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Scribante turns up the volume in Gauteng

“Repeat purchase is the best measure of success” as is evident from the 35 FAW mixers and tippers added recently to the fleet of Scribante Concrete, bringing FAW’s representative total in that fleet to stand at 89 units.

Pushing for growth in an economic downturn takes tenacity, carefully calculated risk profiling and considerable research, all “flavoured with a touch of foresight”.

These are the attributes displayed by Scribante Concrete, a division within the larger Scribante Construction Group, as the company expands its reach in Gauteng with the commissioning of two concrete batching facilities – one in Muldersdrift and the other in Laezonia.

Alongside some sizeable investment into plant, equipment and staffing, Scribante Concrete has expanded its fleet with the purchase of 35 additional FAW vehicles. Going into operation at the West Rand batch plants at present, the new FAW units include 27 FAW 35.340FC 8m3 mixer trucks, six FAW 33.330FC 6m3 mixer trucks, and two FAW 28.280FT side tipper trucks.

Troy Petzer, operations manager for Scribante Concrete, explains: The Scribante Construction Group saw the opportunity, crunched the numbers and with very careful consideration and planning, decided to invest and expand our Gauteng footprint.

We had the chance to acquire the sites for our batch plants. Based on a 50 kilometre radius for delivering our time-sensitive product, we secured suitable construction contracts to support our growing business, as well as enough future prospects to validate our decision to strengthen our position in Gauteng.

“We’ve been running FAW mixers and tippers in our fleet for close on three years now. Based on the total cost of ownership calculation, together with superb aftermarket service and support, our choice fell to FAW as we replaced older vehicles in the fleet and started equipping for the West Rand plants.”

“Besides the vehicles, we’ve refurbished and installed the batching plants, appointed a management team for sales and customer contact, done staffing for concrete production, also for our maintenance and service workshop, and acquired drivers for our new extended fleet. In total we’ve created over a dozen new jobs so far with this expansion.

“As we’ve done in the past, Scribante Concrete will attend to basic service and maintenance on the vehicles on-site. To this end we’ve appointed two technicians. All technical training, driver orientation and testing, as well as 24/7 parts supply is provided and guaranteed by FAW SA whom we’ve come to trust. This was a crucial element in our purchase decision,” affirms Petzer.

He certainly aims to get every ounce of work out of each vehicle. However, the performance of each unit or ‘cubes per day’ as he puts it is highly dependent on the operating environment.

Other Scribante concrete production sites in Gauteng are based in Midrand and near Kyalami Business Park. Past projects served from these sites include the upgrade of both N2 and N3 freeways, and supplying concrete for a tunnel section of the Gautrain project between Malboro and Linbro Park.

“We’re not new to the pressures of transportation in Gauteng - highways with high traffic volumes, extended peak time congestion, eTolls, and generally aggressive driver behaviour. Key to our efficiency formula is the net cost-per-cube of our concrete product. We intend to continue securing contracts, offering competitive pricing by ensuring we have a high volume throughput from our West Rand operations,” says Petzer.

Not prepared to disclose the planned output for the West Rand plants, Petzer was willing to say that the volume targets are ‘aggressive’ and will demand superior customer service on the part of Scribante. In turn, the demand on the FAW truck fleet will be for maximum uptime, easy and efficient driving, highly effective parts supply, and lowest cost of operation.

“We’re up for it. We’ve been in the business for over 16 years; we have the advantage of a strong foundation through the Scribante Construction Group; and we have the experience and know-how needed to distinguish ourselves in this highly competitive industry. “With respect to our transportation requirements, we have ‘walked the road’ with FAW and ironed out many ‘bumps’. Our relationship today is a highly collaborative one.” The specialised truck modifications required and designed by Scribante have been incorporated by FAW SA into their offering.

“These specifications can be applied to the benefit of other FAW clients for their ready-mix concrete mixer trucks,” says FAW Regional Manager, Vernon Rudman, who is the main point-of-contact for Scribante Concrete, looking to their needs regarding the FAW fleet.

“The changes requested by Scribante were approved by our parent plant; applied to the mixer trucks, chassis and mixer bodies. The continuous improvement we were able to incorporate once again underpins the value of pursuing and maintaining a close relationship with a customer.

