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Aug 24, 2012

Trailer manufacturer signs business agreement, builds new factory

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Johannesburg|Africa|Paramount Trailers|System|Welding|Africa|Diverse Network|Manufacturing Aluminium|Manufacturing Capacity|Manufacturing Facility|Manufacturing Process|Product|Products|Steel|Trailer Manufacturer|Transport|Imperial Used|Imperial Used Trucks|Imperial Used Trucks|Kevin Sullivan|Kevin Sullivan|Warren Marques|Laser
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Commercial trailer manufacturer Paramount Trailers has signed a business agreement with truck dealer Imperial Used Trucks, which makes it the official commercial trailer partner for the truck dealer.

The agreement, which was finalised in May, resulted in a variety of consignment commercial trailers being placed at various Imperial truck dealers in the country.

“Imperial Used Trucks customers can now purchase their trucks and trailers from one supplier, and be assured of high- quality products and customer service,” says Paramount Trailers MD Warren Marques.

Imperial Used Trucks GM Kevin Sullivan says a close relationship with Paramount Trailers allowed the partnership to develop.

“Conducting business with Paramount Trailers is always easy. The company is always willing to go the extra mile. The quality of its products and its extensive range will be a great asset to Imperial Used Trucks and our business partners,” he adds.

Marques states that the partnership provides Paramount Trailers with further access to a vast and diverse network of customers.

“It also allows us to continue to venture further into Africa, growing our footprint on the continent,” he says.

Meanwhile, the company is building a new manufacturing facility in Alrode, Johannesburg.

“The new R150-million 29 000 m2 facility is being built on a 76 000 m2 property. We have grown as a company and need to expand our manufacturing capacity on the premises. Our aim is to streamline our manufacturing process, which will be more cost effective,” says Marques.

The facility is expected to assist Paramount’s relationship and engagement with customers such as Imperial Used Trucks.

Further, Paramount Trailers last year started manufacturing aluminium mild steel hybrid feeding tank units, which provide a 30 t loading capacity.

“Although aluminium units can load more than 30 t, research has shown that very few operators make use of this additional capacity. “In the current difficult economic environment, transport operators are constantly looking to manufacturers to provide them with cost-effective solutions and this is what our new hybrid unit does,” he explains.

Marques adds that there has been an increase in demand for bulker trailers, prompting the company to introduce the Belly Auger model.

“Feed-tank designs consist of either a hydraulic or pneumatic discharge. “We have noticed that the South African market prefers the hydraulic discharge design.

“The Auger bulkers incorporate internal inverted V-shaped discharge gates, with enhanced operating features and an integrated closed Auger system, as well as synchronised offloading ratios,” says Marques.

He notes that the South African trailer market faces many challenges and highlights that the rising fuel price and living costs are contributing factors.

“Businesses are closing down and not many new ones have been established,” he says.

Marques believes that, in combating this, companies need to reduce manfacturing costs rather than increase product prices.

“We haven’t had an increase in selling prices for three years; however, the input costs of the materials used to manufacture trailers have increased. We believe it is important to reduce costs as much as possible and to find cheaper input materials to reduce costs wherever we can,” he says.

One of the ways in which Paramount Trailers has cut costs is through its design process.

“We use more aluminium than Domex, which ensures that a robust trailer is built at the lowest possible weight to provide the greatest payload for the cus- tomer,” he notes. Domex is a high-tensile material that is stronger than aluminium but not as light, but which is lighter than mild steel.

Paramount will also incorporate robotic welding and assembly technology in its new manufacturing facility, which will allow the company to move away from its current labour- intensive processes.

Marques points out that the company also uses laser cutting machines, which have improved the way in which it builds its trailers.

“Laser cutting machinery costs more initially, but the end product has proved to be worth the investment, as the quality and design of the trailers have vastly improved since we introduced laser cutting in the manufacturing process,” he says.

Marques states that Paramount Trailers intends to continue making inroads into the rest of Africa, as the South African trailer market is saturated.

“We already have coverage in the Southern African Development Community region but, strategically, we are looking to focus within this region and increase our current footprint,” he states.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
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