There is no room in business for emotion – and when your transport company depends on its vehicles, you vote with your cheque book and buy a brand which offers the best fuel economy and highest reliability
That’s why Lionel Rix of Rix Transport – which operates transport and courier services between Namibia and South Africa – has been a faithful Iveco customer for a number of years.
Time is money and when your vehicle is off the road, you’re losing money. Lionel knows that – and he knows from experience that, with Iveco, the down time is less than with any of its competitors.Still, while business is business, Lionel can’t keep his admiration from Iveco from surfacing: “These vehicles can really take a hammering…”
The vehicles he refers to are the 14 Iveco Daily panel vans Rix Transport has run over the years, and still runs, on gruelling routes between South Africa and Namibia. One of them he sold on with more than 1.3 million kilometres on the clock, another with just over 1.2 million km.
Typical mission profile for one of Lionel’s Daily vans is a 36-hour round trip from Windhoek to Johannesburg and back, a distance of 3 600km.
“We load them up with 2.2 to 3 tons and they go straight through – with two drivers.”
The Ivecos go to Johannesburg via Upington, which is a slightly longer route than through Botswana but, says Lionel, is “much safer” because there are fewer stray animals on the road in South Africa and the Dailys travel mainly at night.
Each one of the Iveco vehicles does between 18 000km and 25 000km a month in the service of Rix Transport – the sort of mileage an “ordinary” motorist would cover in a year.
“Each one of them does about five to seven Windhoek-Joburg return trips a month,” says Lionel who adds that, in terms of reliability, the Ivecos are far better than some of their often more expensive competitors.
“We service them regularly – one of my guys has been trained by Iveco – every 20 000km and if we have any major issues, we go to the local agents, Africa Commercial Vehicles in Windhoek.”
Lionel says the agents are always willing to get problems sorted out quickly, which is of critical importance because the Ivecos have such punishing schedules.
He says that Namibia is a particularly harsh environment for vehicles, because of the long distances, high speeds and high temperatures.
“In our experience the Iveco Daily does what it is supposed to do.”
Keeping meticulous records of fleet performance is an important part of a successful transport business and, Lionel says, the long-term fuel consumption of the Iveco Daily vehicles is running at an incredible 6.5 litres per 100km.
Considering the fact that the Ivecos normally run at the national speed limit of 120km/h and non-stop over these long distances, and are loaded with a minimum of 2.2 tons per trip, the fuel consumption is all the more remarkable.
It is not surprising that, when asked if he will be a repeat Iveco customer, Lionel Rix has a simple answer: of course.That’s business speaking, not emotion.