They know their business best and we know our trucks best. Together we can improve and provide solutions that satisfy our customers’ needs.

“Together with Scribante Concrete, we at FAW SA have literally ‘refined’ our robust and durable mixer trucks to provide even stronger and longer-lasting operational efficiency. This serves both our customers’ and our own interests; really a win-win situation.

“As Scribante has shown continued support of our brand, so too will we continue to develop and improve, not only our product, but our personal service and aftermarket support,” concludes Rudman. “Scribante’s planned strategy and its success in Gauteng, depends partly on our FAW vehicles – a challenge for which we too are fully prepared.”

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The 28.380FT for BHL

“Only one truck works for Africa” – the FAW 28.380FT truck tractor says BHL

What more can a truck manufacturer wish for than a customer who not only sings the praises of its brand and its after-sales support, but also claims that for their own operation there is “only one truck that works in Africa”?

Buks van Rensburg, Managing Director of Buks Haulage Limited (BHL), which primarily uses these FAW units in its 130-vehicle fleet, has made this exceptional accolade for the FAW 28.380FT (commonly called the J5). Van Rensburg’s claim is no mere lip service. To bear out this claim, he has literally put his bucks on the table by ordering a further 100 FAW vehicles to back-up the 99 units he already has – all of them the robust FAW 28.380FT.

“I took the decision in October last year that all my replacement vehicles will be the same FAW 28.380 truck tractor in future. We use it in two configurations – one with a side-tipper trailer supplied by Afrit Trailers and the other with a flat deck.”

BHL have been running 70 of the FAW 28.380FT side-tippers, transporting copper concentrate from the mines in Zambia to the countries smelters. Thereafter the robust 29 FAW flat decks transport the beneficiated material from the smelter, over 2 400 kilometer from Ndola, Zambia, to Walvis Bay, Namibia, for export to China.

“Treacherous roads with the worst conditions ever seen – dirt tracks, potholes, sludge, sand and rubble. Hard on any truck and driver, and capable of virtually breaking the camel’s back – the vehicle’s and the driver’s – in very quick succession,” explains Van Rensburg.

However, Van Rensburg knows and understands Africa, its roads and its infrastructure. He is an astute businessman who displays a tremendous ‘get-go’ attitude that won’t baulk at an opportunity. He has hard-earned, first-hand experience of driving a truck tractor/trailer combination across the ‘worst roads imaginable’.

He is sharp and nimble in business decisions and can notch great logistics experience on his belt. Van Rensburg has run various businesses since his first start-up in 1996, Coma Transport Pty Ltd., a long haulage operation between South African destinations and Swaziland.

Being very logistics savvy Van Rensburg keeps his fleet ‘loaded’ with all return trips from Namibia to Zambia, carrying various chemicals, some hazardous even – like sulphuric acid - needed by the mining industry up in the African copper belt.

Just this year Van Rensburg decided to register a subsidiary of BHL in Namibia to pick up on the increasing business opportunities being generated in sub-Saharan mining operations. In 2015 a new smelter will be commissioned in Zambia, adding to the haulage business.

“I am focusing on Walvis Bay as the export point for my clients - owing to the faster, more efficient border clearance procedures and through times, which gives my clients faster turnaround, and gives me optimum uptime for my fleet.”

For the new Namibian company, Van Rensburg has ordered another 25 FAW 28.380FT units. “Further expansion which we’ve planned over the next 18 months, owing to the new smelter and other increased mining opportunities, has enable BHL to extend our FAW fleet by a further 100 units, both side-tippers and flat decks. These are due for delivery through 2014 and into 2015.” says a confident Van Rensburg.

Asked about the vehicle-of-choice falling to FAW, and the FAW 28.380FT in particular, Van Rensburg, quickly dons the businessman hat. “It’s simple – it is effective cost of ownership, together with a dependable and easy-to-operate product and great aftersales support.”

“Who can argue with 2,1 kilometer per litre on a side-tipper and 2,5 kilometers per litre on a tri-axle flat deck? Since I’ve incorporated the FAW vehicles I have realised a 10% saving on fuel alone. On fleet utilisation I have increased my uptime from 65% to 95%,” says a very satisfied Van Rensburg.

