Second life for trucks

DEALERSHIPS are geared up to offer a comprehensive pre-purchase analysis of a used DAF truck for prospective buyers at no cost. “Because,” says Dave Black, MD of DAF South Africa, “the second life of a truck is best handled by the dealership, which is equipped to provide the purchaser with peace of mind for this investment through qualified technicians and warranties on parts.

“In this tough economic climate in which it is difficult to find the finances to buy a new truck, many companies are considering buying second-hand vehicles. Unfortunately, such vehicles frequently don’t live up to their expectations in the long term and we strongly advise against buying directly from an unknown seller. Instead, as a value added service, our Transport Solutions Division is offering a thorough ‘health analysis’ of the status of the vehicle being considered, categorising problem areas into critical, recommended and optional repairs. The potential buyer can then make an informed decision based on the truck’s actual condition.

“Our dealerships throughout southern Africa are also geared to do the necessary repairs and maintenance throughout the second life of the vehicle and will provide warranties on the parts and workmanship.”

The value of this service was recently demonstrated when Dubai-based Edgebold JLT approached Babcock Transport Solutions to ask for assistance with its purchase of 10 used DAF XF105.460 trucks for deployment in Mozambique.
Edgebold was founded in Dubai in 2011 with the purpose of growing businesses in southern Africa by investing in promising existing companies and by establishing new ones. Its Group company First Base Cargo SA was founded in Nacala, Mozambique, to provide reliable, safe and cost effective transport solutions to customers across the country. First Cargo SA has a long term vision to become a major SADC firm and intends to expand its fleet over the next two years and replicate its success in other countries.

Edgebold’s John Raper explains: “After carefully independently researching several leading truck brands worldwide, we came to the conclusion that we required vehicles for First Cargo SA with an African specification and which were suited to the southern African environment. Outside of this, we wanted a highly regarded brand of truck to be associated with First Cargo SA and DAF fits this requirement. On top of this, the brand had to be well supported in the region, not just by a company able to provide world class technical support, but which also had knowledge of the region and a footprint in Mozambique. This made DAF the standout choice.

“Edgebold JLT owns several companies in southern Africa. With the international nature of our company, Babcock was a name well recognised globally, so when we came to the understanding that Babcock Transport Solutions in South Africa was the sole importer and distributor of DAF trucks, parts and service in southern Africa, we immediately made an enquiry.”

After successful negotiations, an order was signed for 10 used XF105.460s to be reconditioned by Babcock Transport Solutions and exported to Mozambique at the end of 2014. Babcock’s responsibilities included facilitating the transportation of the refurbished trucks to Mozambique, including drivers, police clearance, pre-inspections and customs clearance on the South African side. Babcock also supported Edgebold by supplying a basic container store and a shipment of maintenance and breakdown parts.

The transaction went so well that Edgebold placed an order for Babcock Transport Solutions to refurbish 10 more used XF105.460s and these were delivered to First Cargo SA in May 2015. Negotiations are now underway for an additional 15 units.

Says Black: “The trucks were delivered in a condition as close to new as possible. They will be operating in tough terrain, over long distances in remote areas, so the repairs we recommended were designed to keep them performing optimally in long term.”

Raper comments that Edgebold has seen its relationship with Babcock Transport Solutions evolve into more of a partnership, with Babcock providing operational advice based on its knowledge of fleet operations in southern Africa.
“This has proved hugely beneficial, particularly during the initial phases of our venture in Mozambique,” he says. “During the import process the Babcock team was constantly at hand to assist and their aftersales support has also been impressive. Outside of their technical expertise, I have found their availability and professionalism to be their most valued qualities. They have always been quick to respond, and have gone above and beyond what has been asked to help find a solution.”