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Roads The Global UD Trucks Customer Magazine

ISSUE 1 2014


Into the wilderness South Africa Tackling poverty Singapore A family on wheels




The road test which changed it all

Our journey began 75 years ago. It still continues.

ISSUE 1 2014


Dear friends,

At UD Trucks we have a passion for Ultimate Dependability. To always go the extra mile in everything we do. To excel on the things that make a real difference.

Australia Into the wilderness Transportation in Darwin

Welcome to this new enriched version of Roads, your magazine about UD Trucks and the world of road transportation.

In 1939 our founder Kenzo Adachi had spent four years building “the truck the world needs today” – our first truck and diesel engine. To prove his idea right, he decided on a 3.000 km ultimate test-drive during 13 days. In the most demanding conditions, he personally drove up and down the steep Nagano Alps, all the way to Osaka and Kyoto, passing Mount Fuji and the Hakone mountains on his way back to Tokyo, putting his creation – as well as his big vision – to the definite test. He was successful, not a bolt came loose on the way.

Every day, across the globe, the UD Trucks teams are working alongside you, supporting your progress and facing common challenges. Having collected so many stories on the journeys that we embark on together, we are delighted to share some of them in Roads. In this issue, we will take you to discover two transport companies in Australia and Singapore, and how, though operating in very different environments, both rely on UD Trucks to successfully grow their business.

Today, UD Trucks is proud to continue the tradition of offering outstanding value. Our focus is still to build productive and highly reliable vehicles with superior fuel efficiency. We move our customers forward with passionate and professional support, every step of the way. But our history is merely the beginning. We got our mind set on the future, doing our utmost to create the trucks the world needs. Today as well as tomorrow.

This year is the 75th anniversary of UD. We will also take you back in time to its birth in 1939. Our founder Kenzo Adachi submitted the first truck he created to an epic test: 3,000 km on the toughest Japanese roads of that era. The spirit, sense of challenge, attention to detail and pursuit of perfection demonstrated by this visionary entrepreneur still runs broad and deep in UD’s core DNA today.

We are UD Trucks. We move you forward.

It is fundamental for UD Trucks to act responsibly in every area we serve, and when we can, to give back to local communities. In South Africa – a growing economy still facing major inequalities – we have proudly joined forces with local supermarket chain Shoprite to contribute to relieving hardship in some of the country’s most disadvantaged areas. Lastly, you will find a new Tips & Tricks section, a page we wish to become yours. We know you are the experts when it comes to life on the road, so please send us your tips to share with other truckers and the road community. We hope you enjoy this issue. Don’t forget this magazine is yours: your comments are welcome at Until next time, keep trucking!

Yusuke Sakaue President UD Trucks Corporation


South Africa Driving anti-poverty efforts Making a tangible difference


Interview Express UD Product Planning Specialist: Shogo Ono


Technology The world’s first urea SCR system How UD broke new ground in reducing fuel emissions


Singapore A family on wheels

History The inspiring drive to fulfil a dream An audacious adventure

34 Trucker Tips and Tricks 35

Tradition Kaizen, the art of never standing still The practice of continuous improvement Roads is published by UD Trucks Corporation Publisher Per Sundström Tel: +81 48 726 7601

Produced by Tel: +86 139 1115 5788


Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Au s tralia

Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Au s tralia

Into the wilderness Darwin – on the northern tip of Australia – has a hostile natural environment and a long wet season. Yet, this is where Tomazos, a construction group, settled and recently added a brand new transport division. 04


hen I joined Tomazos two years ago, we had six second-hand trucks. Now we have 19 trucks, five loaders, and an excavator.” Standing in the Spartan cabin which he and his Transport Supervisor use as an office, Keith Joy cuts an imposing figure. The Operations Manager of Tomazos’ transport and mining activities is tall and built like a rugby player. It is typical to meet hard working and super-involved people in

the transport industry and Keith is no exception to the rule. He started at 3am this morning after finishing at 9pm the night before. He is a man on a mission, and he has no time to waste. Tomazos first hired Keith in May 2012. This hardy Irishmen has over 15 years’ experience running transportation and multiple companies at the same time, a period which enabled him to develop expertise in rock, quarries, sand and

Text: Tony Becker Photos: Michael Coyne

concrete. It was precisely this versatility that made him an ideal candidate for Tomazos to expand their business. Confident in Keith’s abilities, John Tomazos tasked him with managing both their mining and transport operations together.

Business is booming With Keith at the helm, the transportation sector of Tomazos has grown rapidly. “We expanded in many

ways, and importantly, secured several long-term contracts,” Keith says. One of them is for the Ichthys LNG plant (see page 9), currently one of the major development projects in the Darwin area. Another is with an iron ore mine, which needs trucks rotating 24 hours a day, six days a week. Keith claims they could easily pledge 20 trucks to the contract but this means they would not be able to serve other clients. The company currently has six to eight trucks working


Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Au s tralia on the iron ore job. “It takes 12 hours to go there and get loaded, and then get back to the port,” Keith explains. Two drivers are kept on rotation. Sunday is reserved for maintenance and rest time for the employees. Drivers alternate between working days and nights every week. The phone rings. It is one of his regular clients. They have a new task: moving 400,000 tons before the rain returns in September. That’s another seven trucks locked into a contract. In September, Darwin enters its wet season lasting approximately six months. The quarries and some of the roads will be flooded. The wet season governs the work schedule. To complicate matters further, the duration of the dry season can vary, with profound consequences on business and life in Darwin. The seven trucks will rotate permanently for the new contract before the rain falls again, with single, double, triple and even quadruple trailer trains being used. Last year’s wet season, the roads were completely flooded, leaving no access to the quarries. “When it’s flooded, you can’t extract rock. No rock, no concrete. No concrete, no building. No building, no job,” Keith says logically. “Everybody was looking for materials, and prices went up. You could receive a call for concrete, and the price had doubled in a week. It messed up the market place and made the prices very volatile. It’s difficult enough for the private market to deal with it, but it’s even more difficult for government projects, which have a fixed budget and can’t be expanded,” Keith says, citing an example. “The construction of the Darwin Hospital has a planned budget of AU$220 million, and not a penny more.”

Intense workload Now the dry season has started, and the level of activity at Tomazos Transport has reached a fever pitch, with trucks running 24 hours a day. “When the rain stops, you try to make one year’s work in six months,” Keith says. “You can do nothing for the other six months of the wet season.”

Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Au s tralia was no wet season. You would have expected the workload to decrease, but it didn’t. “We ran 24 hours for six months, then 24 hours for another six months.” With such a jam-packed schedule, Keith admits the job can be extremely involving. “From a personal point of view, you have to know when to take breaks, when to take holidays. This can consume you, you have to know when to get a rest,” he says.

Great truck to drive: fast, reactive, comfortable

“When clients call, they need you to react immediately. They need their products on the road, and they can’t wait. If I can’t do it, they will call somebody who can do it,” he says. The competition is strong between transport companies; Keith has to constantly plan in advance to keep up with demand.

