Trucking boss Johan Duvenhage has built a successful niche business out of repairing or replacing the roads that crisscross South Africa’s vast Eastern Cape province.
The company operates 63 trucks, which are all UD trucks and are assigned to various constructions sites. It employs 63 drivers. They start the day by washing the windscreens, wiping dust off the grilles and polishing the doors before hitting the road for PM Transport.
Retaining those drivers has been a challenge for the company. When a road is completed, the whole operation ends. The next job might be a long distance away, and some drivers don’t want to leave their homes. “You can’t be married to one town, you must go where the work is,” Duvenhage says.
One of the measures the company take to securing the drivers is setting up semi-permanent homes by renting some land and erecting temporary houses. When a contract ends after six to 36 months, the homes are dismantled and moved to the next location.
With this solution, Duvenhage manages to keep 40% of the drivers with him during these location changes, including one who has been on board for 28 years.