event will be of great importance to manufacturers and operators alike.”
He emphasises that the company is a strong believer in the benefits that the Truck Test concept provides to the transport industry. He adds: “Engen is looking forward to being on board for next year’s instalment of Truck Test.”
“The benefit that operators gain from the data attained from a test such as this is of great value, and it is our intention to support our customers and their industry wherever we can,” Bassett reiterates. “Assisting them in making their truck purchasing and application decisions contributes towards this goal of ours.”