Brad Donald, Transport Supervisor

A unique fleet Tomazos’ fleet is composed of many different brands of trucks, which is not usually the case in Australia. “Most companies here use the same brand of trucks by tradition, because their father or grandfather was already driving one.” Keith says. “Since Tomazos is new in the trucking business, we simply choose the ones fitting our activity the best. Having diverse brands of trucks in our fleet allows us to compare their different performance.”

Tomazos, the evolution of a local group There is no way to introduce Tomazos without mention of Darwin. Not only is the region the center of their diverse businesses, it inspired and motivated the birth of the company. When Tony Tomazos came to Darwin, he was merely a humble plumber. He stayed and built a solid reputation for 11 years, until the tropical Cyclone Tracy destroyed Darwin on Christmas morning of 1974. Right under the eye of the cyclone, Darwin suffered through seven hours of torrential rainfall, and winds recorded at a high of 217 kilometers per hour, that is, before the measuring meter was destroyed. Faced with devastated homes, Tony volunteered to stay behind and assist with the restoration and reconstruction of the city. It was during this time that Tony recognized the potential in the construction industry and consequently formed his construction company. Today’s Tomazos Group remains in the hands of the family, operates in four divisions – development,

building, civil and infrastructure construction, and transport. Even though, on the surface, Darwin is not as attractive a city as its southern counterparts, there is a lot of work in this area. Especially in the last couple of years, the group has experienced tremendous growth following the continual development of Darwin, the infrastructure boom, the construction of the liquefied natural gas plant, and the rich mining resources under the land. Focusing on Darwin gives Tomazos an edge. They are able to provide customized services, adapted to local conditions, provide the desired results.

Driver Dennis Fairchild is carrying out the pre-start procedure check on his truck. Stepping out of the truck in the outback can be very dangerous for the drivers.

Tomazos’ development is based on a concrete set of goals: to keep delivering the best result possible on the projects they undertake and to keep a constant stream of work for their employees, thereby maintaining stable growth. It is a smart and rational business philosophy. Taking on the best and worst that Darwin can offer, the future of Tomazos is on track for success.

But some years, like two years ago, there



Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Au s tralia

Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Au s tralia

Keith’s calculations

A keen sense of organization and attention to details are two of Keith’s strong points, and it shows in the way he runs his fleet of 19 trucks. Permanently looking at optimizing the company’s operational efficiency, Keith adds, “We always try to make things better, more efficient. We try to get the best value, while keeping things running, all the time. For us, UD trucks offer the best return on investment.”

Maintenance UD trucks

Other trucks

The best part is that they don’t break down. Reliability is key for us


Same tonnage | Same hours UD trucks

Other trucks

Keith Joy, Operations Manager

Without any encouragement, Keith can talk at length about the superiority of UD trucks. “Compared to other trucks, they are cheaper to buy, cheaper on fuel, easier on tires, don’t wear brakes as quickly, are faster and snippier, and take off quicker from intersections. In terms of maintenance, parts are cheaper and maintenance also takes less time, so labor costs are also reduced.” Keith goes on. “On single and double trailers, they are the best trucks money can buy.” Brad Donald, the Transport Supervisor, joins the conversation. This athletic, redhaired Australian adds, “They are very maneuverable, they can turn on a penny. Other trucks are bigger, less agile. The small turning circle allows us to access narrow lanes, to unload in tight spots.” This point is echoed by Rick. He is one of the best drivers in the team and is often specifically requested by clients. UD trucks allow him to easily maneuver in confined spaces: he is able to reverse around the back of a house, for instance, or down a side street. For him, UD trucks are the best ones for the job. “Our drivers love to drive them,” Brad says. “Importantly, they are also very


comfortable for drivers: they actually like to drive UD trucks for 12 hours a day. They don’t feel pain in their back or in their legs.” Keith points out the reliability and durability of UD Trucks means maintenance is rarely an issue. “You save money when you buy the truck and also on the duration of the life of the truck. The best part is that they don’t break down. Reliability is key for us. Our other trucks, even less than one year old, have to go back to dealers; we have problems all the time. Not with UD. Two years and zero problems,” he states. Brad chimes in, “Another point is that UDs react very well to the Australian heat, they don’t overheat. Some of our trucks are good on nighttime, but on daytime, they have difficulties keeping the engines cool. UD trucks are very well adapted to our climate.” When you’re running a business, the bottom line counts. “UD trucks are just more efficient. For the same job, same tonnage, same hours, a UD truck needs 150 liters of fuel when some of our other

trucks consume 250 liters. Just for this reason, as a business we would choose UD trucks.” Keith doesn’t mince his words about the advantages of UD trucks, for him it’s simply, “Service them, put fuel in them, drive them, don’t worry about them.” The phone rings again. Another client has asked for 200,000 tons of sand to be moved. Keith has to integrate this request into an already busy schedule. Keith is regularly interrupted to attend to things with his managers and drivers and to answer questions about the program that day, or on all kind of matters. He is always able to answer swiftly, without referring to his computer. He knows everything by heart. There is something about Keith that reminds one of the frontier period in United States. It’s the sense of opportunity, the will to rise to a new challenge in a new and alien environment. The 40-year-old father has four children, all under 12 years of age. In the last five years alone, he

The Ichthys LNG Plant The Ichthys LNG Plant, operated by Japanese oil company INPEX, is a 50-billion-dollar international venture to transport oil and gas in from the Timor Sea. The gas will flow through an 885-kilometer sub-sea pipeline to an onshore plant in Darwin. It will be cooled to below minus 161 degrees Celsius turning it into liquefied natural gas (LNG). The field will yield 12.8 trillion cubic feet of gas and 527 million barrels of condensate. The plant will not open until 2017 but already 15 billion dollars’ worth of gas has been sold to China. The project will pump AU$3.5 billion into the economy each year. To house the 7,500 workers required for the plant, a camp containing 4,500 houses and a number of amenities has been built. Tomazos Group is heavily involved in the project. The long-term plan is to give the camp back to the city after the project is complete, and use it as a retirement community.

has moved his family around six times. “They know this is what we do, they know this is what I am,” he explains.

trucking in Darwin, you can’t help but feel infected by the passion and excitement they have for their jobs.

Keith insists on the support he receives from his team: “I have a team of drivers, fitters and operators who all have their part in making Tomazos a successful company. Not to mention John Tomazos himself: it’s his vision and trust that allows me to push the company forward. We meet or talk on the phone about every day. He is always active in planning and developing new ways to grow the company. Like me he eats breaths and sleeps the industry.”

The dangers of driving in the outback

Service them, put fuel in them, drive them, don’t worry about them

The wildlife in Darwin is a source of fascination for visitors, making the tourism its second biggest industry. It is one of the most concentrated habitats for saltwater crocodiles in the world, with an estimated population greater than that of people. As a matter of fact, one of the quarry sites the fleet operates is shared with a crocodile (see page 10). As is the case in all regions across Australia, spiders and snakes are often of the poisonous variety. And outside the city limits, they are everywhere. Just recently, one of Keith’s drivers got bitten on the chest by a spider, and spent two days in hospital. Drivers are very vulnerable in Darwin’s harsh environment; it can be dangerous to even step out of the truck in certain areas. Incidents or breakdowns have more severe consequences here.

