Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency

The Tipper Trucks manufacturers in India are lining up new product launches which will be higher on productivity as well as economical to operate. P.P.Basistha finds out the details.

Tipper trucks are making steady inroads in Indian construction and mining sector. The growing acceptance of this equipment is owing to complete engineering makeover, the truck has undergone in recent years, in response to change in usage which requires multiple utility to be delivered at the sites. The new range of equipment are delivering both haulage and dumping solutions. The growing maturity of the users market see sustained improvements in product line by manufacturers to deliver better operational efficiency in turn creating higher acceptance of the trucks.

According to industry figure, after last recession, from 16T to 31T GVW truck and tipper registered growth of 26% and 37% YOY respectively in F10 and F11. 16T and 25T truck and tipper grew at 20% and 17% during the same period and tippers had large share of growth averaging above 35%. Growth rate is likely to be lower in F12 on the backdrop of increasing interest rates and impact on overall economic activity that is reflected in downwards revision of GDP estimates. Despite slowdown, the mid-term demand is expected to go up approximately 8%.

The demand will definitely be well-characterized by requirement of tipper trucks with advanced operational features for higher productivity and the manufacturers are carrying out improvement to provide fast operational cycle accordingly, characterizing quicker equipment turn round between loading and unloading points, enabling the trucks to make more number of trips. Interestingly, higher hauling capacities are being added to the trucks with faster turn round features. Based on the engineering modifications being carried out, the new genre tipper trucks market in India is being characterized by products offerings, which increasingly feature 'value engineering.' The trend to incorporate 'value engineering' is well likely to gain strength as fuel costs continue to pass through rising spirals.

According to Mr. Jagpal Lote, Senior Product Head, Man Force Trucks, "tipper trucks market in India is becoming more demanding on deliverables, requiring manufacturers to carry out engineering improvement. The improvement is well likely to continue. Responding to the new demand, we have recently launched our new 31280, 31 tons tipper truck which provides high uptime with 280 HP Man Engine. Faster turn round time is ensured on higher torque. The truck scores high on per tone/ per kilometer. Equipped with 18 cum body for dual mining and construction applications and Man axles, 31280 also scores on durability and reliability." Mr. Lote says, "added to the refined features, higher equipment availability is ensured through our customer support backed by our 250 service outlets, 40 dealers and 1600 part points, all equipped with service vans across the country. Optimum equipment utilization is ensured through our centralized training centre at Pithampur."

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency

Strong value engineering is being added to market heavy weight Tata Motors. The tipper manufacturer has a wide product portfolio to offer construction and mining sector. According to senior company officials, "two years ago, we started a new vertical in M&HCV line of business known as "Tata Construck." The role of this vertical is to understand changing requirements of contractors and deliver products accordingly.

With every construction projects becoming competitive, "Tata Construck" offers widest solutions within every segment, to complete the job on time. The customer can select the products based on their applications. Wide products availability allows contractors to get trucks which ensure operational viability."

Construck offers 6 model variants involving LPK 2518 normal suspension, LPK2518HD with bogie suspension. LPK 2518HD 9S and LPK 2523 is with 9 speed gear box and bogie Suspension. Construct tippers have 16 cum box & 14 cum scoop body options. From New World Class platform, Tata Motors offers its Prima range - 3128.K & 2528.K. Configuration for Prima are 3128.K, 8x4 & 2528.K, 6x4. 3128.K comes with 18/20/23 Cum Box & 16 Cum Scoop options whereas 2528.K comes with 16 cum box & scoop options.

Two Axle Tippers are also offered by Tata comprising 5 variants, involving LPK 1616 & LPK 1618 - 10 cum body with full forward cabin, SK 1616, SK 1613, SK 1616/42 WB with safe and strong semi forward cabin platforms. The trucks have 8.5 Cum & 10 cum body options. Tata Motors tipper ranges from 16t, 25t to 31 tons. Engine configurations are from 130 hp to 270 hp.

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency
The company claims to justify return on investment (ROI) made by the customers on the trucks. Officials explain, "we offer value through our two platforms, one which is recently launched Construck PRIMA and other Construck - regular range. Tata Construck PRIMA is for those who want to make tippers as "partners in progress." Prima range offers world-class features, coupled with common rail engines, heavy duty drivelines, more comfortable HVAC cabins, which increases productivity inturn ensuring higher return on investments. Tata Construck gives value for money propositions through its widest range of products. Customers can choose their variant according to requirement for optimum performance ensuring higher return on investment."

Officials say, "higher equipment uptime and durability is provided through the construct range of trucks based on their innovatives, design and customer's requirements. The products range competes on its powerful & fuel efficient engines. Heavy duty & efficient drivelines, strong & sturdy steel cabins, gives our trucks best in class performance and higher gradability in all segments."

