Modified fleets can benefit African sectors

26th January 2024 By: Trent Roebeck - Features Reporter

Modified fleets can benefit African sectors

AUTOMOTIVE REVOLUTION Brendan Londt and Alan Caugant stand in front of an ambulance vehicle and a mobile service vehicle modified by RMAA SA

Special vehicle modifications company RMA Automotive South Africa (RMAA SA) has deepened its promise to use “excellent” design expertise and capabilities, as well as “cutting-edge technology” to enable multi-sectoral industry players to employ modified fleets and business transport vehicles to meet the requirements of their respective industries. At the same time, it unveiled its plans for the future as it aims to expand its product offerings across the African continent.

RMAA SA – which hosted its 15-year milestone breakfast celebration at the Irene Country Lodge, in Pretoria, in November last year – already provides innovative mobility solutions to governmental organisations, original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – including Ford, Isuzu, Toyota, Mahindra and Volkswagen – private-sector clients and individuals who request vehicle modifications.

“Our mission is to provide mobility solutions and create an environment where the vehicle can do what is needed, as opposed to having to adapt the business around the vehicle’s limitations,” says RMAA SA country manager Brendan Londt.

RMA Group global modifications MD Alan Caugant tells Engineering News that RMAA SA’s product and service offerings enable customers to convert pickup trucks and larger vans into fully functional multi-purpose vehicles that are equipped with all the features required for an array of industrial and commercial tasks.

Some of the modified vehicles on offer from RMAA SA – which were also on display at the breakfast celebration – include a single cab vehicle with a drop-side tray, a double cab mine site vehicle, a mobile service vehicle, and a fully-equipped ambulance.

Moreover, Caugant adds that the company is able to integrate its power and propulsion system applications into its clients’ vehicles. This means that the RMA Group has the intellectual property and “know-how” to convert internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles, as well as to transform 4 × 4 vehicles from right- to left-hand drive, or vice versa. Despite these options not generally being available in South Africa, exceptions can be made, depending on the client’s requirements.

“We have true expertise on special vehicle solutions . . . we always use our expertise to deliver tailormade mobility solutions to global fleets operating in the most challenging sectors,” adds Caugant.

RMAA SA also offers a full turnkey solution to all buying customers – providing them with a “vehicle with a box” – and ensures that customers receive after-sales services, including maintenance, backups and the provision of spare parts to those who operate in remote or secluded areas.

One of RMAA SA’s most recent innovations ties in with its efforts to contribute to decarbonisation.

The company has developed a battery that can be installed in modified vehicles to optimise processes – such as providing an alternative power source for driving or for business processes – while enhancing fuel efficiency. This battery is large in size and occupies a large part of the load bay on a double cab vehicle.

The mobility solutions company has also joined the alternative energy revolution by incorporating solar power at its manufacturing facilities, which reduces its carbon footprint.

Established in South Africa in 2008, RMAA SA – formerly known as Global Fleet Sales South Africa (GFS SA) – has since been providing multi-sectoral South African customers with access to vehicle modification solutions.

One of GFS SA’s notable projects was contributing to the preparation of vehicles for the US Army’s Tank-Automotive & Armaments Command project.

The company rebranded to RMAA SA in 2009, and shifted its focus to vehicle modifications for other industrial sectors, which included modifications for mine site vehicles, ambulances, police car canopies, defence force vehicles and agricultural vehicles, as well as humanitarian agencies such as the United Nations and Flying Doctors.

Noteworthy Accolades

In 2018, RMAA SA’s steel police canopies for the South African Police Service fleet were subjected to durability testing, and approved by Toyota South Africa.

The company also started work for Mahindra South Africa in 2019, when it completed several vehicle personalisation and mining conversion projects.

The company continues to work closely with Ford South Africa and is the only Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier for mining operations in the country. “It has strong ties with many other automotive customers, further enhancing access to innovative vehicle modifications and mobility solutions, with special attention paid to design, “modifications excellence”, and commercial vehicle optimisation.

“RMAA SA has evolved to become a nontraditional automotive company that delivers products of excellent quality, with the speed and agility of a startup business,” enthuses Londt.