Keith Joy, talking about his UD trucks

Listening to Keith, Brad and their colleagues talking passionately about

This is one of the reasons that Keith is very strict on safety procedures. A pre-start procedure check is rigidly followed by every driver every morning,


Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Au s tralia

Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Au s tralia enables him to stick to tight schedules to serve clients, and also to anticipate maintenance work on his fleet. “For example, I know exactly how many kilometers have been done since we last changed tires, so I can anticipate the next change, and avoid having to do it on a work day, thereby losing uptime on the road. Same goes with brakes and oil changes.”

For single and double trailers, they are the best truck money can buy Keith Joy

including lights, brake lights, indicators, wheels, tires, oil, engine coolants, brake fluid and steering, to make sure they are good to go. Every driver receives a printed list and must tick every box every day before driving away. On the vast expanses of Darwin, staying connected is also a challenge. Out here, mobile phone batteries drain in 4 hours, while struggling to catch a signal. As a major safety measure, Keith installed a GPS system on all the trucks in the fleet, for cases of emergency. In the Northern Territory, there may be no assistance for kilometers around. Now anytime a driver encounters a problem, he can send a message to Tomazos staff and help can be dispatched immediately. Equally, if a truck doesn’t move for more than 20 minutes, the system automatically sends a message to Keith’s mobile phone and he can react swiftly.

An analytical approach to fleet management In term of optimizing efficiency, Keith’s work is relentless. With the GPS tracking system, Keith monitors the current location and speed of his trucks in real time, 24 hours a day. This


Once, the consumption of one of his trucks increased from 800 liters a day to nearly 1,000 liters of fuel. GPS showed no difference in the driving style or the itinerary. However, a check at the garage determined the engine head was cracked, sending fuel into the oil. Without the GPS, this problem would have been difficult to detect. When it comes to optimization, Keith continually crunches his data. To give one example, the average speed can be checked: Keith says driving 100 km/h instead of 90 km/h needs 10% more fuel, strongly affecting the margin. Hence the driver should be trained to keep a steady progress without overspeeding. He even goes so far as to always buy trucks in pairs. This way he can compare data and optimize setup, fuel consumption, and keep running costs as low as possible. He sometimes switches drivers from one truck to another, thus isolating the cause of a difference in performance between two trucks. It is also helpful to figure any abnormal wearand-tear that the usual driver doesn’t pick up. For example, if a truck pulls to the left, a new driver will immediately detect it. It can signal faulty wheel alignment, which brings quicker tire wear. Keith also uses software to track truck registrations. In Australia, the yearly registration costs AU$15,000 per truck. If a trucker is checked by traffic police and the vehicle registration is out of date, the trucker has to stop driving, pay a fine and he get points off his driving license. All of these hassles can be easily avoided with a bit of planning. Keith cares about his trucks and his drivers, and it is his relentless pursuit of perfection that has placed Tomazos Transport among the major players in its sector in Darwin – in only two years.

An uninvited gue st at the quarry Crocodiles are legion in Darwin with a ratio of three for every person in the wet season and two for one in the dry season. In the part of Tomazos’ land in which the mining materials are stored, close to the parking lot where the trucks are located, there is a former quarry which fills with water during the wet season. This is the place that a giant crocodile has chosen as his home. “We know it’s 6.1 meters long and around 85 years old. He is jet black and that is because this is a lake, no fresh water, so he has lost his color and become very dark. We had 16 dogs in here two years ago, now we have only two,” Keith says. Nothing about

his facial expression suggests he is joking. The company called in crocodile catchers but they couldn’t manage to apprehend the beast. Twice they harpooned him but he broke the harpoons. No cage is big enough to contain him and he wrecks them every time. Each cage costs a few thousand dollars, so they stopped tracking him, deciding it was not worth the expense or effort. This croc, it seems, is too big and too clever. “The last one they caught was 5.7 meters long, almost 2 meters wide, and weighted 850 kilograms. It was the biggest crocodile the catchers ever caught alive,” Keith says.

“These animals are smart. The older ones survived the cyclone in the 1970s; they have very strong survival instincts,” he adds.

set traps and take them away. Their skin is sold for leather, and their flesh as meat. The meat tastes a lot like chicken,” he says.

“You can’t put a small boat in the lake. Crocodiles can jump as high as their length. They could jump over the boat and take a person with them,” Keith warns.

“Lives are lost every year, despite precautions being undertaken. Television ads warn people not to go swimming in the pond or in the sea and yet surprisingly, more locals get killed than tourists,” he says.

“Sometimes when we’re mining, the water level drops, and you can hear operators shouting on the radio, ‘Hey, have you seen the crocodile?’” Keith says humorously. “During wet season, some crocodiles cross the river and couple with a few mates, and there are baby crocs everywhere. The catchers

“You need to be on your guard when out fishing. They advise you not to walk in the water or to clean your fish on the side of the bank. You don’t want to be admiring your catch when a crocodile launches itself out of the water at you. Those beasts can run incredibly fast,” adds Keith as a parting note!


Gi v in g Ba c k to S o cie t y

Driving anti-povert y efforts

Gi v in g Ba c k to S o cie t y

Text: Lesley Stones Photos: Jordi Matas

The Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen program has enlisted the help of UD Trucks in their crusade to provide much-needed aid to some of South Africa’s most disad vantaged communities.



Gi v in g Ba c k to S o cie t y

Gi v in g Ba c k to S o cie t y


e can’t afford bread every day,” the school’s Deputy Principal says as the truck drives into the playground. It stops in front of some portable classrooms. Young faces peak out of the window and wide grins appear. It is soup delivery day at Lot Phalatse Primary School in Hebron in the North West Province of South Africa. Once a month, the truck visits the school to serve a cup of soup and two slices of bread to each of the 768 children. It is quite a performance, with the kids filing out of each classroom and lining up to take their meal. Today, there are smiles on their faces as they jostle to be in the photographs.

school children.

Nourishing young minds

What usually comes out of the school kitchen consists of pasta or beans and samp (coarsely ground corn), or split peas and rice. Occasionally, tinned fish and one vegetable may be served. Today, the children can have an extra cup of soup and two slices of bread.

Many look neat in their school uniforms, but their parents – or often their grandparents if they are orphans or abandoned – have made great efforts to ensure their children look as tidy as they do. They have all walked to school today, some from the nearby shacks, but most from a shantytown a few kilometers away. The vehicle donated by UD Trucks carries a fully functioning kitchen in its container, the bright reds and yellows on its body providing a sharp contrast to the earthy grays and browns of the playground. Kids from the first two classes have formed rows, waiting to be called. At last, the soup is ready and the kids swarm forward. “One at a time, slow down, don’t rush,” the assistants say in Setswana. One assistant hands them two slices of bread and the other ladles out the soup. It is fast and organized, but it still takes 90 minutes to feed all 768

1.4 million 1.7 million

Number of children living in shacks, with no proper bedding, cooking or washing facilities

The meal at school is the only meal that some of the kids may have for the day, because their parents do not have employment. The school provides meals to make sure everyone gets something to eat, but the lack of resources in this area and the increase in the number of children attending have made the situation even more challenging. The Deputy Principal, Sefolo, has been working in the school for seven years. “The surrounding settlements are growing and we can’t just chase the kids away,” she says. “We invited the Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen to come here, the soup really helps us.”

