Wheel loaders business have been witnessing modest levels of recovery during the past few months. The recovery is likely to gain momentum with the off take of fresh units improving, led by rising demand from the road construction sector. In view of the positive indications, manufacturers are strategizing new business initiatives while banking on their new technologically-advanced products and service support packages. P.P. Basistha reports.
Improved acquisition from upcoming infrastructure projects, notably road construction, may lead the wheel loaders market volumes close to 2500 units, according to industry estimates. This is an improvement over the 2200 units witnessed in 2016, up from 2100 units in 2015, and 1800 units in 2014. While mineral processing industries catering directly to the road sector may escalate demand, fresh acquisitions may also be reported from the larger number of concrete road projects, necessitating requirements of loaders to back existing and newer concrete batch mix plants, planned for installation in the coming months. However, business improvement in the coming months will be characterized by heightened competition, as usual.
JCB India is banking on its new 455ZX to expand its wheel loader sales. 455ZX was launched during 2016 bauma Conexpo India. Mr. Jasmeet Singh, Head Corporate Communications and External Relations, JCB India Limited says, “The Made in India 5.5T payload machine comes fitted with a Common Rail JCB DieselMAX 672 engine and is targeted for mining, construction sectors as well as bulk material handling in ports. The new loader has been designed to work more for longer hours at a lower maintenance cost.”
He adds, “The world-class aggregates used in 455 ZX delivers higher quality levels, reliability and value for money. With air conditioning as standard feature, the 455ZX offers the best in class operator comfort. The large cabin interior offers ample room to the operators. The stylish, modern central dash display combines analogue dials and a color LCD screen that displays the health status of the machine, service requirements and operating information. Higher availability of the equipment is further backed by JCB Livelink, which comes as a standard feature in the loader.”
With 455 ZX, JCB India’s existing wheel loaders portfolio will together now comprise three offerings –the 430ZX Plus, the 432ZX, and the 455ZX. The company has been targeting its 430 ZX and 432 ZX for bulk material handling in mining and mineral processing sectors and also for construction sector. Mr. Singh mentions, “Together with these machines, we are now well positioned to leverage opportunities in the area of bulk aggregate handling and applications such as mining, quarries etc.”
The 432ZX loader, a 3.6 ton payload machine, comes with a Cummins 6BTA 150hp engine. It has a ZF automatic ergo power shift transmission with an electrically operated selector and gear changer. The loader comes with the option of a general purpose 1.8 cu.m bucket to a larger 3.1 cu.m re-handling bucket. Mr. Singh says, “The machine also has a best in class operator environment with ergonomically placed controls and low internal noise levels.”
“Our JCB 430ZX Plus is a 3.3 Ton payload machine and has an Ashok Leyland 133HP, six cylinder turbo charged engine. The machine has a high Reach Z-bar-dumping ability and comes with a range of buckets from a 1.5 cu.m bucket to a 2.5 cu.m material handling bucket. 430 ZX plus consumes 3.2% less fuel and is 7% more efficient. The 432ZX and 430ZX have the option of retrofitting Livelink,” informs Mr. Singh.
He further says, “Backed by the quality benchmark, we export our machines, including wheel loaders, manufactured in our state-of-the-art Indian production facilities to almost 80 countries around the world. Further at home, with 63 dealers and 650 outlets, JCB provides the best product support in the Indian earthmoving and construction equipment industry.”
Advancements & availability
LiuGong India is looking to expand its business footprint by banking on its wide range of offerings for varied loader requirements. Mr. Nischal Mehrotra, Director Sales & Marketing, Liugong India, says, “Our broad portfolio comprises 818, 2-ton pay radial loaders, 836 and 835, 3-ton pay load rdaial loaders, and 856, 856-H, 5-ton pay load radial loaders, with disc brakes. The loaders are powered by US Cummins engines and fitted with German origin, ZF axles and transmissions, sourced from Chinese facility. The advanced components enables us to have our presence in the higher capacity category of products being offered by the premium US and Japanese manufacturers, as well as the general category offered by other Chinese and Korean players.”
He adds, “The proposed commercial production of higher capacity CLG 870 wheel loader, with 5-7 cum bucket offerings, showcased during our global dealers meet in China in 2016, along with our offering of total lifecycle costs in a bigger way will further strengthen our presence in the wheel loaders market.”
