Truck  |  Corporate 

MANLINE & MAN Consolidate Partnership with 51 new TGS WWs

Ever since Neil Henderson opened doors to business in March 1998 deploying five MAN trucks, his company, MANLINE, has established a reputation as a true ‘best practice’ logistics operation, founded on the principals of superior customer service, technological leadership, skills development and social responsibility. Over the years, MANLINE has chosen MAN Truck & Bus as its preferred truck supplier and in April 2011, will take ownership of 51 MAN TGS WW truck tractors bringing its total fleet number to 403 vehicles, 65% of which are from MAN.

Consistent growth

Comprising five divisions (MANLINE Freight, MANLINE Energy, MANLINE Distribution, MANLINE Africa and Timber24) specialising in the transport of general freight, black products, fuel, gas, chemicals and timber, the MANLINE Group offers a comprehensive supply chain solution to its customer base, from point of manufacture, to local distribution centres to the end customer.

MANLINE operates both nationally, servicing all provinces, cities and towns throughout South Africa, as well as cross-border to Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and Democratic Republic of the Congo. With 15 depots situated in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and Ndola in Zambia, MANLINE also offers warehousing, distribution and supply chain management solutions to bring further value to its diversified logistics services.

According to Neil Henderson, chairman and managing director of MANLINE Group, “we procured 20 new MAN TGS WW truck tractors in 2010 as part of our 48-month fleet replacement cycle and thus far, they are performing beyond our expectations. The TGS WW is an ideal long-haul prime-mover for African conditions, offering excellent fuel consumption, power and torque, driver comfort, safety and reliability. We employ 495 drivers and they all agree, the TGS WW is their truck of choice. Of the 51 TGS WWs making up this particular 2011 order, 31 will be deployed in our national freight division while 20 will service MANLINE Africa, our cross-border division.”

Two heads better

With innovation as a cornerstone of both the MANLINE and MAN business ethos, the power of partnership between customer and supplier has underscored the preparation and delivery of the 51 MAN TGS WWs to the MANLINE fleet.

“MAN’s Pinetown assembly plant has been re-engineered to shorten the lead time for the delivery of this order of TGS WW derivatives to MANLINE,” says Bruce Dickson, management board member: marketing communications, MAN Truck & Bus SRM. “Working in close collaboration with MANLINE’s management and technical staff, our TGS WW production line is now equipped to execute tasks that were outsourced before, particularly the painting of the truck bumpers to MANLINE’s specification and the fitment of the on-board fleet management system. This has allowed us to lessen our lead time by an impressive 15 days.”

Technology leaders

Integral to MANLINE’s market leadership is its focus on employing technologically superior business tools to boost operational efficiency and profitability. “This approach extends across our operation, from the truck itself, to the systems we use to manage both our drivers and our logistics services,” adds Henderson. “The TGS WW is a class-leading vehicle, a Trucknology truck that perfectly complements our technological platform, which includes vehicle and driver management hardware and services from MiX telematics and DriveCam, as well as MANLINE’s proprietary web-based enterprise resource management software, MAX, which integrates customer relationship management with fleet management. It’s a unique system, giving MANLINE a distinct competitive edge in this highly competitive market. Similarly, the MAN TGS WW is unique in its technological superiority and ability to enhance our on-road efficiency. As such, it will be the flagship truck to carry MANLINE’s strategy for continental expansion over the next five years.”

Two horses

Designated for service in its line-haul operations, MANLINE has opted for two MAN TGS WW 6x4 truck tractor derivatives, explains Henderson: “The TGS WW 26.480 works well on our tougher Eastern Cape routes while the TGS WW 26.440 is perfectly suited to the route to and from Zambia. The 600 000km/4-year extended driveline warranty coupled with the long service intervals provide us with an unbelievable R&M (repair and maintenance)/CPK (cost-per-kilometre) figure. R&M costs are one of the key components in our total cost of ownership model and in our opinion the MAN TGS WW leads the market in this area.”

With MAN Truck & Bus SRM consistently improving its service delivery, Henderson gives testimony to the power of solid, longstanding business relationships: “I grew up with the MAN brand and when I formed MANLINE in 1998, MAN was the obvious choice. We have tested a number of different trucks over the years and the MAN continues to provide us with the lowest total cost of ownership in our linehaul application. Furthermore, we have developed a great relationship with MAN and they continue to play a significant part in the success of our business. The MAN Sales and After Sales teams do a great job of looking after us throughout Southern Africa. It is a pleasure to deal with a company that understands our business and is focused on delivering innovative solutions. MAN Financial Services is MANLINE’s primary vehicle finance partner and continues to provide customised products and solutions that meet the requirements of our evolving business.”

For Dickson, “this delivery of 51 units is obviously a great milestone for both MANLINE and MAN. It is also extremely exciting that MANLINE will procure a further 35 TGS WW derivatives this year. MANLINE’s success is MAN’s success and all of us at MAN Truck & Bus SRM are proud to be associated with one of Southern Africa’s smartest fleets.”