Recent modifications have been made by Tata Motors in its tipper trucks to provide higher equipment uptime. The company introduced a new 9 speed gear box Tata G 1150 last year which is India's first indigenously developed gearbox. Said to be efficient and trouble free, the gear box is fitted in LPK 2518HD 9S & LPK 2523 tippers. Tata Motors claims to have sold more than 1000 Tippers fitted with Tata G 1150 gear box so far.

According to officials, "higher equipment availability is ensured by Tata Motors based on its extensive network across the country. More than 1000 workshops and over 7700 retailers ensure effective service and availability of spare parts in every pockets. We have also started 24x7 onsite service support where company trained expert will be made available at site along with spare parts to ensure effective daily preventive and corrective maintenance."

They add, "for Prima we have also appointed Tata Motors exclusive service engineers to ensure after sales & service activities for every respective site where the equipment are working. At both the platforms, we ensure that most of the aggregates and parts are sourced and developed indigenously so that after sales service expenses can be kept minimal for the customers."

High on Equipment Uptime

Value engineering by existing tipper truck manufacturers and new entrants are aimed to provide high equipment performance uptime. Improved features, involving various body types for different cargo, advanced hydraulics and powerful fuel efficient engines are being added to make the machines deliver high on productivity and low on maintenance.

According to Mr. Nalin Mehta, Chief Operating Officer-Mahindra Navistar (MNAL), "our newly launched tipper truck is unique in many ways. It has powerful 210 hp Maxxforce engine and compatible drive line, strong reliable aggregates and modern ergonomic cabin mounted on four point suspension with AC option. Thus it offers excellent drivability, pulling capacity, ride comfort, reliability, turn around time including on gradients and rough terrains. This leads to carrying more loads at faster speed on continuous long hauls. All which results on delivering higher productivity better operating economy and fleet optimization. The tipping body is also very strong and rugged available in 16 cu m and 14 cu m capacity." MNAL has made a debut entry in Indian tipper market. The company offers MN 25 tipper with 25 ton capacity in 6x4 wheel configuration for construction and allied applications. Bulk of the company's tipper sales has come from its 16T GVW 4X2 model.

He mentions," MN25 tipper has been developed in line with requirements of the key stake holders like owners, drivers and fleet managers and launched after rigorous testing. Therefore, while no further modifications seem to be required in near future, we shall certainly come out with variants in line with changing needs. MNAL vehicles are designed, developed and tested in India, for India with package protection of upgrades for export markets." The tippers are manufactured in Chakan near Pune at MNAL's plant.

Mr. Mehta informs, "to enlarge our products offering, thereby giving customers larger choice, we will launch another new models. Currently, we have 25T GVW tipper with 210 HP engine targeting construction segment. We will launch 25T GVW tipper with 260 HP engine targeting mining application by first quarter of next year. This new 25 ton tipper has all the advantages of the construction tipper and will be much more suitable to perform in grueling mining conditions. With advanced features like custom made tyres, air conditioning option, the machines will work at iron ore and stone mines located on higher and rough terrains. We are studying various segments to launch new products to match customers needs."

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency

According to Mr. Mehta, the advanced operating features, and enhanced optimum equipment usage is facilitated by MNAL's extensive customer support. We have already got 35 dealers fully operational and similar number is fast approaching readiness certification to start operation. The dealers are fully equipped with modern facilities, tools and equipment including training arrangements, mobile workshops etc. The manpower is especially trained to create unique customer experience and is backed by company executives at Area, Zone and HO level. The number will be further taken to 100 in approximately two years. In addition to their branches, 220 Authorized Service Centers are operational and Road Side Assistance is available from over 450 points with MNAL trained technicians.

All our dealerships are spread over 1–3 acres of land with 9–16 bays in the workshops and equipped with Dealer Management System (DMS).

MNAL is also providing toll free round the clock service support through "NOW 24X7," a multilingual, in-house helpline service with MNAL technical experts are available on call at any hours."

Mr. Mehta says, "parts support for the trucks is facilitated by our mother warehouse in Pune. It is equipped with 100% parts required for the vehicles and is functioning in two shifts to cater to wee hour requirements as well. There are Nine First Response Centres at different regions to ensure supply of any spare parts within 24hrs to any dealerships across India." Parts and components made available by Mahindra are manufactured indigenously.

New products are being launched by AMW Trucks. During the ongoing fiscal, the company will launch its 1618 and 2516 tippers. The new products are expected to strengthen AMW's existing product portfolio. The company launched 3118 TP at IMME, Kolkata few years back. AMW tipper trucks are available with a range of 25-49 tonne and with engine horse powers varying from 180-230 HP. The trucks have gear box options from 6 to 9 speed. The tippers are available with different axle configurations comprising single reduction axles and hub reduction axles for construction and mining segments.

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency
According to Mr. A.Ramasubramanian, President-Commercial Vehicles, AMW, "our tipper trucks offer high productivity and profitability with features such as a better load carrying capacity, higher horse power engine and bogie suspension. The features result in increased durability and efficiency and ergonomically designed air conditioned cabins that ensure increased driver productivity.AMW tippers are able to perform efficiently to transport materials from pit head both at open cast and underground mining to the unloading points passing through various gradients."

