PPE plays its part
Truck Test 2015 demonstrated that the South African transport industry is conscious of safety, efficiency and protecting the environment. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) also enjoyed some time in the spotlight.
Since 2012, SHEQ MANAGEMENT’s sister publication FOCUS on Transport and Logistics has run Truck Tests in the medium (2014), heavy (2013) and extra-heavy (2012/15) commercial vehicle segments. These tests have been run in partnership with Hellberg Transport Management and Engen.
“After a year of planning, Truck Test 2015 hit the open road during April. It was the most thoroughly planned, scientifically accurate, utterly awesome event so far,” relates Gavin Myers, assistant editor of FOCUS.
The test ran from Johannesburg, eastbound along the N4, to Komatipoort, a small town just five kilometres from the Mozambique border, with a slight detour via the Schoemanskloof Pass, on April 15 – with a return trip on April 16.
“Truck Test 2015 is perhaps the most unique in the series thus far, in that it was required for each participating vehicle to be fitted with an identical trailer and load,” Myers points out. This required a lot of planning and some practice loading the vehicles – so a dummy run was arranged.
“It was organised early on that David King and his team from AfriSam would supply the pallets of cement to be loaded on to the vehicles – so they were happy for us go to their premises and practise,” Myers adds.
Everyone had to don hard hats, safety boots and reflective jackets. MSA Africa generously sponsored the hard hats and reflective jackets and Beier Safety Footwear (equally generously) the boots for the FOCUS team. Thank you so much for looking after our colleagues!
Scania South Africa’s product and marketing director, Alexander Taftman, says it best: “Safety is everything in the transport industry. It’s the foundation for all activities that take place during the whole logistical chain.”
The company entered two vehicles, one pulling an interlink and another a reefer trailer, which it made available a week before they were actually required. Taftman was very excited to take part in the day. “It’s great to be able to learn about the problems and be able to set the process. It’s just fun to be here, actually; at what is the start of the Truck Test,” he said.
“FOCUS and the organisers have really taken Truck Test to the next level. It is completely different this time, which is brilliant. It’s the most comprehensive commercial-vehicle test in the South African market,” he enthused.
Scania’s two vehicles for Truck Test 2015, the G460 (reefer combination) and R500 (interlink combination), were absolutely bog-standard off-the-shelf units. Taftman explains: “We wanted to enter vehicles that any customer can buy, with no tweaks at all. The G460, for example, has steel rims; the R500 has aluminium – that’s our fleet spec, exactly what the customer will get. We wanted to deliver good, reliable figures that our customers can achieve.”
The PPE was in use again at AfriSam’s Roodepoort depot, during the pre-test loading day, and at Super Group’s Super Park, in Jet Park, a day before the test (when the vehicles had to have their tanks filled to exacting measurements) and the next morning, when Truck Test 2015 set off to Komatipoort.
The focus on safety didn’t stop there, however; it continued at the Middelburg weighbridge. “Here, the trucks would have their mass ratings confirmed,” Myers points out. The Trans African Concessions (TRAC) N4 representatives wouldn’t allow our editor Charleen Clarke, who is also the editor for FOCUS, to film this part of the event if she wasn’t wearing her reflective jacket (the event was broadcast on DStv’s Ignition, channel 189, at the end of May). Thanks once again MSA!
Taftman adds that PPE is part of the complete safety focus within the transport industry. “It does not stop when you leave the vehicle. It has to be with you all the time, all the way.”
TRAC N4 also set up a driver “work out” area, where they could stretch their limbs and grab an energy drink, at Engen Belfast One-Stop. This was appropriate as driver fatigue and wellness are two of the most pressing matters in the industry.
At the end of the day, Truck Test 2015 went down a treat. It was the most thoroughly planned, scientifically accurate, utterly awesome event so far, as well as being one that demonstrated that both safety and efficiency are valued by our local transport industry.
Catch more on the efficiencies and productivity of all the Truck Test 2015 trucks, as well as the test’s results, at www.focusontransport.co.za.