Ballito-based Win Express is highly satisfied with their trio of Powerstar V3 2646 extra-heavy truck tractors.
“The reason we acquired the V3’s initially was down to the excellent coverage Ever Star Industries (ESI) has in Southern Africa,” explains the company’s director, Craig Trickett.
“ESI has the necessary service centres and dealer network in the three countries in which we operate – Botswana, Eswatini and Zambia – and they are able to support our cross-border business. This fact convinced us to go ahead with the transactions,” he continues.
Apart from these three countries, ESI also has a presence in Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Win Express opened its doors in 2011 as a courier company, transporting parcels across the country daily with a quartet of Peugeot delivery vans. Faltering, the business was taken over in 2018 by Mr. Trickett.
Not long thereafter, a number of trucks, from various manufacturers, replaced the modest French van fleet.
Today the company operates a mixed fleet of 16 heavy and extra-heavy trucks. And, while most of these trucks were obtained through rent-to-own deals, two of the three Power Star trucks were the very first new heavy vehicles the company ever bought.
The third Powerstar V3 in the Win Express fleet is a demo unit, which was sold to Mr. Trickett with an optional service plan. All three V3s were purchased from Truck Centre Durban, which provides sales, service and parts to Powerstar customers in Kwazulu-Natal (KZN).
Win Express uses the V3’s to transport various loads – containers, break bulk, steel coils, pallets and beverage coolers, from KZN to Gauteng, the Western Cape and across the country’s borders.
The long-haul trucks, which are fitted with Euro 3 Weichai engines and the choice of either manual or AMT transmissions, each do between 12 000km and 15 000km a month. With 20 000km service intervals, maintenance costs are kept low.
All of these factors have led Mr. Trickett to believe the 6×4 V3 to be a highly underrated truck tractor in the local market.
“These are good trucks. Our drivers are happy with them and we get good fuel consumption from them. Spare parts are available and the price of a basic service (around R9 000, including VAT) is very reasonable indeed,” he affirms.
Mr. Trickett is also impressed with the after-sales support he has received from ESI, which was recently put to the ultimate test.
“We had an unfortunate incident where one of our V3’s was attacked in Krugersdorp one Friday morning. The damaged truck was driven to the nearest dealership – in Centurion – while two replacement side windows, a windscreen and an intarder stalk were sourced and transported from Powerstar Pietermaritzburg via Truck Centre DBN. The parts arrived quickly and our truck was fully repaired. We were back on the road the same evening,” Mr. Trickett says. Incidentally, the ESI on-call roadside service is available for all ESI’s vehicle brands, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This service is provided free, so long as the original warranty is still valid.
Mr. Trickett likens the Powerstar V3’s he operates to another legend in the South African truck industry – the International Eagle 9800i – albeit more comfortable to drive and more modern in design. He believes the V3 will one day enjoy similar stature among South African transport operators.
He concludes that, while business was a bit sluggish during the first three months of the year, April saw an increase in transport volumes. He is optimistic this upward trend will continue, which will encourage him to buy more long-distance trucks that are emblazoned with the Powerstar badge.