“Why is FAW so good? Because the FAW is easy to service and to maintain at our self-service depots in Ndola and Solwezi, Zambia, our drivers love them and BHL has optimum fleet efficiency.”

BHL has 100 depot employees, of which 12 are FAW-trained technicians to look after the FAW fleet. BHL holds R5-million in parts and spares, to not only service and maintain the vehicles but to carry out repairs and even conduct rebuilds if necessary. “Ironically, we purchased quite a lot of parts, anticipating some particular high repair rates. Of the 50 clutch kits purchased 18 months ago, we have only used 8 to date.”

“We’ve seen concrete evidence of FAW’s durability, reliability and simplicity. Our drivers love their FAW trucks. BHL follows a one-driver-one-truck policy. Also our drivers prefer the manual transmission because they are quicker to repair and, frankly much easier to drive in Africa.

The 28.380FT has the best uptime – a big incentive for drivers too. Keeping our well-trained drivers comfortable the FAW provides a cosy cab with air-sprung seats, air-conditioning and all the necessary creature comforts.”

Each of the company’s vehicles is equipped with satellite tracking technology and all of its drivers are given mobile telephones. This enables BHL to monitor driver behaviour and ensure its trucks are being operated in the most cost efficient and responsible manner possible.

“FAW aftersales support and personal attention is unrivalled. I’ve yet to enjoy better support than that which I have from the FAW group. They’re part of my “team”; understand my business and know what is important to my business’s viability,” reiterates Van Rensburg.

BHL fleet maintenance standards are at first-world standards. Each truck returning to either of the depots is washed immediately, degreased and undergoes a full check and a full report from the driver. This helps maintain a healthy fleet of vehicles where any minor irregularity is rectified quickly. BHL’s planned FAW fleet replacement cycle is four years, followed by a complete engine and transmission rebuild and then another four-year’s of operating life. At present individual vehicles are clocking up approximately 10 000 kilometers a month and some of the earliest units have reached the 250 000km mark. “As far as our customer commitment is concerned, at BHL we acknowledge that our customer is king. We are committed to honouring our agreements with our clients on time at all levels and to remain professional at all times,” Van Rensburg states proudly.

“Each client is treated individually and offered real-time management solutions. We give peace of mind to our clients, so they can focus on their core business, while we manage their transport and logistics.”

According to Van Rensburg, sound project management is vital to the success of all types of jobs, whether they are long-term or short-term contracts. “Excellent communication is of the essence for effective decision making, delegation of tasks and liaison with all our customers at all levels, and the assigned manager will ensure that the project team develops a sound understanding and appreciation for our client’s business,” Van Rensburg concludes.

He expands: “A business is only as good as its people and we are very fortunate to have a committed team of people from our drivers through to the management team.”

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FAW trucks helps Medical

Aided by FAW trucks, Mogul Medical Solutions provides ‘Tomorrow’s Healthcare Today’

Mogul Medical Solutions founded by Managing Director, Menelisi Moyo, is an inspiring enterprise and one of a kind in Africa.

“Ours is an exciting, unique and innovative medical supplies service. ‘Why?’ you may ask. Because we’re the first, and therefore the only service provider across the continent that has a fully functional online purchase portal with over 8 000 lines on offer. We are also the only medical company with an online store on Facebook in Africa. We distribute across the whole sub-continent.

“Furthermore, Mogul Medical is a certified M.I.B. body builder, which means we are certified to build bodies on any truck, and we can also build trailers, through Mogul’s new Engineering Division, which builds all our mobile clinics and ambulances.”

This is where FAW trucks and FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA add to the equation with their reliable and durable chassis cabs, which in turn, provide good value-for-money and easy operation, as well as committed service, maintenance and parts supply from the company.

“We make use of the FAW truck brand because it adds to our efficiencies and helps us contain our costs superbly,” says Moyo. “Our business is of such a critical nature, if you consider that it is a crucial supply service, and the fact that good corporate governance is demanded by our clients. We just had to choose the best trucks in terms of reliability and cost efficiency.”

Mogul’s medical supply service is far-reaching. It covers the widest range of products from day-to-day consumable items, like surgical gloves, to wheelchairs. Customers include individuals, clinics and hospitals. Major clients include many embassies across the continent.

