“Two Bar” is a fitting nickname for Namlog’s Hino 500-Series 1324 freight carrier that has covered more than 2.3-million kilometres since it was purchased new in 2009. It carries its age well and doesn’t look like a truck that has covered a distance equal to going around the earth almost 60 times.
The Hino has covered this distance without any major mechanical problems, says Albie Greyvenstein, Namlog’s National Fleet Manager. The bottom end of the engine is original, as is the gearbox and rear axle. The engine's cylinder head was reconditioned and some wear items such as the clutch plate have been replaced, as has the starter and alternator.
There is no plan to replace "Two Bar" at this stage. Usually Namlog considers replacing its trucks when they have covered between 700 000 and 800 000km as they start costing money in terms of repairs, so this Hino is very much an exception to the rule and is now on its way to covering three million kilometres.
Average fuel consumption is about 22.5l/100km which is acceptable for this type of operation where the average load is about five tons.
This particular Hino started its working life running loads on the Durban-Johannesburg route for about five years - sometimes making two trips a day - and was then switched to operating in Gauteng, where it is still used. Servicing took place every 30 000km when it was on the long-distance route and the interval has been cut to every 20 000km for the shorter runs.
Grenvenstein is very particular about tyre care and each truck has its wheel alignment checked every 15 000km and corrected if necessary. This strategy pays off and one of the Hino 1626 freighters had its first tyre change after travelling 350 000km operating in Gauteng.
Namlog has more than 60 Hino trucks in its fleet. Namlog (the name is derived from Namibia Logistics) was founded in 2002 and is a leading supply chain group.