• Forestry leads the way in heavy transport

    Forestry leads the way in heavy transport

    The pioneering role that the South African timber industry has played in the implementation of the Road Transport Management System (RTMS), a self-regulatory programme focusing on load optimisation, driver wellness, vehicle maintenance and productivity, has paved the way for the introduction of PBS. RTMS accreditation is a pre-requisite for any transport contractor wishing to operate a PBS vehicle. Without RTMS there would be no PBS.
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New logging truck fleet boosts profitability

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Pulp and paper manufacturer Sappi Forests and its contracted timber hauling firm, Timber Logistics Services (TLS), have invested in a new 15-truck fleet of specialised abnormal load logging MAN Truck & Bus Smart Trucks to replace its existing fleet.

Guided by the Road Transport Man- agement System (RTMS), an industry-led self-regulation programme designed to ensure road safety, load optimisation and driver and vehicle fitness, the fleet will transport raw timber from Sappi Forests’ pine plantations in the Umkomaas region of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to its Saiccor mill, south of Durban.

On obtaining RTMS accreditation, operators are issued with Smart Truck permits by the national Department of Transport (DoT), which allow operators to run abnormal-length or abnormal-load vehicles on public roads, effectively boosting their bottom line profitability.

The global truck transport industry is driven by the need to constantly improve payload efficiency, while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption and harmful exhaust emissions, improving road safety and limiting the industry’s impact on road surfaces.

The MAN Smart Truck logging vehicles have been introduced following extensive technical and in-field trials to ensure safety according to performance-based standards (PBS) criteria.

Technical drawings of the 25.7 m Smart Truck, combining the 480 hp MAN TGS 33.480BB with trailer manufacturer Afrit’s five-axle drawbar trailer, were sent to Australian company Mechanical System Dynamics, which classified the combination as being Level 2 Road-Class Access, as outlined in the PBS requirements.

TLS MD Brian Hunt says the fleet replacement operation follows a three- year vehicle-replacement cycle. He adds that TLS has a long-standing relationship with MAN Truck & Bus to reduce the total cost of ownership as a primary driver when it comes to fleet renewal, as well as enhance productivity.

“Six months ago, a MAN TGS 33.480BB test unit was put to work in our operation while its PBS approval process was under way. The fuel consumption figures it delivered outperformed the previous Smart Truck by 4 to 5 per 100 km, which translates into a R3-million-a-year saving for the Smart Truck fleet.”

The deployment of the new MAN Smart Trucks is the result of a close and ongoing working partnership between TLS, MAN, Afrit and the KZN DoT to ensure sustained compliance with Smart Truck performance standards, as well as national road and occupational health and safety regulations.

“The KZN DoT is a key player in help- ing us pioneer new frontiers in timber transport.

“Between 50 and 60 Smart Truck loads and the routes they travel on are monitored by the DoT every month. This auditing process is done in a spirit of collaboration and transparency and it is clear that government is keen to foster the development of truck technologies that can help meet its objectives to promote international competitiveness, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions control and road safety,” Hunt says.

Governed by Sappi’s stringent service- level agreements, TLS operates on a 90% uptime principle, demanding high reliability from its vehicles.

“Forestry is an everyday business and having a vehicle that is able to get to loading points in plantations on forestry roads in inclement weather is crucial to our meeting our contractual obligations.

“The MAN TGS 33.480BB is able to go where no competitor model can, making it a clear winner for our application, where muddy off-road work is an everyday challenge,” states Hunt.

Further, the new Afrit Smart Truck trailers run on air suspension with an underslung drawbar, making them more stable on the road with less vibration, helping to reduce maintenance costs and limiting road pavement damage.

Powered by the MAN D26 480 hp common-rail engine with a MAN TipMatic automated gearbox and ZF Intarder, the TGS 33.480BB has a permissible gross combination mass of 90 000 kg and carries a maximum 48 000 kg payload in the Smart Truck configuration.

The 15 MAN Smart Trucks are backed by a four-year 600 000 km extended warranty, a full original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) maintenance contract and a guaranteed buy-back clause after three years.

“The parts and servicing costs on MAN trucks are between 25% and 30% less than those of competitor OEMs, delivering a yearly saving of R1.6-million across our fleet,” says Hunt.

With each new Smart Truck carrying 8 t more timber per load, the number of TLS trucks on the road will be reduced by 20%, easing congestion and road pavement damage, while improving employment opportunities for drivers.

“Smart Truck fleets use more drivers than conventional operations because shifts are eight hours long rather than the typical 12-hour forestry shift. Drivers undergo intensive training and are closely monitored to ensure they are healthy and not fatigued before they drive a Smart Truck.

“In fact, the Smart Truck accident rate is significantly lower than that of normal trucks at 0.2 accidents per one-million service hours, compared with 3.2 accidents per one-million service hours in regular timber combinations,” explains Sappi Forests transport development manager Robin Pretorius.

MAN Truck & Bus South Africa deputy CEO Bruce Dickson says, after several months of trial operation in the KZN area, the new MAN Smart Trucks have proved they have the power and fuel efficiency to meet the demands of a more stringent operating environment.

Further, MAN is able to significantly reduce CO2 emissions using current production models running on locally produced diesel.

“All of us at MAN are proud and privileged to be realigned with TLS and are confident that the partnership will create a win-win situation for Sappi and TLS, and for society,” concludes Dickson.

 

Source: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za

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New logging truck fleet boosts profitability

Pulp and paper manufacturer Sappi Forests and its contracted timber hauling firm, Timber Logistics Services (TLS), have invested in a new 15-truck fleet of specialised abnormal load logging MAN Truck & Bus Smart Trucks to replace its existing fleet.

Guided by the Road Transport Management System (RTMS), an industry-led self-regulation programme designed to ensure road safety, load optimisation and driver and vehicle fitness, the fleet will transport raw timber from Sappi Forests’ pine plantations in the Umkomaas region of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to its Saiccor mill, south of Durban.

Source: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za

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