Members must ensure that their vehicles are in excellent shape before venturing into Angola, and drivers are equipped with emergency repair kits and spares when possible.
If vehicles break down in Angola – the recovery of vehicles and doing repairs in Angola is a nightmare. When drivers and trucks overstay their allotted visa time inside Angola, as you exit the Angolan border you have to pay penalties for overstaying in the country.
Road conditions: very bad and in certain areas a 60km stretch can take up to eight hours.
Drivers: choose your drivers very carefully - in Angola you drive on the opposite side of the road to South Africa. This becomes difficult when driving on the right hand side of the road on narrow, bad winding roads with big hills and difficult declines – especially where the steering wheel is on the right hand side of the vehicle.
Content edited from article in publication: INTO AFRICA BUZZ.
PROCEDURE FOR BEING WEIGHED AT WEIGHBRIDGES
Many of the weighbridges in the region are giving transporters serious problems (Kapiri Mposhi and Beitbridge most recently).
These can be due to inaccuracies within the weighbridges, unlevel approaches to the weighbridges, inexperienced or corrupt weighbridge staff carrying out questionable weighing procedures, straight corruption, incorrect loading or even drivers adding contraband to their loads.
Whilst we cannot eliminate all the problems, we can at least help ourselves with one procedure and that is: how the truck moves on to the weighbridge.
Experience of transporters has shown that to minimize the chance of inaccurate readings, the truck should move very slowly on to the weighbridge. In this way, the momentum is reduced and the readings are less likely to be influenced by the weighbridge staff.
Of course there is a negative to this procedure and that is that the weighbridge staff can get upset by the slow movement of the vehicle and can, in extreme cases, fine the driver for not carrying out the instructions of the weighbridge staff.
There isn’t an easy solution, other than to approach the weighbridge at a reasonable pace, but then, just before the front wheel goes on to the platform, the vehicle is slowed down to a crawl. Obviously, surge in tankers is affected by this approach.