Daniel von Känel from the German-Swiss monthly magazine "Swiss Camion" accompanied our truck driver Bruno Bühlmann for a whole day. He impressively described this experience on page 18 of the 3rd November 2021 issue.
The economy needs high-quality lubricants – and whether it’s oil, additives or other products, Motorex manufactures them and supplies them. A Mercedes-Benz Actros fitted with a tank and a pump ensures that all types of containers can be delivered and customers with oil tanks also supplied – all in one trip.
Early in the morning, when driver Bruno Bühlman drives up to the loading platform at his workplace, Motorex AG in Langenthal (BE), his load is already waiting for him. It consists of drums in the classic Motorex green, of white containers and other vessels such as canisters and spray cans. However, he does not pick up his full load at the loading platform: the Actros that he is driving is also fitted with a pump and two oil tanks that Bruno must fill up. More and more customers now have their own oil tank and get their oil “on draught”, as it were. Bruno can supply these customers as well.
Drums are always new
“Today we are doing a round through the Bernese Oberland” says Routiers member Bruno. According to traffic information, there is a hold-up on the motorway in Bern. The experienced driver decides on an alternative route. He drives through the Krauchtal region, where the morning mist is gradually lifting and giving way to sunshine. In Kiesen we come to the first customer. The horticulture company Bächler & Güttinger has a site there and the workshop that serves the vehicle fleet naturally needs oil. Bruno unloads the drums destined for this customer. Incidentally, the oil is only ever delivered in new drums. Cleaning would be very costly and not environmentally friendly. Motorex does take the empty drums back, but sends them back in turn to the steel industry. The next destination, a sewage treatment plant, is soon reached. The load to be delivered here is somewhat easier, consisting of three canisters of lubricants. This gives an indication of how varied the product range is, not being limited to standard engine oil. Just as varied are the access routes to the customers that Bruno has to manage with the Actros. After normal business premises, there is now an agricultural machinery and engineering company in Oppligen. A narrow road leads through pastureland to Huber Mechanik AG, which has ordered oil in drums and additives. The Actros gets to this company without difficulty. Nevertheless, there are some customers that cannot be reached with such a large vehicle. The challenge for Motorex is to provide oil that is suitable for all brands and can therefore be used by customers with a multi-brand strategy. Therefore, in addition to the Actros, there is also a second, smaller, vehicle equipped with a pump. “It is only a five-tonner so it doesn’t need so much space”, explains Bruno. The majority of the Motorex fleet have fixed bodies and auxiliary heating. This is because there are many products that are sensitive to cold. An example of this is cutting oil, which is supplied mainly to the watchmaking industry.
Lubricants will still be needed in the future
From Oppligen it’s on to Heimberg, from agricultural machinery to construction machinery. Bruno delivers some drums to Kuhn Schweiz AG. Lubricants are essential for the machines sold by Kuhn Schweiz AG, some of which are very large. And despite the progress in electrification in almost all types of vehicle, this will continue to be the case. Clearly, e-vehicles have no need of engine oil, but other alternative drive systems, such as gas engines, certainly do. What's more, multi-stage gearboxes, which are also used in electric trucks, need oil, and bearings and other parts will always require lubrication.
Oil for all makes
The round continues on to Thun. The customer there is the fire service, which has a large number of diesel vehicles in use, so Bruno brings AdBlue along as well. The fire service is a good example of the Motorex clientèle. The vehicle fleet consists of vehicles of different makes. The challenge for Motorex is to provide oil that is suitable for all brands and can therefore be used by customers with a multi-brand strategy. From Thun, where Bruno also delivers oil drums to a garage, it is a short hop to Steffisburg. There, at the well known vehicle body manufacturer Moser AG, the Actros really shows off its flexibility. Instead of unloading drums, the driver rolls out the hose and connects his vehicle to the large tank that Moser AG has permanently installed. One of the 1000-litre tanks on the Actros is emptied, and Bruno has to tap into the second one until the amount ordered has been delivered to the customer’s tank. Then Bruno sets off again, this time back to Langenthal. Before ending work, he unloads the empty drums and containers. The Actros is also thoroughly washed down. Motorex attaches great importance to clean vehicles. After all, this traditional Swiss company, that has many long-standing employees, also supplies vehicle care products. (Daniel von Känel)