David Findlay, our own intrepid off-road enthusiast, is a key member of the Autoworld Elephant Charge team each year. Here he gives his reflections on this year’s Charge:
The 2017 Elephant Charge took place last weekend Oct 13th-15th. The charge was in a beautiful location along the Lutente River. The Autoworld team did well with fund raising and came out second place with USD17,000! The winning team Khal Amazi raised over USD22,500. In total over USD111,000 was raised which is a great big pat on the back to all the teams!
Unfortunately we gave the car another beating with the rough terrain and the radiator gave in with just two more checkpoints to go! That was game over for us! However on a positive note we won first place in the Gauntlet (for the third time). This is recognised as the most technical challenge of the whole course.
Many thanks to all our sponsors for their great support:
· GUD Filters
· Willard batteries
· Tracks 4 Africa
· Raylite batteries
· Safeline brake pads
We are now back to the drawing board and looking at a new strategy for 2018!
A bit of history
Team Autoworld has entered seven Elephant Charges since 2010, completing the course four times and raising $128,343 for conservation in Zambia.
The team's best leg was the Elephant Charge 2011 when they charged from Tyre King to Verino in 3.18km, 270m or 1.09 times over the straight line distance of 2.91km. They were 1st place out of 17 teams on this leg.
Autoworld have won several trophies over the years:
The Country Choice Trophy for shortest net distance 3 times (2012, 2014, 2015)
The Sausage Tree Trophy for the most money raised for conservation 2 times (2012, 2015)
The Castle Fleming Trophy for the shortest overall distance (2014)
The Bowden Trophy for the shortest distance on the gauntlet 2 times (2014, 2016)
The Sanctuary Trophy for the shortest distance on tsetse line 1 (2016)
More details on the 2017 Elephant Charge
28 entries raised $111,138 for conservation in Zambia. The Spirit of the Charge was won by The Bushpigs for their selfless conduct during and after the charge; the Properly Shafted award was won by Khal Amazi; and the award for the best checkpoint was given to Gospel Central. See the Elephant Charge website for full details.
Last but not least, ZNBC has made a great documentary of this year’s event. Watch out for it on the air over the next few days and weeks.
According to Battery University (yes there is one out there), “All batteries have one thing in common: they run for a while, need charging, progressively fade with each cycle and eventually need replacement. The dream of a continuous energy source is not going to happen soon.” http://batteryuniversity.com.
Choose a reliable battery brand
Willard is acknowledged as a quality product that offers value for money, also a hard-working brand in terms of its ability to meet the needs of a diverse market. Willard Batteries is part of Powertech Batteries, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Powertech Group, one of the largest power electronics and telecommunications group in Southern Africa.
Autoworld also stocks Raylite batteries. Established in 1931, Raylite has been a solid performer on the world battery scene for decades.
Replacing your vehicle’s battery
When it comes to replacing your battery, selecting the right one can make all the difference between a battery you rarely think of, and one that becomes a constant source of frustration.
It may be helpful to check out the Willard Battery Replacement Guide for passenger vehicles (This website also has a replacement guide for batteries used for agriculture, trucks and leisure products)
Not sure if you need a new battery?
If you don’t know whether your battery needs replacing, visit any of Autoworld’s fitment centres. While you wait, our staff will check your battery terminals and battery water levels (distilled water levels) ensuring your battery remains in good condition. We will also happily test the charging system on your vehicle, as well as your battery condition. Our equipment will report the alternator voltage (very important in prolonging battery life). The equipment will also test the condition of the battery, identifying any damaged cells. You’ll get a printed report of this assessment of your vehicle’s charging system and battery.
Batteries for recreational use
Never store batteries for long periods of time without charging them up regularly. This shortens the lifespan of a battery significantly, even if it is brand new.
If you have a recreational vehicle, boat or motorcycle that is not used on a regular basis, it is advisable to connect its battery to a trickle smart charger. This is a battery charger permanently connected to a 220v power supply as well as both terminals of the battery while it is stored away. The charge of the battery is permanently kept above 12v. As soon as the battery drops below 12v then the charger automatically begins to charge the battery. Once the battery has reached 12v the charger will immediately turn off. This charger can be left connected for very long periods of time and will protect your battery from permanent damage. Smart chargers are available from the Autoworld Downtown Marine shop.
We trust this information has been useful to you. Visit our fitment centres and Autoworld stores for your new battery.
The Fuchs Elephant Charge 2017 is just around the corner - it will be held on Saturday 14 October, and 30 teams have already entered.
All about the Elephant Charge
The Elephant Charge is an extreme 4x4 event held annually, at a different location each year. It challenges teams of cars and motorbikes to complete a gruelling course through the Zambian bush. It raises considerable sums of money for conservation in Zambia, focussing on conservation through education. In the ten years since it began, the event has raised over $640,000 supporting 17 conservation organisations and projects. This has been distributed to conservation organisations working across the country.