In the face of disaster

One of many little Itumeleng Rathetsane Itumeleng Rathetsane sits gazing out of a window as she eats. She is ten, and had walked an hour to school that morning. When asked if she likes the soup, she says yes, because she did not have any breakfast. She gets nice food at home, she says, but not very much, and there was a power cut last night so they did not eat anything at all. Like some other children at the school, Itumeleng’s parents have passed away. However, she is lucky enough to live with her grandmother and an aunt. They do their very best to take care of her, though times can be tough, with seven people sharing one living space. If it is raining, she does not come to school, because she says it is too far to walk along the flooded mud roads.

The trucks are constantly on the road, traveling to schools, orphanages and old age homes. Sometimes they are diverted if there is a disaster in the area, like a flood or a fire that has destroyed the shacks in a township and left some of South Africa’s most disadvantaged people in an even more difficult situation. Each truck is manned by a driver and two assistants who come from the area they serve, so they know the communities and which organizations need their help the most. With their knowledge, a monthly schedule is formed. Because they are local, they also get to

Number of children living in homes that rely on often-dirty streams for drinking water

1.5 million

Number of children that have no flushing lavatories

estimated population of South 51.19 million The Africa in 2012

40% 14

Percentage of children living in homes where no one is employed, climbing to 70% in cases of dire poverty 2012 Unicef Report


Gi v in g Ba c k to S o cie t y

Gi v in g Ba c k to S o cie t y

hear about disasters quickly, and can reroute the truck and pick up food, or work longer to help people in a crisis. If there has been a fire or a flood, the public only gets to hear about it on the 7am news, but the members of the team in that area call the managers of the Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen at 2am to change the following morning’s schedule.

visiting us,” she tells the crew as they carry in the food.

All the stops on the lists are people in need of a helping hand; it would make everyone’s life easier if things proceeded as planned. But the program staff are always ready to go the extra mile to help the most desperate.

There is a kitchen opposite an office area, then a corridor leads to the bedrooms. One room has six beds in it, leaving little room to move around. Another has two beds and a piece of rope for a wardrobe, on which a single shirt hangs.

By now, the kids are back in their classrooms and the two assistants are washing the serving pots and wiping down the counters. “When we see these kids suffering, our hearts drop. But we also feel happy because we are tackling poverty,” says Francinah Morulane. Working alongside her is Johanna Nkuna, who has two children. “I feel happy because I know I am making a difference. I know these small children have eaten today,” she says. The truck is packed up and ready to hit the road again. They have handed out 80 loaves, saving 20 for the old people’s home where they are heading next.

Helping the aged Three kilometers down the road, the truck pulls up to the Bathusi Old Age Home, a single-story house in need of a new coat of paint. A lady walks out and welcomes the staff with a smile. Her name is Julia Tshabalala, a care assistant at this home in the small town of Hebron. “We’re happy that you’re

The difficult road to reducing inequalities

Inside, three men are playing cards at a table, and a couple of old women are watching them. The interior of the house could definitely use some refurbishment. The painted walls are chipped and cracked, the furniture is in disrepair, and a sharp smell fills the air.

In the next room, a woman is lying on the bed, while another man is rocking back and forth, his mouth forming silent words. Back in the main room, an old lady shuffles towards the staff with her arms out, looking for a hug. Soon Tshabalala and a kitchen assistant are serving up the food. Tshabalala is a volunteer; her only income is the R500 (US$47) a month she is given for transport. She bathes and feeds the residents, but there are hardly enough caregivers to cope. “We are waiting for government funds,” she says. “I’m just a volunteer but I hope one day I’ll get a government salary.” Though residents should pay R1,350 (US$127) a month, most of them have no money. The owner, Tumelo Molokomme, is facing a difficult situation. “Some of them were transferred to us from the hospital and some were abandoned by their families. If the police don’t know what to do with them, they place them here.” The home has 24 beds and houses

32.4% 20.2%

People living in extreme poverty in South Africa (monthly income of R321 (US$30) or less). The number of South Africans living under such conditions fell from 32.4%, or 15.8 million, in 2009 to 20.2%, or 10.2 million people, in 2011. Bloomberg

57% 46%

The percentage of South Africans living below the poverty line of R620 (US$58) a month per person declined from 57% in 2006 to 46% in 2011.

17 residents. Only 12 are receiving their pensions. Instead of the 12 caregivers required to properly attend to residents, there are only five. The home, opened in 2011 and licensed as a registered non-profit organization, is still struggling to find stable financial footing. “With the money we get from those who do pay, we buy groceries, but there is not enough money to hire more staff. We do not get money from the government because we are still waiting for our name to be listed in the database,” Molokomme says.

2.6 16.6 million

The number of people receiving social grants has grown from 2.6 million in 1997 to 16.6 million in 2012.


Stats SA poverty trends analysis / April, 2014

is the target for the country’s unemployment rate set by the ANC government for 2014, but so far, their efforts have not resulted in dramatic drops in the overall unemployment rate.

The truck comes to the Bathusi Old Age Home once a month. “It makes a difference to us because we don’t have bread every day so when they bring us bread, it’s so helpful. The bread will be enough for three or four days,” Molokomme says. She is a kind woman with a positive spirit. “These are our elderly and we are happy to take care of them as best as possible.”

The crew, Francinah Morulane, Johanna Nkuna and the driver Jacob Mokwele, setting up the service station and preparing the soup.

Meals on wheels The UD truck sets off each morning with 50 loaves of bread and several kilos of soup powder. It is a quick and efficient operation. The truck has been converted into a mobile kitchen with steps to make getting in and out easy. Part of the side panel has been cut out to make a door, which opens to let the steps


drop down. A sunshade rolls out from a slit just below the roof so the staff can work in cool conditions. When the back doors are opened, the inside of the truck is not visible, because a false panel has been inserted to create a small separate area where two gas cylinders

are stored. Inside the truck, there are four gas burners, a sink, and cupboards to store the food, plastic cups and several cooking pots. While the assistants prepare the soup, the driver sets out tables and opens up dustbins that fold flat for easy storage.


Gi v in g Ba c k to S o cie t y

Gi v in g Ba c k to S o cie t y In demand

“Soup time” makes for a nice change of daily routine at the old people’s home.

Trucks are essential to the program and measures are taken to ensure vehicle safety. A tracking device monitors the location of each vehicle and shows when it is parked for the night. Shoprite’s Public Relations Officer Kagiso Saasa is often alerted late in the evening by the system if the truck is moving when it should be parked. Recently, she received a 10pm alert and when she called the driver, he said he was heading home after serving food to a flooded community in Limpopo. “We’ve just left the disaster area – people didn’t want us to leave,” he said. Driver Jacob Mokwele has been with the program since it started five years ago. He enjoys helping anyone in need, whether it is at an orphanage, an old age home or a center for the disabled. Where possible the trucks also stop at social security paypoints to serve people with soup and bread. “We plan the schedule ourselves by researching information on areas and organizations that need help,” Mokwele says. He particularly likes the Lethabile stop near Brits, one of the most disadvantaged places he visits. Protests broke out there in April when the local water supply was affected. The Shoprite mobile soup truck stops at the schools and old age homes there to help alleviate hunger. Now that the trucks are so well known, the company receives approximately 75 requests each week from churches, schools and other organizations. It would like to assist all those in need, but can only reach some of the very remote rural communities once every few weeks.

