“We use Dynafleet mainly to monitor our fuel consumption”

Article published in Volvo News, a magazine for Volvo Trucks Southern Africa: http://bit.ly/zz2volvotrucks

Japie Burger

The South African farming enterprise ZZ2 cares about its carbon footprint. According to Transport Manager Japie Burger, Dynafleet helps ZZ2 to monitor and reduce its fuel consumption.

Name: Bertie van Zyl (Pty) Ltd; branded as ZZ2.
Country: South Africa.
Headquarters based in: Mooketsi in the Limpopo Province.
Number of trucks: 25 Volvo FH 440 and 4 Volvo FH 480 trucks out of 96 trucks in total. (The Volvo trucks do the long haul deliveries).
Number of employees: 8,000–9,000 depending on the season.
Transport assignments: Primarily vegetables, but also a variety of other goods.
Transport area: From different farms in Limpopo to the 8 National Fresh Produce Markets amongst others, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.

How would you describe your business?
“We are an agricultural company, operating mainly in the fertile Mooketsi valley in Limpopo, South Africa. Eighty per cent of our business is tomatoes, but we also grow avocados, apples, pears and onions. At about 500 tonnes of tomatoes per day, we are the biggest tomato producer in the Southern hemisphere. Our focus is on large-scale biological principles of agriculture, which means we farm in a way that is environmentally friendly and sustainable.”

What makes you unique?
“ZZ2 is a real family business. The van Zyl family started farming at the beginning of the 1900s. In the late 1940s Bertie van Zyl took over from his father, realising there was more money in growing tomatoes than potatoes. When Bertie died in 2005, he had built up ZZ2 into a multi-million Rand farming conglomerate. Since 2002 we have been working on changing our farming practices from a predominantly conventional chemical approach to a more ecologically balanced nature friendly approach.”

What are the key challenges?
“We work with fresh produce. Tomatoes that have been picked today must be at the market the next morning at 04:00. It is a massive logistical operation. We need to keep tabs on every process, from picking to packing, to make sure that we are on schedule. That also means we need to closely monitor our trucks, and we need trucks that are reliable and productive. Each long distance vehicle travels about 20,000 kilometres per month to markets in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Durban. It is a massive challenge. It can be done, but every day we must focus and adapt to changes.”

How do you select your trucks?
“Our selection criteria includes reliability, comfortability, productivity, cost efficiency and above all, fuel efficiency. The fuel costs are more than 40 per cent of the total running cost. ZZ2 uses about 4.7 million litres of diesel annually and it is imperative to reduce our fuel consumption through optimisation, to save cost and reduce our carbon
footprint. Our experience with Volvo Trucks are that they are fuel efficient, very reliable and productive. We are happy with the choice we made.”

How and why did you start using Dynafleet?
“The main reason we use Dynafleet is to monitor our fuel consumption. We use it to give our drivers parameters. When our drivers return from the markets, we compare the actual fuel pumped into the tank with the consumption figure Dynafleet gives for the trip. Apart from the fuel consumption we use the tracking system as well.”

What benefits or advantages does Dynafleet give your business?
“Knowing what’s going on with our fuel consumption is important because it gives us data to work with. If a truck uses more fuel than normal, we investigate the route or the driving technique of the driver. It might be that it travels through a mountainous area or with heavy return loads.”

What do your drivers think about Dynafleet?
“Our drivers are very cooperative and work together to improve fuel usage and productivity. Fuel usage is something they can control together with their speed, idling and harsh acceleration. If they drive economically, we give them a bonus at the end of the month. After three months of good performance we even double the bonus. So our drivers definitely see the advantages of Dynafleet for themselves and we as a team assist to ensure increase of productivity and cost efficiency.”