On the day of the Charge, the winning team is the one that completes a course of ten checkpoints in the shortest distance possible within the allowed 8 hours. Given a map and with skill and determination, each team must find their own route between the checkpoints through valleys, over ridges, across rivers and up escarpments in a trial of driving, navigating and endurance.
A carefully guarded secret
The exact location of the Elephant Charge is a carefully guarded secret until the day before the competition when directions to the charge site are released. It’s only then that the Teams are told where to meet for sign-in and vehicle scrutineering, and receive directions to their camp sites.
Maps are issued to the teams on the evening before the race. The maps show the location and GPS coordinates of each of the ten checkpoints. Each team is also given - by random draw - a starting checkpoint. The Teams then frantically study their maps and pick their intended route, aiming for the shortest possible distance across the course while avoiding the chasms and peaks, and their own shortcomings. During the race, the teams must visit each of the ten checkpoints before returning to their starting checkpoint. Each team can visit the checkpoints in any order and in any direction they like.
The objective of the race
The Elephant Charge is about covering the terrain in the shortest possible distance and there are no prizes for speed. However, the race does have a time limit and, to be considered for the honours, each team must return to their starting checkpoint by 3pm on the day, having completed the course.
There are bush roads cut to each of the checkpoints and these are marked on the competitors maps. These roads never give the shortest distance but teams can use them if they are running short of time or are having trouble convincing their vehicle to carry on!
The Gauntlet and Tsetse Lines
Three of the checkpoints on the course are designated as the Gauntlet. These checkpoints are close together and include some extreme terrain. The Gauntlet allows the spectators to get close to the action and the teams to show off their abilities.
When the final results are calculated, each team's distance through the Gauntlet checkpoints is multiplied by three. This means it is especially important that teams aim for the shortest distance possible through the Gauntlet as it has a greater impact on their overall result.
There are two Tsetse Lines on the course which teams can decide to attempt. Each Tsetse Line is between two checkpoints where the shortest distance would be extremely challenging. There is a special prize for the shortest distance achieved on each Tsetse Line.
Get involved with the Fuchs Elephant Charge 2017 on 14 October 2017
Support the teams or enter your own and take part in an extreme 4x4 event supporting wildlife conservation in Zambia.
The Fuchs Elephant Charge 2017 relies on the sponsors who support Zambia's largest conservation fundraising event with donations, in-kind assistance and helping out through the year and on the day of the event.
This is the week! Sort out your out-of-town power needs, with a generous 15% discount off all Yamabisi and Ecogen generators. From Autoworld - keeping Zambia moving since 1992.
Autoworld was present at the annual 20/20 Cricket Tournament hosted by Lusaka South Cricket Club. displaying a range of marine products. This tournament ran from 25th to 27th August 2017.
Autoworld has supported this event for a number of years, with a selection of boats and outboards becoming a focal point for both spectators and cricketers … particularly the kids.
Our August 2017 Monthly Special is on Castrol lubricants - a full 15% off all our Castrol lubricant range. This offer starts today, Thursday 3rd August 2017 and prices will be valid for 7 days - until Wednesday 9th August 2017.
The offer is available at all participating Autoworld branches and Impala Service Station while stocks last. Call your nearest branch for further details. And be sure to check back next month for more Monthly Specials!
Thinking of servicing your vehicles? Enjoy a generous 15% discount on Autoworld's full range of GUD filters from today until next Wednesday (6th to 12th July 2017 inclusive). Offer available while stocks last, at all participating Autoworld branches and Impala Service Station!
GUD filters are South Africa's premium automotive filter brand. Find out why
Get ready for the cold with new batteries for your fleet at discounted prices! Choose from the full range of Raylite and Willard batteries - now in stock at all participating Autoworld branches and Impala Service Station. (Offer ends June 7th.)
Autoworld was out in full force on Monday May 1st 2017 to support the Labour Day celebrations in Lusaka. Employees of Autoworld received several prizes, along with many other companies. Congratulations to all those who received awards as well as those who participated in the march past!
As usual Autoworld were among the many companies and Government ministries, NGO’s and political parties that took part in the 2017 International Women's Day event in Lusaka, Zambia.
Keep safe on the road by keeping your tyres in good condition! We’re offering 15% off all our tyres, rims and tubes for the next 7 days.
Watch out for oil slicks on wet roads. To avoid skidding, drive slowly in wet weather and make sure your tyres have a good tread on them.
Buy discounted tyres, rims and tubes at your nearest Autoworld branch from today, 2nd March!
Continuing our series of 2017 money-saving deals, the February 2017 Autoworld Monthly Special is on Castrol lubricants - a full 15% off all our Castrol lubricant range. This offer starts today, Thursday 2nd February 2017 and prices will be valid until Wednesday 8th February 2017. Yes prices are valid for a whole week – ending next Wednesday.
