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Imperial Cargo adds 60 MAN long-haul trucks to fleet

Imperial Cargo, a division of JSE-listed Imperial Group, has procured 60 MAN TGS 26.440 truck-tractors to service its line-haul operations in southern Africa. The new vehicles will join the 44 MAN TGS 26.440 units currently operating in the Imperial Cargo fleet which now num-bers a total of 360 trucks.

Imperial Cargo adds 60 MAN Long-haul TGS Trucks to the Fleet

Established in 1997, Imperial Cargo fields a mix of truck brands and deployed its first MAN trucks in 2012 following successful in-fleet trials on the TGS 26.440. According to Christo Theron, Group Managing Director, Imperial Cargo Group, “we run rigid test programmes on all new trucks entering the fleet, primarily looking at fuel consumption fig-ures. The MAN TGS 26.440 is the only derivative in our line-haul fleet achieving an average of 2km per litre, compared to an average 1.8km per litre by competitor brands.”

MAN Truck & Bus SA’s Managing Director, Geoff du Plessis states: “A key objective of MAN in southern Africa is to gain market leadership in the long-haul sector by supplying fuel efficient trucks that significantly lower total-cost-of-ownership. The injection of 60 new MAN TGS 26.440 derivatives into the Imperial Cargo fleet is testimony to the technological leadership of the vehicle. It is also extremely encourag-ing to know that as an organisation committed to safety, quality and environmental protection, Imperial Cargo has found the MAN TGS more than capable of meeting its stringent criteria within these areas.”

As a purpose-built long-haul prime-mover, the 6x4 MAN TGS 26.440 is equipped with a 12.419 litre in-line MAN D26 common-rail diesel en-gine with a power rating of 440hp [324kW] at 1700-1900rpm, and a torque output of 2100Nm at 1000-1400rpm. It boasts a double sleeper cab, automated manual transmission with a ZF intarder, air suspension and hypoid rear axles.

Servicing blue-chip FMCG clients like Distell, Woolworths and Nampak, Imperial Cargo’s line-haul operation extends across South Africa and Namibia, adds Theron. “Each truck carries a payload in the region of 36 tons and the TGS strikes the perfect balance between power, tare-mass and fuel economy, giving us new benchmark total-cost-of-ownership figures. Furthermore, our drivers say it’s the best truck in the fleet; comfortable and easy to drive. They are quite reluctant to get behind the wheel of anything else.”

With its headquarters (and three depots) in the Western Cape, Imperial Cargo also has depots in Gauteng, Kwa Zulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Namibia. Its cross border services include freight transport to other sub-equatorial countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Botswana and Mozambique.

Spearheading MAN’s entry into the Imperial Cargo fleet was Warren Atkinson, Key Accounts Manager: Cape Region, MAN Truck & Bus SA, who states: “Aftersales service is a critical factor behind our secur-ing this second order from Imperial Cargo. As a quality-driven, RTMS-accredited fleet, Imperial Cargo requires hands-on service support and round-the-clock availability of MAN technical personnel, factors which are integral to our service level agreements with Imperial Cargo. Our team at MAN Cape Town is fully geared to satisfy all requirements with regards to keeping Imperial Cargo’s MAN fleet downtime to a mini-mum.”

With 15 of the 60 trucks in this latest order representing fleet expan-sion units, MAN is fast becoming the truck brand of choice for Imperial Cargo, says Theron. “Apart from the impressive fuel consumption fig-ures which have remained consistent over the last two years in our existing TGS fleet, the aftersales service we get from MAN’s Cape Town branch is exceptional. Response times are swift and monthly performance meetings between my team and MAN’s Cape Town branch ensure our service-level agreements are adhered to. Onsite vehicle servicing by MAN technicians at our workshops keeps our up-time levels at an optimum.”

The 60 new trucks have been procured on a 36-month/600 000km Rental Agreement and are each expected to travel an average of 16 000km per month.

For Geoff du Plessis, Managing Director, MAN Truck & Bus SA, “being chosen by high-profile fleets for our superior technology and customer-focused aftersales service is hugely significant for MAN and this order of 60 TGS units proves that we not only have the right product for long-haul applications in Southern Africa, but also the right people to service both the trucks and our customers in a manner that builds their business. All of us at MAN are proud to be associated with Imperial Cargo and we look forward to a partnership that continues to grow in strength.”