Quality, reliability, durability, parts pricing, and fuel efficiency are just some of the many considerations for companies like RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers, which runs over 800 Ford vehicles in its fleet.
It’s a dynamic vehicle partnership that goes back to 2006 with nameplates like the Ranger and Transit playing a trusted role in RAM’s success while expanding the courier company’s fleet footprint. While many of these vehicles have impressive high-mileage stories to tell, it is a particular 2019 Ranger 2.0 SiT XLT 4×4, which has covered over 265 000km, that highlights the incredible work these vehicles do daily.
“With the introduction of Ford’s new 2.0-litre Single Turbo diesel, we wanted to demonstrate the reliability of this new engine. In 2019 we contacted RAM and entered a Partner Centred Development Program supported by local product development, service engineering, and quality and fleet sales teams,” says Adriaan Mocke, Vehicle Integration Engineer at Ford South Africa.
This partnership stems from Ford recognising the speed at which the world is changing and the increased pressures this brings to the management of a commercial vehicle fleet. No two customers are the same which is why the primary function of Ford’s Partner Centred Development program is to create long lasting direct customer relationships, and developing business specific solutions, by collaborating with our most valued fleet customers. This is also useful for identifying key problems to solve, and delivering optimised customer solutions for the best efficiency and productivity.
Inside the RAM vehicle, a standalone data-logging device is fitted to monitor powertrain parameters and possible fault codes across a variety of situations and road conditions. “Putting lots of mileage on the vehicle in a short space of time was essential in order to monitor the Ranger’s overall performance as well as illustrate the lower total cost of ownership to our fleet customers,” says Mocke.
“The information we have gathered on the vehicle helps us gain valuable insight into the way these vehicles are used, along with the demands placed on them. We incorporate this feedback into making the product more reliable as well as understanding the customer’s needs better. From there we can react quickly to address any potential pain points that customers might have while offering a more tailored customer experience. In addition to the data we receive, the vehicle’s oil condition is inspected at every service while transmission and axle oils are checked at 60 000km intervals,” Mocke explains.
Sampie Bosman, fleet manager at RAM, remains impressed by the vehicle’s all-round capability. “We’ve been dealing with Ford through the Eastvaal Motors distribution network for many years and have utilised many Rangers in various applications. We currently have around 800 Fords in our fleet. Ford has been very good to us. If we’ve had trouble, they are there to help,” says Bosman.
Backing this sentiment is the AA Spare Parts Pricing Guide for 2021. The Ford Ranger 2.0 Single Turbo FX4, which is based on the Ranger XLT, achieved the lowest total parts basket as a percentage of purchase price across the entire survey, at just 13.64 percent. It also has the lowest rand value for the basket of parts in the highly competitive Leisure Double Cab pickup segment – a second consecutive victory for the Ranger Double Cab after winning the category in the 2020 AA-Kinsey Report.
“Our vehicles work hard,” says Bosman. “It’s not uncommon for this Ranger to do up to 10 000km a week travelling between Johannesburg and Cape Town. We’ve also been to Namibia with it on those dirt roads. On trips like these, the consumption provides a tangible cost saving thanks to the 10-speed gearbox helping to achieve amazing fuel consumption figures and providing nearly 1 000km of range from one full tank. The vehicle is also involved in a myriad of applications from security, leisure and as a workhorse. The Ranger has not only risen to these challenges but has also become a favourite among our large fleet.”