This offer is available at all participating Autoworld branches and Impala Service Station while stocks last. Call your nearest branch for further details - contact details are given here. Be sure to check back next month for more Monthly Specials!
GUD salesman-of-the-month competition winners were announced and given their prizes on 3rd November 2016 at the Autoworld headquarters in Lusaka. The overall winner was Chrispin Phiri of Freedom Way Branch who sold an amazing 5,047 GUD products and won himself a Safeline hamper and a Samsung phone.
In recent months Autoworld has been out and about quite a bit. The company took part in the annual National Regatta (and won), Autoworld’s chairman Noble Findlay hosted a dinner in Livingstone, and up in Kitwe the company showcased some of its products at the Nkana Golf Day.
Autoworld recently organised some product training for its staff. On 12 July, Holts professional David Phiri ran a training session for our salesmen, fitment centre staff and warehouse staff. Established in 1919, Holts is a global leader in the manufacture of superior car care products, for improved performance, appearance, repair and maintenance.
The training at Autoworld consisted of discussions around the range of Holts products, which are designed to help with vehicle performance and maintenance:-
- Holts release spray – for easy penetration and release of jammed, frozen or rusted nuts, bolts and other parts
- Holts engine and part degreaser – a cleaner for metal and plastic which quickly removes oil, grease , tar and dirt and is suitable for parts, tools, gearboxes and machinery in general
- Holts electrical contact cleaner – this removes dirt, dust, oil and grease and is suitable for circuit boards and components such as switches
- Holts EGR and Carb cleaner – this will improve engine performance and is a ‘must buy’ (EGR = Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve)
- Holts brake and parts cleaner – this really cleans brakes, calipers, drums, springs, clutches, wheel cylinders and plates, increasing performance efficiency
- Holts high performance Moly grease – now shocks can be protected from corrosion and shock-loading. With a very low co-efficient of friction, this excellent product reduces wear and tear in shocks. Also suitable for CV joints, universal joints and wheel bearings (Moly stand for molybdenum disulphide)
- Holts silicone spray – lubricates, protects and waterproofs rubber, nylon, plastic, metal and wood
Participants were advised to encourage customers not to go for cheap brands but choose the professionally-developed Holts products stocked by Autoworld.
Autoworld staff were grateful to management for organising this excellent training event in co-operation with Holts, to give them more knowledge to serve customers even better.
To help give customers the best service possible, the Autoworld sales team were recently briefed on lubricants. This took place at the Caltex Lubricant Products training session held in the Autoworld Head Office Boardroom on 7th June 2016. The workshop was run by Mr Miti, the Managing Director of Universal Oil Marketing Company Ltd, which is the sole distributor of Caltex oils in Zambia.
Training covered the following:
• The composition of lubricating oil
• The functions of a lubricating oil
• The different classes of lubricating oils
• The jargon on the tin
• The importance of recommending the correct oil to customers
The students learned that lubricating oil is composed of base oil + lubricating oil additive (LOA). To make grease, soap is added to this mix. They also learned that you can’t mix one brand of oil with another. It may compromise the life of the vehicle.
The Autoworld salesmen appreciated learning more about lubricants from Mr Miti. It has equipped them to advise customers even better and sell the right lubricants to them.
Autoworld Stars squandered a two goal lead to succumb to a 3 - 6 defeat to UTH Doctors at the Olympia Youth Development Centre, Friday evening, 15 April 2016.
As the whistle blew to signal the start of the match, it took only a few minutes for the two teams to gain momentum as they both tried to win control of mid-field.
The Doctors piled so much pressure, but the Autoworld team managed to thwart their counter attacks. In no time, Brian set up Claude for the second goal of the night. Misheck had not completely recovered from malaria and had to pull out in the first few minutes. This left Andrew to do all the solo runs upfront.
In the second half, Autoworld made a few changes but this somehow worked against the team, with some sloppy defending. This allowed the visitors to score another three quick goals to kill off the match. Nevertheless, the Autoworld team pushed throughout the second half to make amends. But they could not find the net until late in the game when Andrew scored his second goal of the night from the edge of the 18 yard box with a cool volley finish.
Now's your chance to buy your ECOGEN generator with a saving of 15%. Find out here how these generators can help you with load-shedding issues.
Also on offer at 15% discount are ABAC compressors. Ideal for filling tyres, cleaning engines, powering air tools, and any DIY or industrial compressed air need.
EXOGEN generators and ABAC compressors are available at this discount for 1 week only!
Offer starts the first Thursday of each month and is available at all participating Autoworld branches and Impala Service Stations while stocks last.
Autoworld is proud of its recent award from GUD filters - 'Most Valued Distributor'! G.U.D. Holdings is South Africa's leading automotive filter brand. GUD has been manufacturing filters since 1949, with production facilities in Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Cape Town and Zimbabwe. GUD places great emphasis on quality to exceed the requirements of all its market.