To the children from Lot Phalatse Primary School, the camera is like an attention magnet.


“In a country where only one in five families are food secure and micronutrient deficiency is a reality, this project aims to address hunger and malnutrition by providing food to school children, senior citizens and hundreds of thousands of people affected by unemployment. In times of disaster such as floods or fires, the mobile units are also deployed to offer relief in the most affected areas,” said Neil Schreuder, Shoprite Checkers Marketing Director. “We believe that our Mobile Soup Kitchens don’t only offer a cup of soup, but provides a meal of hope.”

Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen: quick facts


Number of people the Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen program reaches out to every month

16 million Number of cups of soup served to date


Loaves of bread received by people in need per month per team

Engine for change This year, UD Trucks Southern Africa got behind the program by donating five trucks to the Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen. It chose Light Duty Trucks in the UD35 to UD40L range. Among the fleet of 22 Mobile Soup Kitchens, each aims to feed 1,000 people a day by calling at three to five locations.

it on this very important project. UD Trucks is already a key supplier of the company’s normal delivery vehicles, with over 100 of its trucks in the national Shoprite fleet. The biggest cost of running the program does not come from the food, but

from the cost of fuel, staff wages and maintenance of the vehicles. Shoprite has its own transport department to convert the trucks into kitchens and to service the vehicles. But the vast distances they cover and the road surfaces mean the trucks need to be incredibly reliable. Acting

in close partnership with the Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen program, UD Trucks therefore undertakes the essential duty of maintaining the trucks throughout their lifecycle.

The trucks park overnight at their home stores, operate seven days a week, hitting the road at 6:30am and getting back by 4pm. But this is not always possible. Sometimes they are on the road by 5am to help feed victims of a disaster, or they finally arrive at the depot late at night after taking extra supplies to people who have nothing left. “We are proud to be part of this vital project,” said Jacques Carelse, Managing Director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “The trucks travel to the furthest-flung reaches of the country to provide meals to people in need. As a local manufacturer, we are very grateful for the opportunity to make a tangible difference in people’s lives.” Shoprite’s National Transport Manager Gawie du Toit said the company was grateful that UD Trucks has partnered with


I n te r v iew E x p re s s

I n te r v iew E x p re s s

International Market Specialist

Shogo Ono

Age: 25 Nationality: Japanese & American Location: APAC headquarters in Ageo, Japan Title: Market Specialist, Product Management, UD Trucks Global Brand Work experience: Three years at UD Education: Mechanical engineering Hobbies: Car racing, motorcycles Favorite truck: Quon GW 6x4

Could you briefly describe your job?

I work on new product launches. We are a team of eleven people, spread over different regions of the world. I am part of the team in charge of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). We are working on mid- and short-term strategy (product management), and current product

management (modification or expansion of the lineup). Our work focuses on proposing the trucks most adapted to each market, according to specific usage, road conditions and the needs of the local drivers. We also have to take into account all local specific norms and regulations.

How long does it take to develop a new truck?

It takes 5 to 7 years, depending on the kind of truck, its category (heavy-duty or medium-

duty) and whether it is a full change or minor model change.

Can you tell us a bit about the future UD trucks?

We work on satisfying any need our customers may have for their trucks in the future.

improve, along with the generalization of all systems of safety.

UD trucks will continue to be more comfortable, more efficient but higher performing.

In terms of comfort, you can expect to see more and more entertainment equipment, like in luxury cars. Also, something more specific to trucks, new cabins will behave like thermos flasks, maintaining a comfortable temperature when the truck is stopped, for example, while the driver is taking a nap.

The Euro 5 and 6 norms will also become generalized in emerging countries, after developed countries. The segmentation between emerging and developed markets will be reconsidered in depth. Also active and passive safety will continue to


What is your career path in UD Trucks, and do you like your work?

Yes [laughs]! I especially like how we satisfy every specific need. Before joining product planning, I was working in the UD Overseas Sales Division, in charge of customizing

trucks to meet the specific demands of clients, and I really enjoyed my work in that team: there was no solution we could not possibly realize!

Why did you decide to join UD?

I made that decision when I was very young! The bus that took me to school when I was a college student fascinated me with its power and flexibility, and I discovered it had UD’s engine, a turbo charged MD92. I then became

very interested in UD trucks, and undertook mechanical engineering studies, hoping to join the company. I was lucky enough to be selected after graduation.


Te c h n olo g y

Te c h n olo g y

As a major innovator in engine progress since its creation, reducing to the lowest possible level the emission of pollutants is one of UD Trucks’ fundamental priorities. This led the company to tackle the NOx emission issue by developing and introducing the first system cleaning them from exhaust gas in 2004.

The world’s first urea SCR system

The urea SCR system was first fitted on the Quon, and they made their debut together at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2004.

Text: Daryn Loeper

Urea tank

Harmless Nitrogen and water

Diesel particulate filter Urea fluid mixed with exhaust gases


hen Japan courageously decided to set the world’s toughest new long-term exhaust gas regulations for all diesel vehicles sold from 2005 (namely, reducing NOx to 2.0g/kwh and PM to 0.027g/kwh), this posed a serious challenge to truck manufacturers. Reducing PM is possible through highpressure, high-temperature combustion, but it then leads to an increase in NOx, and conversely, reducing NOx leads to an increase in PM. Up until then, manufacturers typically reduced NOx by reducing the combustion temperature of the engine and removing the PM that had increased as a result through a filter and an oxidative catalyst. This method was insufficient to clear the new


Catalyst converter: converts Ammonia

regulations, however, and even if targets could be attained, fuel economy would be greatly compromised. UD Trucks realized that the only solution would come via a new breakthrough.

Development of the world’s first urea SCR system for trucks Working with typical passion, UD engineers set about developing a new exhaust gas aftertreatment system. The aim was to cut PM without compromising engine performance by way of high-pressure, high-temperature combustion and remove the NOx generated via a highly sophisticated catalyst. The development of ultrahigh-pressure fuel injection (2,400 bar) that boosted combustion efficiency had

ensured a significant reduction of PM, but consequently, had increased NOx. Making the world’s first vehicle-applied NOx catalyst system was a formidable challenge. It was necessary to conduct fundamental research to see if a system could endure various tough conditions such as sudden changes in temperature or vibrations, in order to determine the best system for vehicles. Meanwhile, the research team analyzed and researched different catalysts in the search for the best one for the job. Interestingly, it was a urea catalyst used in the emission processing system of thermal electric power plants that caught their eye. It was initially debatable whether such urea catalyst system could be feasibly

What is urea?

A bit of chemistry

Urea, also known as carbamide, is an organic compound made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. It is found in the urine of mammals and amphibians. Urea reacts with NOx to produce nitrogen and water vapor, disposing of more than 90 percent of the nitrogen oxides in exhaust gases.

