MOTORING NEWS - Owning a bakkie with 1,7 million kilometres on the clock is quite an achievement. Much like reaching that diamond (60th) or platinum (70th) wedding anniversary.
Gerhard du Toit from Oudtshoorn compares his relationship with his Isuzu D-Max, previously known as the Isuzu KB, to a long and prosperous marriage. He named his bakkie Roadrunner, also the name of his courier business in the Klein Karoo town renowned for its equally long-winded ostriches.
"You have to understand that I treat my bakkie very well and talk to my bakkie every day. I ask Roadrunner to drive nicely and tell the bakkie that I rely on it, to get me where I need to be," said an earnest Du Toit.
He uses Roadrunner to travel between Oudtshoorn and George twice a day, every day, for his courier business. This daily commute is through the scenic, yet treacherous Outeniqua Pass with several sharp corners and 90-degree bends.
But it is not the more than 300 kilometres per day that Roadrunner travels that makes this bakkie a true workhorse. "I stop and start the bakkie about 80 to 100 times per day. This is as I drop off the parcels or pick up parcels at my various clients in the two towns. I have had to replace my front seat covers twice already, but I think Roadrunner may still outlive me one day," chuckles Du Toit.
Besides his unique and careful driving skills, Du Toit also keeps his bakkie in top condition by never missing a service.
"That is a given; you do not miss that 10 000km service for anything. Other than the oil and filter changes, wheel alignment and so on, there are never any major problems when I take the bakkie for its service," he says.
Du Toit, who is 74 years young, has been driving Roadrunner since his retirement over 15 years ago, when he started his courier business. The previous owner of the bakkie was his brother, who first bought Roadrunner in 1997, when it was just a young demo model with only 7 000km on the clock.
Buying Roadrunner was a decision he has never regretted.
The D-Max is Isuzu's class-leading diesel bakkie that has earned a reputation over more than 40 years for its durability, reliability and capability. It is proudly built at Isuzu Motors South Africa in Port Elizabeth.
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