CCBSA launches new smart trucks to promote road safety

Bloemfontein, 7 May 2019 — Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) launched a five-year pilot project to run a 44-pallet Performance-Based Standard (PBS) trailer between Bloemfontein and Upington. The launch took place at Gutsche Plant, in Hamilton, Bloemfontein on Monday, 6th May.

The PBS trailer is 27.9 metres long and can transport 44 pallets, as compared with the conventional 30-pallet trailer. This vehicle is expected to reduce road traffic and improve safety, while also enhancing productivity for CCBSA. It is projected to reduce the number of loads that will need to be transported along this route by 78%.

“As CCBSA, this pilot project is part of an ongoing programme for us to continuously develop new ways of delivering to our customers while contributing towards managing the heavy traffic on South Africa’s road infrastructure – to minimise damage, improve safety and to reduce congestion,” said CCBSA Logistics Director, Flora Jika. According to Jika, this approach uses performance-based standards, which specify the performance required of a heavy vehicle on particular routes, bearing in mind both safety and the nature of the road infrastructure itself.

“Performance-based standards provide greater leeway for vehicle designers to come up with innovative ideas Trucks and trailers designed in this way are often called “smart trucks”.

CCBSA and the Department of Transport are exploring a partnership aimed at designing, manufacturing and operating a number of projects to demonstrate the performance-based standards concept, and the impact it could make on South Africa’s logistics industry from multiple perspectives, especially safety and productivity.

As part of this partnership, CCBSA has made two of its state-of-the-art simulators available to the Department for one day a week for the purpose of training truck and bus drivers across the country. These simulators are used by CCBSA to train its own drivers, including those who will be driving the new performance-based standards vehicles.

“CCBSA views safety as a business non-negotiable, which is why we are collaborating with the Department to test the performance-based standards vehicles, and why we are making our simulators available to a wider group than just our own drivers,” Jika says. “We are very excited by the potential of this project to redefine safety and productivity in the road-freight industry in this country.”