“Repeat purchase is the best measure of success” as is evident from the 35 FAW mixers and tippers added recently to the fleet of Scribante Concrete, bringing FAW’s representative total in that fleet to stand at 89 units.
Pushing for growth in an economic downturn takes tenacity, carefully calculated risk profiling and considerable research, all “flavoured with a touch of foresight’”. These are the attributes displayed by Scribante Concrete, a division within the larger Scribante Construction Group, as the company expands its reach in Gauteng with the commissioning of two concrete batching facilities – one in Muldersdrift and the other in Laezonia.
Alongside some sizeable investment into plant, equipment and staffing, Scribante Concrete has expanded its fleet with the purchase of 35 additional FAW vehicles. Going into operation at the West Rand batch plants at present, the new FAW units include 27 FAW 35.340FC 8m3 mixer trucks, six FAW 33.330FC 6m3 mixer trucks, and two FAW 28.280FT side tipper trucks.
Troy Petzer, operations manager for Scribante Concrete, explains: “The Scribante Construction Group saw the opportunity, crunched the numbers and with very careful consideration and planning, decided to invest and expand our Gauteng footprint. We had the chance to acquire the sites for our batch plants. Based on a 50 kilometre radius for delivering our time-sensitive product, we secured suitable construction contracts to support our growing business, as well as enough future prospects to validate our decision to strengthen our position in Gauteng.
“We’ve been running FAW mixers and tippers in our fleet for close on three years now. Based on the total cost of ownership calculation, together with superb aftermarket service and support, our choice fell to FAW as we replaced older vehicles in the fleet and started equipping for the West Rand plants.”
“Besides the vehicles, we’ve refurbished and installed the batching plants, appointed a management team for sales and customer contact, done staffing for concrete production, also for our maintenance and service workshop, and acquired drivers for our new extended fleet. In total we’ve created over a dozen new jobs so far with this expansion.
“As we’ve done in the past, Scribante Concrete will attend to basic service and maintenance on the vehicles on-site. To this end we’ve appointed two technicians. All technical training, driver orientation and testing, as well as 24/7 parts supply is provided and guaranteed by FAW SA whom we’ve come to trust. This was a crucial element in our purchase decision,” affirms Petzer.
He certainly aims to get every ounce of work out of each vehicle. However, the performance of each unit or ‘cubes per day’ as he puts it is highly dependent on the operating environment.
Other Scribante concrete production sites in Gauteng are based in Midrand and near Kyalami Business Park. Past projects served from these sites include the upgrade of both N2 and N3 freeways, and supplying concrete for a tunnel section of the Gautrain project between Malboro and Linbro Park.
“We’re not new to the pressures of transportation in Gauteng - highways with high traffic volumes, extended peak time congestion, eTolls, and generally aggressive driver behaviour. Key to our efficiency formula is the net cost-per-cube of our concrete product. We intend to continue securing contracts, offering competitive pricing by ensuring we have a high volume throughput from our West Rand operations,” says Petzer.
Not prepared to disclose the planned output for the West Rand plants, Petzer was willing to say that the volume targets are ‘aggressive’ and will demand superior customer service on the part of Scribante. In turn, the demand on the FAW truck fleet will be for maximum uptime, easy and efficient driving, highly effective parts supply, and lowest cost of operation.
“We’re up for it. We’ve been in the business for over 16 years; we have the advantage of a strong foundation through the Scribante Construction Group; and we have the experience and know-how needed to distinguish ourselves in this highly competitive industry.
“With respect to our transportation requirements, we have ‘walked the road’ with FAW and ironed out many ‘bumps’. Our relationship today is a highly collaborative one.”
The specialised truck modifications required and designed by Scribante have been incorporated by FAW SA into their offering.
“These specifications can be applied to the benefit of other FAW clients for their ready-mix concrete mixer trucks,” says FAW Regional Manager, Vernon Rudman, who is the main point-of-contact for Scribante Concrete, looking to their needs regarding the FAW fleet.
“The changes requested by Scribante were approved by our parent plant; applied to the mixer trucks, chassis and mixer bodies. The continuous improvement we were able to incorporate once again underpins the value of pursuing and maintaining a close relationship with a customer. They know their business best and we know our trucks best. Together we can improve and provide solutions that satisfy our customers’ needs.
“Together with Scribante Concrete, we at FAW SA have literally ‘refined’ our robust and durable mixer trucks to provide even stronger and longer-lasting operational efficiency. This serves both our customers’ and our own interests; really a win-win situation.
“As Scribante has shown continued support of our brand, so too will we continue to develop and improve, not only our product, but our personal service and aftermarket support,” concludes Rudman. “Scribante’s planned strategy and its success in Gauteng, depends partly on our FAW vehicles – a challenge for which we too are fully prepared.”