Having 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 compares his relationship with his Isuzu KB (known as D-Max these days) bakkie, Roadrunner – which is also the name of his courier business based in Oudtshoorn – to a long and prosperous marriage.
“You have to understand that I treat my bakkie very well and talk to my bakkie every day. I ask the bakkie to drive nicely and tell the bakkie that I rely on it,” says 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. But it is not the more than 300km per day that Roadrunner travels that makes this bakkie a true workhorse.
“I stop and start the bakkie between 80 to 100 times per day as I drop off or pick up parcels in the two towns. “I have had to replace my front seat covers twice already, but I think Roadrunner may still outlive me,” chuckles Du Toit.
Other than his unique and careful driving skills, Du Toit also keeps his bakkie in top condition by never missing or skipping a service. “That is a given. You do not miss that service every 10 000km for anything. Other than the oil and filter changes, wheel alignment and so on, there is never any major problems when I take the bakkie for its service,” he adds.
The 74-year-old Du Toit 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 a demo model with only 7 000 km on the clock. Buying Roadrunner was a decision he never regretted.
Isuzu’s diesel bakkie have earned a reputation over more than 40 years for its durability, reliability and capability. It is built at Isuzu Motors South Africa in Port Elizabeth.