LiuGong India manufactures 2,3 and 5-ton loaders at its Indian facility in Pithampur, while it imports 5-ton 856 H units from its parent facility in China. It provides grabs, log handlers, general purpose buckets at attachments. It also provides side dump buckets for tunnelling.
Mr. Mehrotra, informs: “Making the wheel loaders more attuned to the mineral processing industry, which constitutes the biggest market segment of wheel loaders in India, we have carried out design advancements in the buckets by making it more parallel to the ground. This enables the loaders to handle higher load volumes backed by higher break-out force by drawing power from 220 hp engines. The new buckets with the new profile of the loader’s arm reduces spillage of the processed minerals while loading in conventional bodied or rigid dump trucks. The high horse powered engines fitted on the 5-ton pay load wheel loaders enables vertical lifting of loads. Provision of variable pumps replacing the earlier geared pumps to reduce fuel consumption, is another advancement in the wheel loaders.”
Mr. Mehrotra adds, “Based on our global business strategy of offering value through integrated aftermarket support for higher availability of the equipments, mainly through timely parts support and intelligent service, we have been incorporating telematics in the loaders along with our other equipment. This is more so with the introduction of emission BS-IV electronic engines in India and Tier -3 in China. With emphasis on higher utilization of the equipments along with keeping operating costs under control, the solution will monitor the performance of the equipments and generate data on fuel consumption and other operational parameters. This will enable the operators, owners as well as the dealers to offer predictive and preventive maintenance.”
Moving forward, LiuGong has recently launched its new product line, –vertical lift wheel loader in 2017 Conexpo US. Mr. Mehrotra says, “The product based on advanced technology is an important achievement as it will deliver higher levels of productivity. In vertical lift loaders we can increase payload by 35% with same engine horse power of parallel arm with 450 mm extra lift height.”
He informs, “The vertical lift was developed as an innovative way to increase customer value when purchasing a loader. Vertical lift accentuates the wheel loader’s primary function: lifting and carrying a load, by providing a heavier tipping load and a higher lift height than conventional wheel loaders of the same power and weight. Fuel costs are greatly reduced since the reduced operating weight of the vertical lift machine allows more tons material to be moved per horsepower than with a conventional radial lift machine. This allows customers to move more tons per hour for lower initial investment, and lower owning and operating costs than would be required with conventional technology.”
Standard radial wheel loaders with an operating weight of 20 tons, tipping load of 12.6 tons dump height of 9’ 6” and dump reach of 42” equipped with 4.3 cum bucket varies from. The new Liugong vertical lift loader with 20 tons operating weight delivers tipping load of 16 tons at dump height of 54” equipped with 5.5 cum bucket.
Manitou Equipment India has set an ambitious target to sell 100 loaders during 2017. According to Mr. Amar Deep Chauhan, DGM - Sales & Marketing, Manitou Equipment India, “We are banking on the competitive features of the Lonking wheel loaders that are marketed by us in India. These have the standard air conditioned cabins, rops and fops cabins, and a higher level of fuel efficiency at 11-12 litres/hr delivered by Cummins India and Chinese origin Weichai, 220 hp engines, as compared to 13-14 litres/ hr offered by competing brands of 3.5 Ton Loader.”
The challenge for the company will be to improve availability of the wheel loaders to meet any spurt in demand.
“To improve availability and affordability, we are taking localization to a bigger level through local assembly and procurement of radiators, tires and even engines for the 5-ton class loaders,” avers Mr. Chauhan. The company sells Lonking CDM 856,5-ton pay load wheel loaders with 3.0 cum bucket and CDM 835, 3.5-ton pay load equipped with 1.8 cum bucket.
He adds, “We will be increasing our demonstration to the mineral processing industries of our loaders featuring the newly designed flatbed buckets that can fill more loads.”
The company, which has sold close to 50 loaders, since its entry in India in 2014, will support the existing units through its 52 dealers with 118 touch points. It has appointed a new warehouse in Kolkata to support better service and parts support so that sales can be enhanced.
