Serco News Articles
Serco has developed a reputation of finding solutions to logistical problems customers encounter. By being up to speed with global trends and innovations, Serco continually looks to give their clients a competitive edge. This was the case recently when a newly-established eatery and take-away chain, Ko-Lay Home of Chickens, was faced with getting products from its headquarters in Durban to outlets in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State efficiently and speedily. Ko-Lay first experimented by outsourcing its transport, but soon found that was not the answer and decided to invest in their own delivery vehicles. But it would have to be a truck able to transport fresh, frozen and dry goods and critically that the cold chain would not be compromised in any way. They turned to Serco, for the answer. Sales representative Steve Davenport was called in and quickly established that the key challenge was to manufacture a truck with multi-temperature compartments which would enable easy access for numerous drop-offs. Another requirement was to make provision for storage bins Ko-Lay uses to move its products. Serco proposed a three-zone, multi-temperature body, which the customer liked and in turn the concept was given the green light for production. Features of the body which was fitted to a Hino 300 915, included: * Moveable insulated partitions incorporating thermally rated cores from Serco’s partner Loadlok in Holland * Load lock rails with shoring bars for load securing * Side door access to the fresh and frozen compartments * Double rear-door access to the dry goods * A loading configuration to suit handling 125 storage bins Head of Marketing at Ko-Lay, Kreeshan Reddy, said the vehicle was already proving its worth, handling deliveries to all the company’s branches. “Fully loaded, the vehicle can carry about 2 500 chickens and 3.6 tons of payload which is really good,” said Reddy. “We have developed a good business relationship with Serco – the quality of the vehicles and the service we get from them is brilliant. “We’ll definitely be looking to place more orders with them in the future.”
Serco is supplying 31 dry freight truck bodies – including 7 demountable load units - to Bakers S.A. Limited, who will use them in their fleet for the distribution of FMCG, as well as white and brown goods on a national basis. The new Serco units – 5m, 7m and 8.7m in length - are ideal for quick loading and offloading. The demount bodies are being fitted onto Fuso vehicles and the rest onto Mercedes Benz Ategos. The first unit delivered was a Protec steel dry freight body, which is the first dry goods body produced in our new state-of-the-art manufacturing process recently introduced by Serco. The Protec steel panels are made in the company’s cutting-edge press, and incorporate exterior and interior heavy duty coated steel facings. The vehicle was proudly handed over at Futureroad Expo in Johannesburg. Serco Managing Director, Mr Clinton Holcroft, said that the demountable load bodies are a relatively underutilised concept on the South African market, resembling a container on wheels! "The idea is that the body and the sub-structure can be dropped off at the distribution centre while the chassis is taken away to be reloaded. The turnaround time is much faster," said Holcroft. Features on the new bodies include: • Whiting Roll Over Doors • Load Securing Rails with strapping solution to suit the trolleys • Rear Marker lights • Bulkhead Protection for trolleys • Heavy duty lightweight Birch ply flooring
A big “wow” feature on Serco’s stand at the Futuroad Expo in Johannesburg in October was a Smart Trailer fitted with a variety of high tech mechanisms to facilitate park distance control, electronic braking and temperature monitoring, among many other innovative benefits. Visitors to the show were the first to see all the technological innovations on the Smart Trailer which is now among the company’s latest offerings on the market. Serco managing director, Clinton Holcroft, said “with the exciting advances being made in technology - Serco have put together a package to enable fleet owners to proactively sharpen their competitive edge and improve service levels to their customers”. The end result is a state-of-the-art trailer with telematic features for GPS tracking, recording trailer braking, odometer readings, door monitoring, temperature recording with alarms, axle load indication, tyre pressure monitoring and reverse assistance. The technology fitted records temperatures in the trailer with alarms and alerts sent out if there are temperature deviations from set points, and also monitors doors being opened or closed, gives odometer and speed readings, and records instances of harsh braking and dangerous tilting when cornering. “Among other features are tyre pressure sensors which remit information about the vehicle’s tyres through a telematics system onto the operator’s cell phone, computer or a console in the cab,” said Holcroft. The system can also be set up to view through the smart display which many new model truck tractors now come with. “The axle weight can be individually monitored and viewed to enable transporters to avoid overload penalties. The odometer reading can be accessed remotely so service intervals can be planned. Door opening and closing can be monitored which is helpful when goods go missing.” Holcroft says, “the aim of making use of the technology on trailers is to put fleet owners in a position to be proactive in identifying issues rather than reactive and in so doing improve efficiencies and reduce costs in their businesses”.
Serco’s new protec steel refrigerated vehicle body – the Frostliner – was showcased during a recent national road show which included stop-offs in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban as well as in Namibia. Panels on this, the company’s latest innovation, are manufactured using coated steel facings delivered to Serco in five ton coils. Customised machinery designed specifically for the new process includes a de-coiler for the steel sheets and a clinching machine to join the coated steel facings into a single, full length sheet which is then lifted, using a spreader crane with suction cups, to transfer the sheets of up to 15.5m in length into the 900-ton panel press. A state-of-the-art system then mixes the Polyol and Isocyanate with an environmentally friendly blowing agent to create a high density polyurethane foam which is injected into the panel. Testing has been extensive and we have achieved noticeable improvements in thermal performance and panel strength, which reflect our ongoing quest for innovation and our commitment to industry-leading standards of product quality. The Frostliner trailer, a proudly South African product manufactured according to international standards at our recently expanded factory site in Durban, is supported by our national repair divisions. We are excited about the new age Serco Frostliner Protec Steel panel technology and have already achieved a milestone of 50 trailers completed since early this year.