Diesel engines can be run with a lean burn air-to-fuel ratio (overstoichiometric ratio), to ensure the full combustion of soot and to prevent the exhaust of unburnt fuel. The excess of oxygen necessarily leads to the generation of pollutant nitrogen oxides (NOx), from the nitrogen in the air. Selective catalytic reduction is used to reduce the amount of NOx released into the atmosphere. Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is injected into the exhaust pipeline, the aqueous urea vaporizes and decomposes to form ammonia and carbon dioxide. Within the SCR catalyst, the NOx are catalytically reduced by the ammonia (NH3) intowater (H2O) and nitrogen (N2), which are both harmless, and these are then released through the exhaust.

employed in a vehicle. The research team continued evaluation over a two-year period, including basic research into the urea catalyst. Finally, it was proven that this type of catalyst was superior in effectively removing NOx. Although the fixed system was perfect in a big power station, a compact version had never been successfully applied to a vehicle. Most people thought the idea was ludicrous. Moreover, time was running out until the new regulations came into effect. Upon completion of the basic research, UD Trucks stepped up efforts toward commercialization from 2003. A prototype system was then put through

its paces to test performance and durability. This included verifying stable performance in heavy traffic. Also, the system required adequate infrastructure to ensure a suitable supply of urea aqueous solution, a necessary consumable for the system. This led to a partnership with a urea solution supplier, which enabled the installation of approximately 1,300 supply points nationwide. The world’s first urea selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system for trucks known as FLENDS (Final Low Emission New Diesel System) was fitted in the new Quon, which was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2004. Many in

the industry thought it was impossible to clear the new long-term exhaust gas regulations before the deadline, so there was more than a measure of surprise and applause for at UD Trucks pulling off the feat more than a year in advance. UD Trucks continued working to boost the performance of FLENDS, which was also introduced to the Condor series, and this meant all trucks cleared the revised regulations enacted in 2009. The urea SCR system is currently being applied by automakers in Europe and is widely used among Japanese truck makers. On the back of these results, the technology is fast on its way to becoming the global standard in exhaust gas aftertreatment systems.


Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Sin g ap o re

Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Sin g ap o re

A family on wheels Text: Marion Zipfel Photos: Xiao Liang

In 30 years, four brothers have built a prosperous transport company operating in Singapore’s thriving logistics industry. Loyal to their family values and to their partner UD Trucks, they sit down and share with us the story of their business.


hen the Chua brothers started their business in 1985, nothing about their circumstances suggested that their venture would one day become a thriving business in the dynamic transport sector of Singapore. Born into a large family of modest means, Kang Lim, Raymond, Choon Hoe and Kenny Chua quickly embarked on their business venture out of necessity. It was in the transport sector that they recognized the most opportunities and it was there that they chose to create their company. “Our venture started with S$10,000 (US$ 8,000) savings and two second-hand trucks,” says Raymond Chua. With their hard work, the company started to grow, and needed more trucks. Ever since the acquisition of their first Nissan Diesel (now UD Trucks) vehicle in 1987, they have never changed partners.


UD Trucks earned their trust through its reliable trucks and consistently quick, effective after-sales assistance. Those are the promises that UD Trucks has continuously delivered to all its customers since its inception. “For over 25 years, we have developed a good relationship with the UD Trucks team, and we know their trucks very well,” Raymond Chua, the second brother, says. “They are very efficient in terms of after-sales service and maintenance.” Indeed, transport companies cannot afford to have their trucks parked in the garage for too long. “A truck that is not roadworthy translates to decreased revenue and no income for drivers,” says Jolyn Chua, one of Kang Lim’s daughters. “We cannot afford to wait.”

Kicking into high gear When the Chua brothers started their

company, the youngest brother was doing his military service. Kenny joined the company in 1990, helping the company to expand further. He started to integrate technologies into the business – not common practice at the time – and, together with Choon Hoe, the pair ran the operations department hand in hand. In 1992, the company changed its name to CA Transportation and Warehousing Pte Ltd. Raymond Chua began to court prospective clients, focusing especially on Japanese forwarding companies. Their business grew rapidly, embracing the changing needs of Singapore, whose port and logistics activities were continuously developing at the time. With a fleet of vehicles composed of nearly all UD trucks, the Chua brothers’ business was well run and set to accelerate further.


Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Sin g ap o re

Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Sin g ap o re

Choon Hoe and Raymond at a container freight station Kenny and Raymond in discussion during the interview Jolyn Chua and her uncle Raymond in their office in the west of Singapore (from left to right)

Thriving on challenges Singapore is one of Asia’s busiest ports. Every two to three minutes, a ship arrives at or departs from Singapore Port. Every day, more than 60,000 containers are loaded or unloaded from more than 60 container vessels. It is the focal point for some 200 shipping lines with links to more than 600 ports in over 120 countries worldwide. At any one time, there are about 1,000 ships in its port. Logistics has been a cornerstone of Singapore’s economy for nearly 200 years and has played a key role in Singapore’s transformation into a global trading power. Nonetheless, even this logistics paradise


took a serious hit during the 2008 crisis. “We had to reduce our fleet by nearly 50%, from 150 trucks to 80,” Raymond recalls. It is in times of crisis that the strengths of a family business are vital. After two or three years, the Chua brothers once again found their way back onto the path to growth and began moving forward even faster. Their fleet has now reached 110 units and they are ordering at a rate of up to 30 trucks per year. “The group expects a 10% rise in growth for 2015,” Raymond says. Ever since the end of the crisis, the Chua brothers have seen their customer base

The efficient after-sales service and maintenance means more uptime on road

evolve and strengthen, particularly on Jurong Island, where petrochemical and oil-refining activities are concentrated. “Today, over 50% of our customers are on Jurong Island,” remarked Raymond Chua. “They need to move between 300 and 400 containers per day.” The Chua brothers have a large fleet with more than 500 trailers; their strength lies in their capacity to react quickly to their customers’ demands. Their mission statement is to constantly offer a better service to their customers, a process which may involve many return trips and long days of over 10 hours. Here is where the value of UD Trucks

shines through, in the company’s provision of reliable trucks, built-in ease of maintenance, professional, efficient services, and dependable parts. UD Trucks focuses on its partnership with the customer, with efforts expended in every area enabling a greater overall efficiency and profitability for their customers. “UD trucks are very adapted to the requirements of Singapore,”says Kenny Chua. Given the size of the city state, traveling distances are not very long but the paths are numerous. Therefore, it is imperative that drivers feel comfortable driving their vehicles. “Drivers prefer UD trucks,” explains Raymond Chua.

“They do not want other trucks. They particularly appreciate the UD trucks for their ease of operation, the light feel of their steering and their maneuverability. They also like the new automatic transmission on our newest trucks, which is very relaxing on our predominantly urban journeys.” For now, the real task for a company like CA Transportation and Warehousing, and more generally for the profession as a whole, is to recruit new drivers. Recent protectionist laws restricting the number of non-Singaporeans that companies may hire are proving challenging, as there is a lack of local drivers. “We have had growth in recruitment, but


Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Sin g ap o re

Cu s to m e r Sto r y - Sin g ap o re

we still do not have enough drivers,” Raymond Chua says.