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency

Mr. Ramasubramanian says," our comprehensive after sales support and on-site support ensure that our tipper trucks have minimum downtime." "We have in place trained AMW service engineers along with a team of service personnel to train drivers at customers sites as well as to maintain and support customers through spares and maintenance support.We have placed our service personnel even in remote locations such as Barbil in Orissa to ensure that downtime of trucks should be minimized to the possible extent.

In addition to this, AMW mobile service vans are located every 200 kms across the country. Our recent initiative 'Seva,' the toll free customer call centre ensures that truck drivers will be given instant information on the nearest dealer/service location in case of any breakdowns. The complaints get closed at the call centres only when the truck is back on road post repair.

We have recently launched our first truck centre at the trucking hub-Hazira near Surat. This 22 bay work station encompasses a host of service options to ensure that the truck is back in action in less time.As of now, AMW have over 80 touch points across the country that ensure high equipment availability."

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency
Given growing demand potential. The Russian tipper truck manufacturer, Ural will introduce new products. According to Mr. Anirudh Kanoi, MD, Ural India Limited, "we are looking forward to expand our product portfolio in the tipper truck segment, by launching a range from 16 to 49ton shortly."

Ural India Ltd currently offers 4x2 in the construction industry and 8x4 tipper in the mining industry. Mr. Kanoi says, "features of 4X2 comprises 160 / 180 HP CRDi 4 cylinder engine making the vehicle more fuel efficient. High Ground clearance facilitates off-road usage in the construction industry, factory fitted cabin with comfortable interiors ensure quality, safe driving, and safety of driver. Advanced features justify ROI with huge savings on fuel costs. Low spares parts cost further justifies ROI." Ural's 8x4 tipper comes with features comprising 400 HP BS-3 engine, strong re-inforced chassis for extreme mining and construction conditions. High ground clearance among others.

To strengthen our service backup, we will keep focusing on providing world-class technology products, matched with 24 hour service stations across India. Ural India has its manufacturing facility at port city of Haldia in West Bengal. Ural provides extended warranty along with AMC contracts. It also provides on-site service and parts support.

Cost Benefits & Varied Use

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency
Kamaz Vectra will roll out new products. According to Mr. Hemant Kumar, GM, Sales, Kamaz Vectra, "we are shortly going to launch our 25ton, 6x4 tipper trucks during the current fiscal. The 25 ton truck modeled Kamaz 6520 will come with 320 horse power engine and finds its application both for construction and mining applications. To provide faster cycle times in long haulage, Kamaz 6520 will be equipped with 16 speed gear box as compared to 9 speed gear box. For extended life, the body of the tipper will be sourced from Hyva made through Hardox steel. The truck will be manufactured at Kamaz's factory in Hosur near Bengaluru. Customer service support for the vehicle will be provided by its 15 dealers across the country. Kamaz Vectra is in the process of setting up warehouse in west, north and eastern parts of the country. The company has its central parts depot at Hosur.

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency
Apart from providing various tipping haulage solutions through various kinds of tipper bodies, bearing extended life, Hyva offers cost benefits to its OEM customers. According to Mr. Sudhir Chaudhary, GM Sales & Marketing, Hyva India, "since we have a large customers base, we supply to almost all chassis manufacturing OEM customers due to the various cost benefits provided to our customers for the full service right from concepting, designing, producing and supporting in the market. Being located close to production centers of the various chassis manufacturing OEM's, we are also able to provide them cost benefits from logistics point of view. The company has its facilities in Pune, Benguluru and Jamshedpur which allow it to supply to all the chassis manufacturing OEMs in and around these locations. Hyva has 40 service engineers to provide onsite service support and design team of 15 engineers for offering a solution from concept to producing. The company is expanding its capacity at Jamshedpur and Bengaluru to provide various bodies.

According to Mr. Chaudhary, "to improve the quality of the bodies, we have invested in jigs and fixtures." We have efficient welders, trained at Hyva's facility after rigorous training."

Tipper Truck Makers Deliver an Operational Efficiency
The 100% Dutch subsidiary manufactures standard bodies for tippers for hauling all types of construction materials. The standard bodies come with a carrying capacity of 6-16 cum. It also manufactures rock bodies for mining applications between 7-24 cum capacity. Exhaust heat bodies for transporting wet materials are made with capacities of 18-20 cum. They also make special large bodies for coal and pet coke transportation in varying capacity of 18-32cum.

The new 'value engineered' tipper trucks come with advanced features. This initially makes the vehicle premium to own. However, the benefits provided are multiple involving extended maintenance cycles, lower fuel consumption, low parts replacement. Not to mention, higher equipment uptime, justifying return on investments.

NBMCW November 2011