TRANSPORT company Timber24, which operates the second-longest rigs in KZN, recently took delivery of new 3350 Actros trucks from Garden City Commercials in Pietermaritzburg.

MD Blake Ferguson told Wheels that while the company runs a few Volvo trucks in serious off-road areas, their cost analysis shows that Mercedes- Benz trucks have the lowest total cost of ownership over the typical 500 000 hard kilometres their trucks run a year.

This low ownership cost is why the fleet of more than 70 trucks comprises Actros and Axor truck tractors, linked by drawbar to trailers especially de- signed for Timber24 to haul cane and timber.

Ferguson said his company has in- vested heavily in improving trailer de- signs, with the current fourth-genera- tion trailers both higher and four me- tres shorter than the first generation rigs, which enables drivers to use twisty, narrow roads. He said shortening the trailer while equipping the rigs to carry higher payloads per trip translated into fewer trips and reduces road risk by up to 25%, leading to significant annual savings for all parties involved.

Shorter rigs also mean fewer Depart- ment of Transport limitations apply to the vehicles. All Timber24 trucks are fitted with on-board weighting systems that enable drivers to optimise pay- loads without overloading.