Unity brings prosperity At CA Transportation & Warehousing, business is a family affair. None of the four brothers had the opportunity to pursue higher education. ”We were a large family and my father did not have the means to pay for further education,” recalls Raymond Chua in the meeting room of their offices in the west of Singapore. But they are of one mind, and work closely together. Indeed, their roles in the business reflect their individual role in the family and also their individual strengths. Kang Lim Chua, the eldest, is the president. He is the one who always has the final word, no matter the issue. He is also the most discreet and avoids publicity as much as possible. At 60 years of age, he is still in control and enjoys every minute of his work day. The second brother, Raymond, is in charge of key accounts and sales. The third brother, Choon Hoe, and the youngest brother, Kenny, are responsible for operations. “Even if the discussion goes to the heart of the operation, it is always the elder who decides,” explains Raymond Chua. “This is why it works,” adds Kenny. Now, the second generation of the family business is already on track. For Joyce and Jolyn, Kang Lim’s daughters, working at CA was an obvious choice. “We grew up with the company,” Joyce says. Between the self-made men and the young, dynamic girls, there exists no conflict between generations. Their secret? “Everyone respects the skills of the other,” says Joyce. “This new generation opens the road to change and thanks to it, we can evolve and move forward,” Raymond Chua remarks. As the Chua family business approaches its 30th anniversary, its future is in capable hands. They have forged a strong entity and are ready to face all the opportunities and challenges on the road ahead. And UD Trucks will travel that road with them, kilometer after kilometer.


Recruiting: a major challenge in Singapore As a small island nation of just 716 square kilometers (276 square miles), Singapore has built its economy through immigration. When Singapore was established in 1819 as a British trading colony, the small island had a population of less than 1,000. The development of the port attracted large numbers of laborers from

neighboring China, India and the Malay Archipelago. Since then, waves of immigration, both of low-skilled and high-skilled workers, have continued to fuel the growth of Singapore. The last decade has seen a very rapid increase in migration and today foreigners make up almost 40% of the city state’s population of

5.3 million people. But recently, the Singaporean government has had to cope with public anger over immigration. In order to appease its population, it has announced tighter curbs on the growth of its foreign workforce, pressuring businesses to cut their reliance on overseas labor. The new curbs announced in February last year

professionals and managers. These measures have made it tough for the city state’s sectors where labor is the backbone of growth. While companies are unable to hire foreign labor, they find it hard to recruit locals for the same position. Small local businesses are hit the hardest and are the first to fold.

include requiring companies to pay higher levies when they hire foreign employees, starting in July 2014, with another increase a year later. Authorities will also lower the maximum ratio of foreign employees to Singaporean citizens for some companies, and toughen work-visa requirements for foreign mid-skilled workers,

Singapore, a hub city

Jurong Island

Geography is key to understanding Singapore’s history. Located at the southern tip of the Malayan Peninsula, it is separated from Indonesia by the Singapore Strait and from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor. With its lack of land and natural resources, Singapore’s development has revolved around turning its strategic location to its commercial benefit. Using this position at the intersection of major shipping lanes, Singapore has become an important logistics hub in less than 50 years. According to the 2012 Logistics Performance Index compiled by the World Bank, Singapore is the No. 1 Logistics Hub amongst 155 countries globally. This makes the country a prime location for major logistics firms with 20 of the top 25 global logistics players conducting operations here. Moreover, manufacturers across a range of industries, such as Diageo, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Infineon, LVMH, Novartis, Panasonic and Siemens Medical Instruments, have installed their logistics and supply chain management bases in the city state.

More than half of CA’s clients are located on Jurong Island. This artificial island is located to the southwest of the main island of Singapore. Land reclamation on the island was completed on September 24, 2009. Today, it is home to a chemical cluster, covering oil and gas, petrochemicals and specialty chemicals. It contributes more than 32 percent of production in Singapore’s manufacturing sector. Powered by the cluster, Singapore is currently one of the world’s top three oil-refining centers despite not having a single drop of crude deposits. Jurong Island’s oil refineries process 1,300,000 barrels (210,000 m3) of crude oil per day, turning it into petrol, kerosene and jet fuel sold locally and abroad.


By reclaiming land from the sea, Jurong Island forms a land area of about 32 km2 from an initial area of less than 10 km2, and is the largest of Singapore’s outlying islands.


Hi s to r y

Hi s to r y

The inspiring drive t o fulfill a dream

Text: Eric Daly

A bold adventure lies behind the success of UD Trucks, the company established around 80 years ago by Kenzo Adachi. His goal was to develop a diesel engine and truck made in Japan. But Adachi needed to make sure that his creations were so reliable that they would never let his customers down. So he devised a grueling, but ultimately successful 3,000km test drive.


he story begins in 1927, when Adachi returned from a industrial tour to Europe fueled by the desire to give his native Japan a locally made diesel engine. During his tour, Adachi had been impressed by diesel engine vehicles, which were just beginning to gain popularity on the European continent. He recognized that they were superior in many ways compared to their gasoline counterparts. They ran on comparatively cheaper diesel oil, and were more robust and fuel-efficient. “They are perfect for Japan, which lacks natural resources,” Adachi remarked.


This realization led Adachi to take the first steps towards becoming one of the first and most important pioneers of diesel technology in Japan.

European counterparts. This made the production of parts that satisfied the required levels of precision and quality a daunting challenge. To counter this, Adachi needed good staff.

Building a dream Adachi set about his quest by forming his own company in 1935, and a year later, his Kawaguchi Plant stood proudly on the outskirts of his native Tokyo. Although the foundations for achieving his dream were laid, Adachi now faced his greatest obstacle: neither the factory facilities nor the processing technologies available in Japan were as good as their

He assembled a team of talented auto engineers and recruited two experienced German engineers to bolster the company’s operations. He sent his Japanese team to Europe to learn about the latest in cutting-edge automotive technologies. It took 11 years of intense research for

Adachi’s dream to finally come to fruition with the completion of his company’s first diesel engine in 1938, the twocylinder, 60-horsepower ND1. It had taken much effort and many sacrifices, but in the end, he had achieved what he set out to do. The ND1 was an opposed-piston uniflow engine with a revolutionary design featuring no cylinder heads or air release valves.

The ND1, the company’s first diesel engine, was completed in November 1938. The two-cycle, twocylinder, opposedpiston diesel engine was capable of a maximum 60-horsepower output.

Adachi and his team knew this was a monumental achievement. Now they needed a truck that could fulfill the potential of their engine by making it


Hi s to r y work to its maximum capacity. While the ND1 was being intensively tested, the body of the truck was in development. They named it the LD1 and it made its debut exactly a year after the ND1 had been completed. It soon became the vehicle lying at the heart of Japan’s automobile industry.