“TATA HITACHI’s in-house R&D, enriched by years of field experience from Indian site conditions and supported by Hitachi’s global R&D knowledge base for making the loaders customized for Indian site conditions, is our biggest strength,” says Mr. BKR Prasad, Head-Marketing Tata Hitachi. Tata Hitachi offers TL360Z with hydrodynamic drive and TL340H with hydrostatic drive, both 3-ton payload Wheel Loaders fitted with wide variety of application specific buckets ranging from 1.5-3 cum. While these machines are manufactured at TATA HITACHI’s Kharagpur plant in West Bengal, the company imports ZW220, 5-ton payload Wheel Loader fitted with 2.7- 4.5 cum bucket, from Japan.
According to Mr. Prasad, both TL loaders, which has underwent improvements come with heavy-duty buckets for handling boulders and crushed granular sub base materials in higher volumes and at faster cycle times.
Sharing details of TL340H Wheel Loader, he says, “This model adds to TATA HITACHI’s pioneering efforts in the Indian Construction Equipment Market, this being the first HYDROSTATIC Wheel Loader manufactured in India… delivering a fuel saving to the tune of 15%-20% in comparison to equivalent conventional loaders. Furthermore, be it Operator comfort, Ease of maintenance, Productivity, TL340H delivers on all counts. The new TL340H Wheel Loader comes with hydrostatic technology that eliminates the need for transmission, increases the overall efficiency of the machine and lowers fuel consumption compared to conventional loaders. Hydrostatic control system considerably improves the ease of operation as it eliminates the need for gear selector and clutch and much reduced usage of the Service Brake.
With Hydrostatic technology bringing down the operating cost and reputed & market accepted aggregates under the hood ensuring long equipment life, TH340H promises to be a winning financial proposition for the discerning Indian customer...
TATA Hitachi provides support to its product range through its vast Dealer network, spread across India. Mr. Prasad informs, “We leverage our service strength comprising of Comprehensive maintenance support systems, involving maintenance contracts, onsite crew support with spare parts. Our gamut of services include equipment supervision, services and re-manufacturing.”
“We will look towards enhancement of more value added engineering in the Kawasaki wheel loaders, so as to improve productivity. We have also promoted “Onboard Weighing Solution’ manufactured by “Trimble Loadrite (New Zealand)” distributed by DOZCO to increase the performance of Loader operation by providing accurate load data,” says Mr. Pankaj Kumar, Vice President - Eqpt. Sales, DOZCO India. The Pressure Transducers connected to the loader’s hydraulic system, sense the hydraulic pressure in the lift cylinders as the load is lifted and the trigger ensures the best possible weighing accuracy.
DOZCO is the exclusive dealer of Kawasaki wheel loaders in India. It distributes higher capacities of Loaders like 90 Z5, 7.5 tons pay load, 95 ZV-2, 9.5 tons payload, 115 ZV-2 with 12 tons payload and 135 ZV with 15 tons payload. The company has an active fleet of 80 units Kawasaki wheel loaders working in Iron Ore, Coal, Marble & Granite handling industries. The company provides After sales Services to customer from their strategically located 32 Branches all over India and is committed to total satisfaction by delivering quality products through continual improvement and enhancing workforce competency.
Ariando Infra Machines India Private Limited, the exclusive distributor for Doosan construction equipments including wheel loaders and other products in India, is planning to introduce new Wheel loaders for the Indian market during 2017. “We are bringing four different wheel loader models: SD 300, 5-ton pay load, DL 450, 7-ton pay load, DL 550, 9-ton pay load.
Doosan had Mega series loaders in India and those loaders ar still working at 35000 Hr to 45000 Hrs. The new DL series loaders are fuel-efficient, reliable, highly productive loaders powered by Doosan’s own engines will broaden our scope of business further in the Indian market, especially in the mineral processing, Port operations and coal handling industries,” says Mr. Sajay Kumar, Director, Ariando Infra Machines India Pvt Limited. He adds, “Doosan will have Quick couplers for quick fixing of attachments and load sensors as options for New loaders in Indian Market”.
Banking on product and service innovations may raise sales. However, to retain the market position, it will be necessary to make the services more competitive and based on customer requirements. This is vital as the size of the wheel loaders market may continue to remain modest.