On the maintenance side each truck that pulls into the yard follows a specific ritual before it gets parked. Under the watchful eye of Vossie's brother, Marius, each truck gets refuelled and washed before it moves into the workshop for maintenance or a scheduled service, done by Marius himself.
Only after everything is checked and re-checked the truck may be parked, ready for its next load.We have never lost an engine and had a zero breakdown record in 2012, while 2013 produced a single incident when a truck had some air loss – a minor problem close to base that was solved quickly.
Apart from the constant maintenance at base the trucks get a major service from Volvo every 100 000km. A typical truck will have a working life of 5 years at Vosma before it gets replaced. In that time it would have done around 400 000 to 600 000km.
Our fleet consists of Volvo trucks. Volvo trucks suit our business not only because of their low maintenance, but also because of their longer chassis and heavy duty differentials, which makes a difference in permit prices.
Operating with abnormal loads in the Western Cape is no laughing matter: each province has its own governance and legislation and the Western Cape is particularly strict. Only one item may be transported on one vehicle with one permit, and each vehicle needs an abnormal permit for both ways, loaded and empty.
The bureaucratic red tape is a pain, but also a blessing in disguise as some operators from other provinces avoid the Western Cape leaving the door open for companies like Vosma.
But in a business like this it's the loads that need to be moved that keep things interesting. Vosma's walls are lined with photos of unusual cargo moved: boats, helicopters, tanks, heavy machinery, huge pieces of art even.
In 2012 they transported unique vehicles built for the blockbuster film Mad Max (starring our own Charlize Theron) from Walvis Bay to Cape Town, and later to Kouga near Port Elizabeth. Anything up to 10m wide, 24m long and up to 100 tons can be moved and Vosma boasts a 100% success delivery record.
Looking at the photos of the different cargo, loading, moving and unloading big and sometimes sensitive equipment, surely a lot of stress must be involved?
Vossie laughs: "After years in the business you get used to it. It's all in a day’s work at Vosma."