Dimitrov Krishnan, Managing Director, Volvo CE India
Volvo is the first to introduce Biodiesel compatible equipment; how fuel efficient will the machines be?
All our machines are Biodiesel compatible andsssss shifting to biodiesel helps you save 20% in the cost. The bigger machines can use B20, while the smaller ones like compactors can use B7. For machines with B20, the service intervals for the engine will be reduced to half.
We also help customers reach biodiesel manufacturers to discuss the challenges in using biodiesel, and we are working with the Biodiesel Manufacturers Association to build on this concept, particularly for bulk users.
Since India is constructing many expressways, highways, and longer stretches of roads, should we not have compactors of 13 and 14 tons to reduce compaction time and fuel consumption, as is the practice in advanced countries?
We are currently offering compactors of 9 to 10.5 tons and are now considering the 11-ton as well, as it will give good quality compaction. The operator can achieve 90% compaction thanks to the high centrifugal force and the job can be done in 3 passes, which means less fuel consumed.
We have developed a sensor paver of 9m; it is the first paver of Indian make, while other players are still importing them. We will start making pavers of 10m and above later this year at our Bengaluru facility.
Excavators are coming with many advanced features, but how is technology actually saving operation costs on the ground?
Our base products have the best capabilities because we use our own Volvo engines, and our machines are fuel efficient since they are designed to work at lower RPMs. But to ensure that the machines work optimally, we train our operators on truck-mounted simulators, which can be taken to customer sites if necessary. The operator learns about the 10 modes of operation to get the most efficiency, while other brands have only 4 modes.
With telematics, we get daily reports on the machines’ performance, fuel consumption, etc, which is especially helpful for large fleet owners.
When it comes to large earth moving projects like dams and mining projects, the opportunity to enhance fuel efficiency is enormous; in fact, productivity can be increased by a whopping 20% within just one or two months. Our service teams go to customer sites to analyze the operations and check areas where productivity can be improved.
From 5 years ago with only 20 contractors or so bidding for projects, to 30 to 40 bidders currently, with many buying cheaper machines without caring for their Total Cost of Ownership etc, how do you think more quality awareness can be brought into the construction industry?
Firstly, bidding low and taking contracts is not good for the country. Cheap machines would not give the desired output, reliability in performance, and timely job completion. Small contractors should particularly be very responsible towards their projects since their machines have been financed and they must get a good RoI. At Volvo, we are helping contractors in building their business by emphasizing quality and efficiency over cost cutting, and they are now achieving more and becoming more successful.