New farm transportation concept
Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 12:45
The Cape Orchard Group, in consultation with an established transportation specialist and with input from the Namibian Road Safety authorities, have pioneered a new concept in transportation for farm workers.
According to director and acting chief executive officer of Cape Orchard, Gerhard de Kock, the new passenger vehicles are initiated because he was confronted by limitations and costs involved with the old transportation systems.
De Kock added that the problems with the old transporters were their inability to negotiate farm roads.
“Busses are imported and have to be serviced in Windhoek. With the high running and maintenance cost it was not a viable option. The cost implication forced the company to look at alternative safe transport options,” De Kock noted.
De Kock decided to approach the problem from a new angle and called on the services of experts to develop a new purpose-built transportation vehicle that is safe and affordable, coming up with a tractor-trailer. The average cost of a bus is approximately N$1,.4 million as opposed to the N$ 700 000 for each of the new trailer-tractor combinations.
The new tractor-trailers can be used as a work station in the field where workers can charge their mobile phones from the solar panels on top of the roof. There is also a first aid station in the trailers, as well as an 800 litre stainless steel drinking water tank that provides clean drinking water to employees in the field.
“Due to the ground clearance of the tractor-trailer combination it is perfectly suited for the worst road-surface conditions that can be found on any farm,” De Kock said.
The first consignment consisting of 10 vehicles have been delivered, with another 10 due to be delivered before the commencement of the 2016 grape harvest.