Given that reliability is a key parameter in the refrigerated transport industry, Transfrig does not leave anything to chance when it comes to the selection of engines for its truck refrigeration equipment. Based on that approach, the leading supplier of transport refrigeration equipment in Africa has for the past three decades, and counting, specified Kubota engines on its truck refrigeration units.

Refrigerated transportation is critical to moving temperature-critical goods such as pharmaceutical and foodservice deliveries, among others. The importance of reliability in this industry cannot be reiterated enough – it is vital to keep products at a set temperature at all times.

Most temperature-critical products cannot withstand temperature fluctuations, and can become unsafe with even the smallest deviation. Temperature-sensitive products that experience environmental shifts can see adverse effects in safety, quality, flavour and efficacy.

Reliability, reiterates Francois de Villiers, Site R&D Manager at Transfrig, therefore plays a vital role in ensuring that the various products that are being transported are kept at required temperatures at all times, from the time they are collected from the source to when they are delivered to their final destination. 

Reliability is thus the operating mantra at Transfrig. The company, whose mission is to be the preferred supplier of transport refrigeration equipment in Africa and to become an internationally recognised player in the industry, specifies quality in every part of its business. One of the critical components are the engines that drive the truck refrigeration units.

“Transfrig has always specified Kubota engines for various reasons, but more importantly the reliability of these motors, coupled with the competitive pricing and the overall acceptance of the brand in the market,” says De Villiers. “We can’t take chances in our game. When a truckload of product worth R2-million or more is being transported over long distances, an absolutely reliable refrigeration unit is essential. That’s why we choose Kubota engines.”

Over the past three decades, Transfrig has purchased Kubota engines from local supplier, Smith Power Equipment (SPE). “Our procurement of Kubota engines through SPE dates back to as far as the 1990’s. Throughout this time, we have purchased tens of thousands of engines for firment in our refrigerated trucks,” says De Villiers.

Transfrig, says De Villiers, uses the Z482 engine in its MT210 unit (2 kW @ -20°C) and MT310 (3 kW @ -20°C) refrigeration units, as well as the D722 engine in the MT460 (4,5 kW @ -20°C) and the D1005 engine in the MT660 (6 kW @ -20°C).

The number of engines supplied to Transfrig varies from year to year, explains Clement Ngamlana, Kubota Engines sales representative at SPE. “We estimate that we supply in excess of 300 engines to Transfrig on an annual basis,” he says.

“Key to the reliability of these engine is also the support we get from SPE,” says De Villiers. “SPE looks after the warranties, provides parts for repairing and servicing of the motors, as well as general aftersales support, which is critical in addressing any issues that may arise.”

Apart from the quality of the product, the key to the longstanding relationship between Transfrig and SPE, reasons Ngamlana, is that SPE, as the supplier, always strives to meet the requirements and expectations of the customer, thus building customer confidence and trust.

“All our engines come with a 2-year/2 000-hour factory warranty. We also carry a wide range of parts for repairs and servicing. We share technical bulletins on the latest findings on our engines and also offer unparalleled aftersales support through our experienced technical team,” concludes Ngamlana.