The Havenga Family

Arthur Daniel Havenga

Down Memory Lane

A Picture History Of My Work From 1962 to 1969

“I enjoyed it then. The designs, the interpersonal contact and negotiations, the freedom to roam the roads, the freedom to be my own boss. It was a challenge to find a solution to the many problems but I’m glad that I got out. It became too hectic.”

MSAIM, MCIT, MITSA, AMIRTE, MSAARET, N Dip Dr, N Dip Eng, SAIM Ad Dip Man, RAU Dip RT.

Scrubber Tower

One of the first loads conveyed on the new 45 ton semi trailer and Oshkosh 3-axled hauler.

The laden height was 17′ 6″ (5,25m) and the width 13′ 4″ (4m).

Due to heavy rains, a bridge en-route was washed away and the load had to be rerouted.  The vehicles got stuck in the mu and were eventually excticated with the help pf a buldozer from the Natal Roads Department.

From Vecor (Vanderbijl Park) to Umbogintwini (Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast)

Loaded and ready to go
Exiting Vecor

When Oshkosh (the factory is in the Native American reserve at Oshkosh) first contemplated opening an office in South Africa, they took a few of us by plane (a 6 seater Commanche) to durban to show us the trucks.  They treated us royally!!

We flew in the mist and I could see nothing and was very scared of becoming an aero crash statistic.

This Oshkosh was one of the most difficult vehicles to drive.  Only 1 driver could really master the intricate gear change.  His name – Van der Merwe!

It had a 4-speed gearbox with a 4-speed splitter box = a 16 speed geartrain!  The speeds were not geometrically progressive and speeds in “higher” gears were slower than in “lower” combinations.  Gears had to be skipped to give a smooth change (Up and Down).

A driver’s nightmare, but there is more…

In addition to the poor choice of gear ratios, the main box had an I pattern change and the splitter box had an H change pattern.

I worked out a gear change pattern of which gears to use and which to skip for a smooth progressive change but it was still too difficult.  The drivers hated this vehicle.

My fault!  I accepted the suppliers offer against our tender enquiry.  Thank goodness it was only 1 vehicle bought.  I’m just glad my boss never heard about it!

Still interested? See part Six - LPG Storgae Tank 1967 - for the next set of photographs