Hino restarts production after KZN flood damage

Hino restarts production after KZN flood damage

Reuben Van Niekerk
Hino factory
flood damage

Hino SA’s truck plant, outside Durban, is ramping up to its required output rate after restarting production at the end of May. Following an enforced shutdown of 40 days due to extensive damage caused by floods that hit Kwa-Zulu Natal on 11 April.

Approximately 100 assembly line workers were forced to stay home for the first week after the floods but returned in batches in order to assist in the flood recovery programme.

The clean up efforts needed to get the factory back to production readiness were a herculean effort by a dedicated team that included three specialists from Hino motors in Japan, who had prior experience in cleaning up and putting into operation factories damaged by tsunamis in Japan.

The damage to the premises include a total of 78 built up trucks or completely knocked down kits of components that were unsalvageable and will be scrapped and destroyed so that none of these compromised vehicles get into the market.

The major damage was caused by a wall of water and silt that came down the river next to the plant when the sluices at the overfull Shongweni Dame were opened. The existing canals and drains had been able to manage the initial downfall of rain and they also proved effective when the second bout of heavy flooding hit KZN on May 21.

Cleaning the mud and fine silt from the many pieces of electronic and mechanical equipment in the various production plants proved to be extremely time consuming. While Hino production is up and running, the adjoining Toyota passenger car and light commercial vehicle production lines are still not operational.

Due to the days of non-production, Hino lost approximately 550 vehicles out of scheduled production, however the management team is confident that they will be able to catch up this shortfall by the end of the year.

Hino’s sales and marketing team has made it a priority to ensure that their customers are fully aware of developments in terms of when they can expect delivery of trucks already ordered and when production was expected to start.