Workhorses that work

Workhorses that work

Alan McAslan, MD of RB & Son Transport KZN, didn’t hesitate to look to Scania’s stable when the need arose for the company to acquire a heavy-duty truck-tractor … and he seems to have been spot-on with his gut feeling, as FOCUS discovers.


The words “charismatic” and “hard-charging” describe Alan McAslan, managing director of RB & Son Transport KZN, perfectly. He’s absolutely passionate about his role, and with the utmost professionalism thrown in for good measure, embodies the company’s motto of “One Step Ahead”.

The company specialises in the handling and transport of hazardous and general goods countrywide. “We’re a small, dynamic and passionate transport slash warehousing company offering additional value,” McAslan explains. This includes services such as container cross-hauls; container packing and unpacking; consolidation; local and national distribution; fully compliant and secure warehousing and storage; and less-than-container-load expertise.

RB & Son Transport is comprehensively insured with a R1,2 million goods-in-transit policy equating to R40 000 per tonne. There’s also a R20 million environmental policy to cover any single mishap, including possible spillage, clean-up costs and pollution liability.

“Only one percent of operators in the South African road transport industry have the same R20 million cover,” says McAslan, adding that the company has earned the coveted and internationally recognised Safety and Quality Assessment System (SQAS) certification, with “Preferred Status”.

One would expect the man who has played a vital role in all this to be fussy about the kind of vehicles used to haul cargo … and he is. “I love European trucks, and for me, it’s Scania all the way,” notes McAslan.

The decision to use Scania wasn’t a mere emotive one, however. The company was approached to move specialised cargo from Johannesburg to East London, thus a major contributing factor was that the vehicles be able to accommodate a double crew for the long haul.

McAslan did look into a few other stables, doing a costing model covering several different products that eventually saw Scania’s offering come out trumps. It was the only manufacturer offering a machine of the necessary size meeting the requirement.

Enter the Scania P250, a truck that’s renowned for its ability to cope with high volume payloads and frequent stops and starts. With a high-torque Scania in-line turbo-diesel engine as its heartbeat, the cab gives drivers ample working space as well as easy cab access.

The company bought two of them, and McAslan is delighted. “They’re just superb,” he says, adding that operating costs are a mere 23 cents per kilometre, while fuel consumption is much better than expected – each of the P250s racks up a hassle-bereft, trauma-free 21 000 km a month.

And this is just the start of the company’s Scania fleet. McAslan doesn’t just talk; plans are already in place to bolster the fleet with a quartet of Scania R460s, which also use frugal, 13-litre in-line turbo-diesel engines.

“The four new Scanias will have onboard weight measuring systems,” says McAslan. This will reduce under- and over-loading, and add a further high-tech edge to the company’s operations.

McAslan elaborates: “Our customers can now log in and record their requirements directly on our website, and also view work in progress. It’s a win-win situation. It provides better transparency and service for our customers while at the same time reducing office administration. It means we can devote more time to other aspects of our excellent customer service.”

And he says that when it comes to moving goods, “It will be Scania all the way as we continue to stay ‘One Step Ahead’!”

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