Amongst partnership clients you can count major international donor organisations like USAID, Pepfar, UK Aid, while destination countries for Mogul’s products include countries like Ethiopia, Madagascar, Botswana, Zambia, and Rwanda - wherever there is a need for medical supply shipments to be moved either in a crisis or on a routine basis.

In South Africa, one of the largest clients of Mogul’s efficient and cost-effective services is the SA Government and the Department of Health. All the hospitals and brick-and-mortar clinics in the Western Cape are sourcing medical supplies through Mogul Medical Solutions.

Large NGO’s supported by international funders, also source supplies from Mogul, as does the TB HIV Association, an NGO which focuses on HIV prevention and care; and uses treatment kits for Diabetes, TB and for monitoring Cholesterol levels.

It is in the area of mobile clinics that vehicle manufacturer FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA enjoys its most important relationship with Mogul Medical Solutions.

Two mobile clinics, built on the recently introduced FAW 8.140FL truck chassis, have been commissioned into service. "These units were selected because the trucks can comfortably travel long distances from their base stations in the Western Cape to rural areas in the Eastern Cape and up to Clanwilliam. Our mobile clinics are also specifically equipped to provide circumcision services to rural communities.

“The FAW trucks are kitted out exactly to our NGO clients’ needs. We brand them in the well-recognised colours and with the logos of the NGOs, so that the acceptance levels in the communities where they operate, remains constant.

“We ran other brands and have decided to standardise on FAW trucks because of their affordable offering, good quality levels and superb performance from an operating-cost perspective. Aesthetically the trucks are also good-looking, as well as robust.”

Mogul Medical, together with TB HIV Association, also provides routine services to disadvantaged communities, and the national prison network for a variety of services, amongst others - a mobile X-ray testing facility.

“It is especially our Mobile X-ray Facility, also built on the FAW 8.140FL chassis, of which I’m most proud,” says Moyo. “The truck had to have a particularly strong chassis frame to carry the extra weight as the entire body is lead-lined. Over and above this, the drivetrain had to be powerful and efficient. It had to be of a high quality with superior durability to drive the unit efficiently en- route to its destinations.

The FAW 8.140FL is powered by the Euro III Cummins ISF 3,8 litre engine, delivering a healthy torque at 450Nm between 1 200 and 2 200 rpm, with a solid output of 105kW on tap at 2 600 rpm. This high-pressure, common rail four-cylinder in-line engine is one of the latest from Cummins’ reputable engine ranges and is ideally suited to the medium-weight truck category.

This engine fitted with a turbocharger is water-cooled and intercooled. Benefits of this particular engine include exceptional performance, low operating costs, low weight, low noise and low emissions.

The transmission, which is the six-speed synchromesh manual ZF 6 S 500 TO Ecolite is a great match, taking full advantage of the Cummins powerhouse while adding easy driveability and full driver control.

The FAW 8.140’s drivetrain makes it ideal for weight sensitive, space-constrained applications.

“The braking system is exceptional too. This was also on our ‘demand’ list. The last thing from a reputation risk point-of-view, was that one of our units be involved in a collision and as a result be deemed to be unsafe,” emphasises Moyo.

The addition of ABS and an air-cut parking brake, on a medium-sized truck is invaluable to the safety of driver, truck and payload.

“Furthermore, we have enjoyed guaranteed back-up service and routine maintenance, as well as parts supply in this critical mobile service provision, by the FAW team.”

The company aims to provide to several NGOs, at least eight more mobile clinics, built on a FAW 8.140 FL chassis and bodied by Mogul Medical themselves. Their plan is to have these mobile facilities in service before the year-end.

Those mobile facilities will be kitted out as centres for testing for cervical cancer amongst rural women; circumcision trucks; HIV and testing units; surgical and trauma mobile clinics; mobile dental units; and mobile ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinics.

Mogul Medical Solutions is also looking into the specifications for a possible mobile, eight-bed hospital, to be deployed in major disaster circumstances.

Discussions are under way with several of the ambulance service providers for the supply of Mogul Medical Solution’s innovative mono-cock, which cuts conversion time of ambulances by half and costs R100 000 less than prevailing current market prices for ambulance conversions.

