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Go places with Scania

This post is also available in: Afrikaans

“Anyone transporting livestock with any truck other than a Scania, should have his head examined,” says Alvin Steenkamp from Cavalier Group outside Cullinan. Every week around 7 500 sheep and 800 cattle are transported to this abattoir from farmers and auctions all over the country.

“We have seven Scanias, but they do the work of 30 trucks,” says Alvin.

He says every night a truck runs from Upington to bring sheep. Alvin comes from that region where people still say what they think without beating about the bush. He is quite outspoken about Scania trucks and Scania’s service.

“You can’t afford to get stuck on the road with a cargo of live animals. That is why you need a reliable truck. And if something does go wrong, you need to know that the problem will be solved promptly and efficiently,” he says.

Alvin became part of the Scania family in 2010. He bought the livestock company in Upington and had to find a way to buy three new trucks without any available capital.

He spoke to Scania about his business plans and asked them to trust him and his company.

“I walked out of there with three trucks, and I have never looked back.”

The three trucks have grown into seven since then, and every three years, after 700 000 to 800 000 km, they are traded in for new Scanias.

Alvin says in all the years with all the thousands of kilometres covered, he can count the times that he had problems with a truck on the fingers of one hand.

Once a truck broke down in the middle of the night between Prieska and Groblershoop on its way from Carnarvon to an auction in Upington. Alvin called the Scania Assist number. They asked the driver’s telephone number and obtained all the particulars of the breakdown from him.

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Alvin Steenkamp believes that cattle should be as relaxed as possible while being transported, for their own welfare and to end up as a quality meat product on the consumer’s plate.

“The man from the service centre told me to go back to bed; they would further deal with the problem. The next morning at seven o’clock I received a call telling me my truck was in Upington ready to load.”

The truck could not be repaired on the road, but Scania sent a new horse to hitch the trailers and took the broken truck back to Bloemfontein to be repaired at their expense.

Another time a truck burst a water-pipe near Parys. The support team first spoke to the driver to get his opinion about the breakdown and then took everything they needed with them to repair the truck on the road. Three hours later the truck was running again. Alvin was kept in the loop the whole time.

He says it also helps a lot that Scania trains the drivers to not only handle the truck responsibly on the road, but also to understand the basic workings of the vehicle. Whenever new technology is introduced, they also retrain everyone to understand the new functions.

Alvin’s service plan entails a set amount per kilometre and it covers all services and possible repairs. It makes budgeting easy and excludes all possible surprises or sudden expenses.

The best part, however, remains the good relationship with the people from Scania. Alvin says he probably has the smallest fleet of Scanias in the country, but the Managing Director of Scania SA and members of his top executive team drove all the way out to Upington to pay him a visit!

He says the one thing he could assure them off, was that their trucks can handle the dirt roads of the Kalahari, and if a truck can survive that, it can survive anything in Africa.

Choose a truck from the company that wants to help your company grow. Phone Scania at 011-661-9600 to find out where your closest dealer is, or visit www.scania.co.za.

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Humphrey Mojaki is a driver for Alvin Steenkamp from Cavalier Group. He has covered around 1,8 million kilometres in Scania trucks and only once did he need roadside assistance.

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