The perilous 3,000km test drive Now their new inventions needed to be tested in real-world conditions. When Adachi unveiled his plans for the test drive to his team, the room was filled with gasps. Even some of his closest colleagues, who had been with Adachi from the start, must have feared that their president had taken leave of his senses. The journey Adachi envisaged measured a staggering 3,000 km along some of Japan’s toughest roads and presented a brutal test of the true mettle of the LD1 truck and its ND1 engine. Some members of Adachi’s team argued that an urban route would represent a far more feasible, and safer choice. But Adachi stood firm. He was adamant that if the company was to present its prize

Hi s to r y accomplishment to the world, it first had to prove it could withstand the very toughest conditions and terrains.

The design philosophy behind the LD1 and ND1 focused on three strong and essential tenets.

What we want is a truck that can handle any road, no questions asked “What we want is a truck that can handle any road, no questions asked,” he was reported as saying to his production team. “If the truck doesn’t clear this test, we can’t expect our customers to feel confident in it. I know everyone’s put a lot of hard work into the first model but it’s crucial that we test the truck out in the most demanding conditions, even if that means it gets wrecked.”

Adachi’s three pillars of Ultimate Dependability

Productivity Adachi aimed to build vehicles with excellent traction that could carry a variety of different cargos under a multitude of different conditions. The 3.5-ton payload LD1 completed in November 1939 was the first diesel truck produced by Adachi and his team.



To produce a truck that never broke down, by using simple components and constantly improving parts that could potentially cause malfunctions.

Never one to shirk ultimate responsibility,

To produce a vehicle that could handle the toughest conditions.

Ultimate Dependability

Founder of UD Trucks, Kenzo Adachi

Adachi volunteered himself as the driver. On November 7th, a week after its completion, the truck left the Kawaguchi Plant with the company president at the wheel. As they drove out of the plant, hearts in mouths, Adachi and his team had no way of fully knowing what to expect.

by an on-board support team that was prepared for all eventualities. To counter every conceivable difficulty they carried a variety of repair tools and spare parts. Even so, they knew that one miscalculated turn could see them flying off the edge of one of the many precipices lying along this challenging route.

The road to victory is never easy

13 days, 3,000 km

The test drive was to prove worse in reality than it appeared on paper. The truck tentatively snaked along a route with dangerous mountain passes full of sharp turns and steep inclines. Sheer drops often bordered those passages. At the times, many of Japan’s roads were unpaved and the narrow lanes were barely wide enough to accommodate even the traditional horse and cart. Adachi, however, was ably assisted


On November 20 th, Adachi and his team made it back to the plant in one piece, 13 long days after embarking on their journey. Their faces were dirty, they were utterly exhausted and their nerves were wracked, but they were alive. And they had triumphed. Perhaps even more astoundingly, the test results were excellent. Both the LD1 truck and ND1 engine passed with flying colors, completing the test run without a single breakdown.

Not one bolt had shaken loose nor any springs broken. The repair tools and replacement parts the support team had taken with them proved unnecessary. The achievement of Adachi and his colleagues gained widespread public and media attention and stood as a testament to their steel and unbreakable dedication to production quality, no matter the energy and effort expended. It has been 75 long years since Adachi and his team completed their legendary trek, putting their principles to the ultimate test. Though the times may have changed, these principles still guide UD Trucks in facing today’s challenges. Adachi’s philosophy remains its core DNA.


Tr u c ke r T ip s an d Tri c k s

Tra di tio n

Trucker tips and tricks Long days of driving can leave your body feeling tired, numb and stiff and the pressure of deadlines often means that finding time to hit the gym or go for a walk can be difficult. Keeping this in mind, here is a selection of exercises to get your blood flowing and work your joints and muscles, all of which can be performed without having to leave your cab.

Only exercise when you are stationary – truck in neutral with brakes on – or parked.

Shoulder shrugs

Abdominal squeezes

Releases tension in your neck and shoulders.

Tightens your stomach muscles. Squeeze your abdominal muscles as though you are trying to make your ribs touch your stomach, then release and sit up straight. Repeat.

Lift your shoulders up toward your ears, hold for 8–10 seconds, and lower. Repeat.

Instructions Gluteus exercises Keeps your bottom from getting numb. Squeeze your buttock (gluteal) muscles, hold for a count of 10, then relax. Repeat.

The exercises most suited for practice in the cabin are called isometric contractions. They involve muscular contractions against resistance without movement, holding for a few seconds and releasing. Each exercise should be repeated 8–10 times for maximum benefit!

Bicep engagers Develops your bicep muscles. Hold onto the handle above the window and engage the biceps as though you are pulling yourself up from your seat. Hold for 8–10 seconds, then relax. Switch seats, if possible, to work the other arm.

Inner-thigh strengtheners


Text: Matt Campbell Illustration: Cedric Yon / Fengjiao

The art of never standing still Being one of the key inspirations for business practices in Japan, the Kaizen philosophy aims at continuous improvements in a permanent quest for perfection in every area of the organization. Widely implemented at UD, Kaizen strongly contributes to the renowned quality and reliability of UD trucks.


aizen was created in Japan following World War II. The word Kaizen means “continuous improvement.” It comes from the Japanese words 改 (“kai”) which means “change” or “to correct” and 善 (“zen”) which means “good.” In its totality, Kaizen can be understood as “change for the better.”

participation – from the boardroom down to the cleaning crew. Everyone is encouraged to come up with small suggestions to make improvements on a regular basis. More than 50 suggestions per employee per year are written down, shared and implemented. This is not a once-a-month or once-a-year activity. It is continuous.

While Western work philosophies emphasize “control” and the idea that only those in management are qualified to recognize the need for change, Kaizen promotes everybody’s

Kaizen supports the idea that anything can be improved upon, and that once changes have been made, they should be monitored to see if new processes can be improved upon again.

Once this virtuous cycle is set in motion, continuous improvement will show itself in productivity, safety, and effectiveness, while waste will also be eliminated. The concept of waste covers a broad range of elements, including time, enthusiasm and employee motivation. An additional benefit of practicing Kaizen is that in order to support the new standards, employees are provided with training, materials and supervision so that they can not only achieve higher standards but maintain them on an ongoing basis.

Kaizen is a philosophy of continuous improvement in quality, technology, processes, company culture, productivity, safety and leadership.

Strengthens your inner thighs. Place a small pillow between your feet. Try to lift the item off the floor and squeeze your legs together at the same time. You can also place the pillow between your knees and squeeze.

Heel raises Helps strengthen your calf muscles.

Toe raises

Place a bag or stack of magazines on your lap. Lift heels, hold for 8–10 seconds. Relax then repeat.

Helps work the muscles in the front of your shins. Lift toes, hold for 10 seconds, relax and repeat.



UD Genuine Service quality service by passionate people Long-term cost-cutting is dependent on having proper service right from the start. UD Genuine Service is perfectly synchronized with your vehicle’s current status. It is performed by authorized UD Trucks workshops that have access to the most up-to-date UD Trucks tools, UD Trucks diagnostic equipment and the product quality and availability of UD Genuine Parts.

Profile for UD Trucks Corporation

Roads #1, 2014  

This issue of Roads boasts a new design as well as themes that were never covered in our customer magazine before such as CSR, employee prof...

Roads #1, 2014  

This issue of Roads boasts a new design as well as themes that were never covered in our customer magazine before such as CSR, employee prof...

Profile for ud-trucks