Menelisi Moyo, is a passion-driven entrepreneur. “Providing medical supplies at an affordable price, efficiently and conveniently, is just good business.

“However, and even more importantly, is the personal reward of being part of bringing basic healthcare to so many people who would otherwise not be in a position to access such services under today’s circumstances.

“It is my dream to see many more of these types of healthcare services taken to the communities no matter where they are situated in the farthest reaches of our country.”

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An exceptional woman – Norma Mansoor

An exceptional woman – Norma Mansoor - an inspiration in the ready-mix concrete sector

Norma Mansoor, is an unusual woman in many respects. She is the sole owner of Mix Masters, a ready-mix concrete supplier. She started her own business only three years ago with a loan of R450 000, one FAW 33.330FC 6m3 mixer truck, a truck owner-driver and a small plant in Olifantsfontein, outside Pretoria.

Her unique ‘Iron Lady’-like attitude, combined with empathy for others, have set her apart from many other larger competitors. “Good business is built of good relationships,” she says. She has earned the loyalty and respect of many customers – even from some competitors too. This can be attributed to her unflinching tenacity to supply only the best product for a particular job without compromise on her business values.

Today, a mere three years after starting up, she runs a fleet of 10 personally owned FAW 6m3 ready-mix vehicles, an 8-tonner FAW flatbed and owns two plants - with possibly a third plant on the horizon. Her business is continuously growing, based on quality concrete without compromising on service.

“The FAW 33.330FC mixers in my fleet provide great cost efficiencies and are real ‘die-hard’ trucks,” say Norma Mansoor. “They are robust, get the job done and seldom, if ever, have downtime – critical in my line of business.”

The 33.330 6x4 mixers are powered by a hardy 9 726 cm3, six-in-line, water-cooled turbo-charged and intercooled Weichai engine, which produces a solid 245kW at 2 200rpm and a healthy 1 250kN torque at 1 400rpm.

“The chassis are sturdy and strong, the drivetrain is simple and easy to maintain. I think it’s the simplicity of the vehicles that contributes to so little going wrong with them.”

Vehicles under warranty are serviced through the FAW network, while a fulltime diesel mechanic services older ones on-site. Mix Masters fleet is spotless, as a complete wash-down and water spray is done on each vehicle leaving the plant on every trip. “My trucks reflect my business – they have to be immaculate.” Blazoned on each truck is the slogan ‘All glory to you, God’.

Norma explains: “I’m not religious at all. I serve a big God. I believe in truth, integrity, honesty and fair dealings and, so too, acknowledge God in my company and in my life.”

Norma is a formidable businesswoman who has built her reputation on a superb understanding of her concrete products, and an exceptional understanding of the challenges facing customers and their logistic frustrations. What makes her unique are the principles and values she applies to her business.

One seldom sees her type of commitment to her customers, as she will personally stay on a customer’s site when there are logistics issues. She will stay into the dark hours to oversee that a particular order is executed perfectly. She demands respect for herself and her employees, looking after their needs before her own. “Honesty, integrity, respect and self-belief have contributed to my success,” she claims. “I have been privileged to have had a number of superb mentors.

All of them – people who are well known in this sector - who believed in my passion for the business, saw that I was prepared to learn and work hard. They treated me as a serious professional, and not merely a ‘woman’, and gave me the opportunity to grow my knowledge and experience.”

During the three decades Norma has been active in the concrete industry, she moved through the ranks at a pace seldom seen – moving from processing production orders, onto programming the truck logistics, into sales and ultimately became a key account representative to the blue-chip clients of her employer at the time.

She was the youngest person and only woman in that company to be offered a production plant manager position.

She branched off and became one of the most renowned regional brokers in the ready-mix concrete industry. “However, my dream was to own my own business someday.”

In 2011 she took the plunge and with a great track record in hand and a lot of guts she approached aggregate supply companies, who were prepared to extend a line of credit from the beginning - highly unusual in this business.

“I run a ‘tight-ship’ with a highly hands-on style. My management team consists primarily of my daughter, who is responsible for all our logistics planning, my trusted accountant and cost controller, and my operations manager. But I also allow my team to make decisions based on their expertise – that’s how I learnt, so that’s how my team manages their portfolios.

