Author:vic-oliver

Optimising Productivity is key

Selecting a truck or bus for a transport application without first examining all aspects that contribute to high vehicle productivity is a common mistake made by operators Following my previous report on the need to micromanage all vehicle operating and fixed costs in order to maximise profits in tough economic times, it is also necessary to optimise vehicle productivity. In real terms, vehicle productivity is the ability of a suitable means of transport to continuously move goods or people within […]

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Why micromanagement is a transporter’s friend

Operating a commercial vehicle in South Africa has become a tough business with continual rising costs and lower profit margins      To minimise a drop in profits it has become necessary to micromanage one’s business by constantly and accurately recording and examining all fixed and variable vehicle cost factors, and taking immediate action to rectify any cost that is higher than a set benchmark. Fuel is one of the major operating cost factors in a transport operation (especially on […]

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Preparing for winter on the road

It is important for trucks and drivers to be ready to handle harsh winter driving conditions Driving a truck in winter conditions can be a challenging task, especially if the vehicle and driver are not ready and equipped for the unforeseen harsh driving conditions. With the abnormal amount of rain and the strange weather patterns that the country has experienced lately, we can expect some unseasonal weather this winter. To avoid unnecessary and costly roadside vehicle breakdowns, ensure that all […]

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The next level of driver education

Do your drivers know how to handle emergencies and roadside breakdowns? Not having policies and procedures in place on how to handle emergencies and roadside breakdowns can be very detrimental to a truck owner and operator. A road disaster that is incorrectly handled could severely affect the company’s image and cash flow. If a driver does not know what to do at the site of an emergency, he or she runs the risk of saying the wrong thing, or failing […]

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The dangers of a front tyre failure on a truck or bus

A blowout of a front tyre on a heavy-duty truck or bus can be extremely dangerous, as the driver loses all steering and directional control – especially if the vehicle is loaded. This often results in a very serious and sometimes fatal road accident involving other vehicles. Although I have never had the misfortune of having a blowout of a front tyre on a vehicle that I have been driving, I have interviewed truck drivers who have been involved in […]

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Heavy commercial vehicle check list

A monthly heavy commercial vehicle check and audit will identify any pending fault that can immediately be rectified. This will save expensive repair costs, roadside breakdowns and ensure that the vehicle is always in a safe and roadworthy condition. The audit report will also give management a good picture of how the truck is being driven and maintained Items to be checked    OK            Needs attention Identification Vehicle data plate – fixed inside cab Current […]

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A Call to Reduce Truck Accidents

Following the increase in heavy-vehicle road accidents during the beginning of the 2018 festive season, the Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, is calling for truck owners to step up their efforts to reduce truck accidents Nzimande and the South African road-traffic authorities have also stated that the previous road-safety campaigns have not been as effective as they had hoped they would be. They are therefore endeavouring to find other ways to reduce the unacceptable carnage that we witness daily on […]

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Counter-balancing the rising fuel price

With no end to its rise in sight, the fuel price can be offset to some degree by a proactive attitude. It is impossible to predict what the price of fuel will be in 2019, due to the many global political and economic uncertainties. In my opinion, the trend line will rise and we will be paying more for fuel during the year. American sanctions against the major oil-producing country of Iran, if applied, would create a major global shortage […]

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Coupling old trailers to new truck tractors

There are many items to check on older trailers to ensure that they are in a roadworthy condition and will not damage a new truck or truck tractor I was prompted to write this article following a recent call from an accredited used-truck dealer, who had sold a used 6×4 truck tractor to a customer. Two weeks after taking delivery of the vehicle, the customer contacted the dealer complaining that the truck that he had bought – with a warranty […]

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The truck that broke the bridge’s back?

Could overloaded heavy-duty trucks have contributed to the damage to the Kaserne Bridge? In South Africa, heavy-duty commercial vehicles travelling on most of the country’s national roads and highways are subjected to strict and professional policing, to ensure that they are not overloaded and confirm to the South African Road Traffic Regulations. Unfortunately, there is very little evidence of heavy-duty commercial vehicles being checked for overloading in the metropolitan areas of Gauteng. Could overloaded heavy-duty vehicles have contributed to the […]

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