Voith Turbo South Africa (Pty) Ltd, one of South Africa’s most trusted suppliers of class leading Retarders for extra heavy trucks and buses, automatic transmissions for buses as well as related services, has appointed Cape Town based Gearbox Repair Centre (Pty) Ltd. (GRC) as an official Retarder service partner in order to further improve customer service in the Western Cape region.
GRC was founded by Calvin Francois in 1988 and is a 100% black owned company that specialises in the repair and service of large (heavy and extra heavy-duty) transportation vehicles as well as repair and rebuild of Voith Retarders in conjunction with their gearbox rebuild centre. GRC is the latest independent, fully approved Voith Retarder service partner.
Explains Peter Wraight, who heads up the local Road Division. “Voith started manufacturing Retarders in the early 1950’s and well over 700 000 retarders have been manufactured since then. To date, we have supplied more than 15 000 Retarders to local customers,” says Wraight and adds, “In 1998 South Africa was also one of the first countries to fit Retarders as standard equipment to selected extra heavy vehicles. Today this has become the norm for almost all commercial vehicles in the 6x4 T/T sector.”
Voith Retarders are fitted either as standard or optional to Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Renault and Isuzu XHCV’s. Wraight says that other heavy vehicle brands are expected to follow shortly. “The increase in demand from the Far East is so great that it has prompted the establishment of a Voith Retarder manufacturing facility in China. South African demand is also increasing rapidly and it is our commitment to meet this growth and to reduce transporters’ downtime that persuaded Voith to expand its footprint and increase its presence in the Western Cape”.
According to Wraight, Voith Turbo’s high standards for a service and rebuild facility are not easily met. “It is not just about the availability of funds or having the right facility, it is about being able to offer the total package to meet our strict criteria to ensure sustainability, quality and, most importantly, customer service and support. We are proud that GRC, under the capable leadership of owner and Managing Director, Calvin Francois and his team, are able to meet not only all our criteria, but also that of the transport industry – freight and passenger transport.
The passion that Calvin has for his business, which he built up personally from humble beginnings, extends to his customers and he prides himself on his exemplary service ethic, skilled employees and total commitment to customer care. GRC’s remarkable growth into a profitable, successful company with a reputation for putting customer requirements and satisfaction first, is largely due to Calvin’s’ hands on approach, expertise, industry and product knowledge.
GRC’s specialist knowledge of Mercedes-Benz, Fuller, ZF, Eaton, ASTAS, Volvo, Scania, MAN and Rockwell gearboxes, were some of the contributory factors for selecting and appointing the company as an official distributor A proven track record for professional service, has earned quite a number of coveted Customer and Golden Service Awards for Calvin and his team. Calvin is also sole owner of Transmission Spare Parts (TSP) Gauteng (Pty) Ltd, an acquisition that complements and enhances GRC’s service offering. SA Prop and TSP Gauteng are affiliated to GRC.
According to Francois, GRC can re-build virtually any type of gearbox. “Time is money and rapid service delivery without compromising on quality is essential so, an efficient, competent one-stop workshop is the only solution for our customers. We have been repairing truck and bus gearboxes with Voith Retarders for many years and now our technicians can service, repair and overhaul the gearboxes even faster to put heavy vehicles back on the road in less time. We are proud to be part of the Voith distributor family and the GRC team will continue to deliver the superior service that industry has
come to expect from us.”
GRC’s clear customer focus, sophisticated computer system for controlling all stock purchases and movements between branches and passion for delivering quality across the board, further contribute to the company’s exceptional growth. Having occupied new premises only a few months ago, GRC is already planning an extension of 900 m2 to cope with increasing demand and has purchased a further 2000 m2 property in preparation for meeting future demands.
“With GRC’s well appointed workshop attending to Voith end users, we can live up to our expectations for ultimate customer service and satisfaction,” says Greg Olivier, Voith Area Manager, Western Cape. “GRC has a highly sophisticated state-of-the-art computer balancing system for prop shafts and also carries a large and extensive stock of spares, key to the success of this industry.”
”GRC is a most welcome addition to the Voith distributor family and with a reputation for excellence, extensive new premises and modern workshop, I have every confidence that Voith customers will receive the very best professional service delivery from Calvin and his team. We wish GRC every success going forward and we look forward to a long and healthy partnership and mutually beneficial business relationship with a company that conducts business with integrity, honesty and reliability,” concluded Wraight.