Scania for the long haul
Scania is a renowned supplier of long-haul trucks. Little surprise then, that when Matumi Fresh Logistics – a supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables to customers throughout South Africa – wanted fuel-efficient, refrigerated long-haul trucks, it went the Scania route
Located in the verdant province of Mpumalanga, Matumi Fresh Logistics is dependent on an efficient cold chain to deliver to its 90-plus locations. The company has a mixed fleet of 23 vehicles, ranging from small delivery vans to bigger long-haul trucks.
MD Nick Wood tells FOCUS that after having been in business for 25 years, he took over the fruit and vegetable company from his father and mother (Anton and Marianne Wood). He soon realised that it was necessary for the company to have its own transport business. “With the responsibility of delivering fresh produce, we couldn’t rely on other transport companies, as all the transport is refrigerated,” he explains.
The six-unit, long-haul fleet comprises Scania trucks, which were selected for their reliability, fuel efficiency and driver comfort.
“We needed vehicles we can trust,” Wood emphasises. Scania’s reputation and standing made the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) a natural choice when it came to purchasing trucks specifically for the long-haul transportation of fresh produce.
Wood elaborates: “We had a choice from three top brands, but Scania’s excellent brand identity — and the fact that it has been around for about 129 years — were the criteria for my first Scania purchase,
Long-haul driver comfort is top-of-mind for Matumi Fresh Logistics, and Wood notes that the low road noise, which reduces driver fatigue, the navigational improvements and the spaciousness of the G460 6×4 cab, are among driver benefits that influenced his purchase choice.
He adds that, over the years, by reducing fuel consumption, the Scania trucks have brought the company’s operational costs down significantly.
He explains that the older version (PGR) averaged 2,47 km/l, whereas the newer models are doing
2,79 km/l, making them 11 percent more efficient. “This may not seem a big amount, but over a year the saving is significant,” Wood stresses.
Scania was the first manufacturer to offer a three-year repair and maintenance (R&M) package as standard on all new long-haul and distribution trucks. Wood says that through using Scania’s R&M package, service intervals have been extended from the recommended 40 000 km to around 52 000 km.
He adds: “The extra 12 000 km between services has enhanced productivity by keeping the trucks on the road for longer periods. The trucks are constantly managing things such as oil levels and filter condition. As our industry is seasonal, this has enabled us to budget more accurately. There are no surprise bills!”
He is enthusiastic about the performance of the Swedish OEM’s vehicles. He says: “Since we purchased the first Scania truck in 2017, we have had 100-percent uptime and zero breakdowns.”
He says that servicing the trucks “is a real non-event”, as they provide alerts and indicate when a service is required. There is the added benefit of being able to book a service at a Scania Service Centre in any of the major cities along the company’s transport route.
Wood stresses that buying the Scania trucks has been more than a mere purchase. “The relationship that Scania develops with customers goes beyond the purchase. It’s the entire package it offers, from in-house finance to servicing, that makes it such a phenomenal company. Scania takes all the stress out of owning a fleet,” he concludes enthusiastically.