My drivers are well trained, love their trucks and look after them as their own, and I hold them responsible for quality driving style and keeping our running costs in check. They too share in the business responsibilities and contribute to our collective success – we are a real family-oriented and partnership-based business.”

“My relationship with FAW is based on similar expectations,” says Norma. “The FAW people are on call when I need them, they understand me and my business. I only buy FAW and only genuine parts, I expect the same loyalty from FAW when I need them and I get it. No issue is too small for FAW to come to my aid when I need it. This is what I want from a partner and what I get from FAW.”

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Chinese business, New Hope for South Africa

The commitment of giants like FAW Trucks boosts local investment

At an initial investment value of just over R200 million, the leading Chinese animal husbandry, animal feed and meat products manufacturer - New Hope Group – has established its first South African animal feed plant, going into pilot production at the beginning of December, to be followed with production for the agricultural market as from 05 January 2016.

CEO of New Hope South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Yang Zhao, explains: “South Africa was chosen because the country offered great infrastructure, a stable political environment and the opportunity for doing fair business while following the strict ethical standards demanded by our China-group headquarters.

“Furthermore, the fair trade practices and excellent business cooperation between China and South Africa have been very evident from the numerous Chinese giants that have established themselves in South Africa, like FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa which chose to situate their plant in Coega, Eastern Cape, South Africa.”

“The New Hope Group, headquartered in Beijing, has fully owned subsidiaries on four continents and in 20 countries across the globe. In 2014 our worldwide group collectively sold 15 million tons of animal feed.”

“New Hope SA (Pty) Ltd will be providing the most affordable, high-quality animal feed to SA livestock farmers, with assurances of livestock growth and animal health equivalent to any of the better established brands.”

Being the new entrant into an existing market is challenging at best, but the parent Chinese New Hope Group chose carefully when deciding on the location of their second African subsidiary, the other being in Egypt.

“New Hope has not come to the South African market with thundering noise or loud fanfare, but we have taken the time to establish our first plant at the R59/R550 interchange in Randvaal Gauteng. This is a good start-up location; accessible to all the raw materials which we are sourcing locally only, thereby creating reciprocal business opportunities within the agricultural sector,” says Zhao.

Hope’s ethos is very community oriented. Yang Zhao affirms that they are here for the long haul, to share ‘space’ in their business model with local farmers and agricultural communities; to provide job opportunities for local people and to bring benefit to all partners associated with them.

The feed plant is poised for scaling to full production from January next year; and have put in place all the necessary regulatory and environmental controls required; the company has identified farmers for its supply chain and chosen suppliers and partners to support operations.

Their first five FAW commercial vehicles are ready to distribute the animal feed products, from the initial test production next month. The FAW-only fleet has been delivered and comprises three FAW 28.380FT bulk tanker units, one FAW 28.330FL 14-ton freight carrier and one FAW 15.180FL 8-ton freight carrier. The larger trucks have been fitted with bulk tankers to carry the 20 ton and 30 ton payloads, while the smaller units will service the bagged (50kg each) feed distribution.

“For now the vehicles will run within 150km radius from our plant in Gauteng, but will on occasion also run supplies to Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland. As our feed production volumes increase towards reaching our full capacity of 200 000 tons per annum, our fleet will grow together with our distribution radius – probably up to 400km.

“We are already considering investing in another four plants, with the second plant most probably situated in the Northwest Province, South Africa.

“Our greatest considerations when choosing FAW trucks were reliability and uptime; reasonable cost of ownership and an understanding that we will be a customer with high expectations.

However, having said this, we demand from FAW Trucks SA no more than we expect of ourselves, after all we work and live by similar goals – to provide quality products at an affordable price, with superior aftersales service and support.”

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Tipper fleet keeps Ross Demolition on track

FAW tipper fleet keeps Ross Demolition’s 116-year success story on track

‘Survival of the fittest through business acumen, keeping your promises and a resilient attitude manifested by every employee – that’s the recipe for success.’ This is the message from a company that has been going strong for 116 years.

