• Ford lightened the workload for four entrepreneurs at its Silverton plant.
• The car wash trolley can carry up to 200L of water.
• The team of entrepreneurs can now wash more cars thanks to the the trolley.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Ford South Africa is no stranger when it comes to reaching out and helping the community, but its latest project brings things a bit closer to home. At its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, thousands of parking bays cover an area of 50 000m2, which created an opportunity for four local entrepreneurs to start a carwash a few years back.
However, with thousands of cars waiting to be washed, the carwash team had a massive task at hand in delivering their service to everyone. This prompted Shaun Horsford, an engineer at Ford SA, to identify an opportunity to assist the team of car washers by providing them with a better, more efficient solution for moving their heavy buckets of water.
Horsford says: "The project was certainly a lot of fun to be involved in. We were already looking at ways to help. They are familiar faces to everyone who works at Ford, and this was an opportunity for us to see what we could do for them, especially at this time of the year."
This was the birth of the Ford Performance Car Wash trolley.
Enlisting the help from Ford's contracted fabricators, the team came up with the idea of manufacturing four easy-to-slide and sturdy Ford Performance trolleys, with the sides finished in racy Ford Performance branding. Like the Ford Raptor, the trolley is 'Built Ford Tough' to cope with carrying 200 litres, or roughly 200kg, of water.
Acceleration times are difficult to quote for the trolley, says Ford, as are power outputs and torque figures, which relies mainly on the driver's fitness level. But in testing, top speed notably increased on downhills. And cornering seemed best with a load not exceeding 70% load-capacity!
The cutting-edge technology used by the foot-operated drum brakes has negated the need for a handbrake, which shaves essential seconds in the time-sensitive car wash business. This, along with the lightweight material chosen for the chassis and the revolutionary rear-wheel steering system, a feature usually reserved for luxury vehicles, ensure dynamic and precise handling at any speed.
A tough year
While the official handover of these trolleys on 26 November would have felt like an early Christmas for Sizwe Khumalo, Solly Mangena, Dominique Mbewe and Simon Moshidi, it is a small element of the continued 'Ford For South Africa' initiative that highlights the automaker's role as a corporate citizen in South Africa.
Khumalo says: "Twenty-twenty was a really tough year for someone like me in the car wash profession. Now, thanks to Ford, we look forward to a new year that will allow us to work faster, look like race car drivers with the Ford Performance trolleys, and complete more speedy washes in a day. We are grateful to everyone at Ford for treating us like family and helping us to be even better at the work that we do here at the Silverton Assembly Plant."
Ockert Berry, VP operations at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA), says: "Ford is for many things: creating jobs, boosting the economy, supporting worthy causes, investing in the youth, protecting our country's wildlife, and the list goes on. As part of our 97-year manufacturing history, we want to show our commitment to South Africa at all levels. Helping with these trolleys shows that even small but insightful gestures can make a big difference."