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Tank-Weld banks on SHACMAN trucks

By Rory Daley
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 14, 2020

TANK-WELD Equipment (TWE), regional dealers for the SHACMAN brand, is confident in the Chinese-made truck. The company recently created a five-acre, 16-bay workshop, four-truck showroom in Ferry, St Catherine.

“We are our largest customer,” John Ralston, managing director of TWE, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

Ralston said given that fact, his company is in a unique position in the heavy-duty commercial trucking market.

“A long time ago we realised that we, Tank-Weld, were really in the logistics business given the size of our fleet, the types of equipment, and amount of equipment we had,” he said.

As the leading distributor of building materials and provider of other construction services, the Tank-Weld Group relied on its subsidary, TWE — their equipment division — for the maintenance and upkeep of the entire fleet. Having experienced, first-hand, the issues that many Jamaican haulage contractors and fleets encounter, Ralston is using SHACMAN Jamaica not just to sell trucks, but to shift the paradigm in relation to the commercial equipment market.

The first step began a year before the dealership was established in 2018 when Ralston noticed that the SHACMAN trucks being used by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited on local construction projects were more than able to handle the rigorous demands. After a four-month test, TWE was sold on SHACMAN trucks and began to switch out their old fleet, which consisted mostly of second-hand trucks. A visit to the company's China manufacturing facility and SHACMAN's impressive after-sales service pushed the relationship to the next level establishing SHACMAN Jamaica.

“We took a look at the business and set out to correct the problems that we faced,” he said.

Problem one was breaking the costly cycle of buying older, used equipment as the SHACMAN product line was at a price point that would allow local owners to update their fleets with brand new, quality-built trucks. Even with lower pricing, commercial trucks are still expensive so SHACMAN Jamaica partnered with Jamaica National Bank to allow buyers access to the financing they would need for purchase.

SHACMAN Jamaica hasn't stopped there. Parts availability and after-sales service are key elements any fleet must take into account with any piece of equipment or brand. TWE's own understanding of this sees SHACMAN Jamaica ensuring 100 per cent parts availability for the models they bring in and the ability to carry out servicing at their facility or on the road. Trucks leave the showroom with a one year unlimited mileage warranty. Extended warranties can be purchased as well as service packages.

For Ralston, the bigger picture is getting the island's haulage and construction industry healthy with affordable, modern, fuel-efficient, quality equipment. Currently, SHACMAN Jamaica sells the medium-duty L3000 and the heavy-duty F3000 trucks, both of which can be customised to buyers' needs. Recently, the T-King light-duty trucks, Shantui earth-moving equipment, and Hangcha warehouse equipment have joined the SHACMAN Jamaica stable.