A partnership between local truck and trailer service provider Laser Fast, oil and gas multinational ExxonMobil, its local distributor, CentLube, and tyre multinational Michelin Tyre Company has resulted in the creation of a complete heavy-duty vehicle service and fuel and driver rest stop in Meyerton, Sedibeng, in the south of Gauteng.
The truck stop, which is a certified Michelin Truck Service Centre, can offer all lubrication, mechanical repairs, tyre fitting, wheel alignment, brake testing and maintenance services. Laser Fast owner and founder Henry Young highlights that the facility, which has good security, plans to provide rest, ablution and canteen facilities for truck drivers, and is accessible for long-distance hauliers from the Northern Cape and the Western Cape.
The 18 000 m2 facility has 14 bays for checks, maintenance and repairs, as well as parking space for 50 trucks. The 2 450 m2 workshop is equipped with wheel alignment and high-speed wheel-balancing equipment, as well as brake-testing equipment to provide certificates of compliance for trucks, which are compulsory for trucks transporting fuel.
It also has a Michelin tyre store, as well as ExxonMobil lubricants, greases and oils. New and used engine oils are dispensed from or siphoned to 2 000 ℓ containers through hoses without handling by technicians. Dispensing is electronically controlled by the storeroom manager. National Oil Recycling Association-approved collectors reclaim the used oils.
Laser Fast will establish a diesel depot on the property once it obtains the licence, which it expects by the end of the year, says Young.
Michelin Tyre Company South Africa partnership programme manager Rowan McKay says the Laser Fast truck stop is one of four other Michelin Truck Service Centres, and the company aims to have seven or eight such centres in the chain by the end of the year.
CentLube CEO Clint Nickall lauds the initiative for providing a broad range and high levels of services for heavy-duty vehicles, noting that there is pent-up demand for efficient maintenance and repair services carried out during rest stops.
The facility has 17 technicians, who include alignment and brake testing specialists, and operates round the clock. Further, Laser Fast has a fleet of eight wheel-alignment bakkies that have equipment to perform wheel-alignment and balancing on site for customers round the clock. The company also provides mechanical repair services for trucks that encounter problems on the road.
“We can serve about 50 to 100 trucks a month at the truck stop, but expect this to grow as demand increases. We continuously train in-house and will maintain this in the expectation that growing demand will increase the need for highly skilled mechanics,” says Young.
He highlights the growth of Laser Fast – including moving onto larger premises twice over the past ten years – as evidence of the demand for 24/7 truck, trailer and bus services. Laser Fast started in 2003 with two bakkies providing 24/7 on-site wheel alignment and maintenance services.
ExxonMobil Southern Africa and Nigeria field marketing adviser Andreas Hadjidimitriadis highlights that the Laser Fast truck stop will be added to the ExxonMobil station locator function on the CentLube website.
The combined expertise and international brands made available through the partnership initiative support heavy-duty vehicle fleets and their owners to operate efficiently and continuously, concludes Young.