Ross Demolition, headquartered in Cape Town, has prospered and survived many tough economic times spanning four generations of a family of engineers. All of them dedicated businessmen who not only believed in inspirational leadership, but in strong fiscal discipline, commitment and honesty.

Since it was established in 1898 by Henry T. Ross, the Ross Demolition group has followed a consistent motto - ‘On time, every time’. They also don’t shy away from any opportunity, as they maintain that no job is too big or too small.

At present, Robert Ross, and his son, John Ross, manage the family owned business which engages in contract demolition work across the whole of South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, on a contract basis.

While this is only one of six ‘arms’ of their business operations, it like the other five divisions, depends heavily on a competent and efficient fleet of trucks to ensure all projects remain profitable, and continue to uphold their irrefutable reputation for delivering on their promises. This is exactly where their fleet of FAW vehicles, mainly extra-heavy tipper trucks, are integral to their success. The FAW reputation for durability and efficiency matches that of Ross Demolition.

“Our first FAW trucks to join the RD fleet were purchased to service specifically contracts in Africa where uncomplicated, easy-to-drive/easy-to-maintain trucks were the main criteria for getting our excavation contracts done with minimum downtime,” explains the senior Robert Ross.

“At present we operate 28 FAW units, mostly the proven and robust 28.280FD tippers. I am very happy with the operational efficiencies we’re getting. In most cases we are realising superb fuel consumption at 2,3 to 2,8 litres per kilometer. “Working in difficult and dusty uneven terrain, steep gradients on and off-site, and heavy payloads, we opted for a shorter wheelbase configuration and a 400 litre fuel tank adjustment. The Euro II Weichai WD 615.50 engines give us a respectable 206Kw with an effective torque of 1 160N.m to pull payloads, some beyond the prescribed 12-ton parameter.

“The FAW trucks have succeeded admirably in all our initial trials. The first units coped beyond our expectations; and thus we’ve deployed them on all our projects locally and cross border, from confined inner city projects to far distant mass excavations sites.”

Ross Demolition also provides the construction industry with mine rehabilitation, plant hire, tricky asbestos removal and earthmoving services. However, one of the most rewarding undertakings, which have emerged over the last years, is the material recycling business done by Ross Demolition. “Every site we clear, we recycle 98% of all the materials – bricks, wood, windows, steel, glass, roof trusses – you name it, we recover it and resell this to the ‘secondary’ construction tier who are desperate for affordable, good second-hand material. We have five depots from where this recycled material is sold.

It’s great to know we are contributing to preserving resources and the environment, and helping other entrepreneurs make a decent living in the construction industry,” says Mr. Ross.

Robert Ross recalls some of the most amazing projects undertaken by Ross Demolition. “We’ve imploded the Athlone Cooling Towers, as well as the largest building ever in Cape Town, which always has great spectator value.

But for us one of the most challenging projects was working against the clock when we had to demolish the Valkenburg Bridge within a total timeframe of only eight hours. Beginning midnight, by 8am we had completely dismantled the bridge, removed all the debris and cleared the site so that traffic on the N2 could resume in the morning.

“Another remarkable project was the Portside 101 Project; the deepest excavation project ever undertaken in Cape Town. The Portside Project covered a full city block on the Foreshore and required 90 000 cubic meters of rock to be blasted out and removed from the site. The site was commissioned for a 32-storey building, 142-metres high, which today stands proudly as the tallest building in the Cape Town CBD.”

The youngest of the Ross clan, John Ross, is a demolition expert trained in the US. He makes use of the advice of contracted civil engineers in determining the logistics and costing of all building implosions and site clearing projects.

“Our fleet of FAW trucks is efficient, robust and reliable. Our drivers are well trained. We employ sound fleet management systems, like trackers, etc., to monitor and ensure we get the necessary performance to maintain our margins,” explains John Ross.

“With the recessionary times and the pressures prevailing in the construction industry, competition is fierce and margins are tight. We need our fleet to run at the highest uptime rate possible with the minimum of problems in vehicle maintenance and service requirements.

Our FAW fleet stays on the road, is undemanding in its simplicity of operation and great for our ‘bottom-line’ with their low maintenance cost and minimum downtime. This is crucial to our profit margins,” concludes Robert Ross.