Until recently tipper trucks were identified as equipments with restricted role to offer dumping solutions. However, passing through enormous innovative technological modifications, tipper trucks are also now offering both cost effective dumping and haulage solutions to the construction and mining industry, reports Partha Pratim Basistha.

Tipper Trucks

Competitive construction solutions are synonymous with advanced equipment features. The solution can become further competitive if inherent features are synthesized with technological advancements. This is what the present generation of tipper trucks is made from.

Wheel Loader
Bygone is the era of nascent mechanization when role of tipper trucks were grossly restricted to offer dumping solutions. Even then the role of the trucks was modest in construction and mining sector, as their performance were limited to rudimentary features. The new version of tipper trucks have been reengineered completely to its core. They come with better ground clearance, making them to operate well on uneven work sites. The trucks have newer tyre variants with better frictional properties, thus allowing them to be optimally mobile on rough, slush and slippery terrain surface.

The trucks have robust engine power, with higher torque and pulling power making them haul higher loads to job sites located at higher hights. A significant technical attribute of the trucks is its customized body for hauling and dumping assorted commodity load variants. The new genre trucks have faster unloading systems, supported by advanced hydraulics. This allows them to be well integrated to excavation sites with high mechanisation. Not to mention, the trucks are smarter by a cozy operator cabin, altogether enabling the contractor derive optimum benefits.

Applications Defined
Having incorporated all technological modifications, tipper trucks are now vehicles that can find its application in diverse construction jobs involving roads projects, power plants, dams, ports tunnels in a big way and industrial development projects.

In road construction projects, there is a requirement of removal of earth all along the earmarked site till the requisite depth followed by laying of multiple layers of materials such as ‘good earth’, Granular sub base, Macadam layers and bitumen mixes. Tippers are used for the transport of all these materials in road construction (road-site to dump and burrow or plant to road-site). In dams, hydropower projects and canal work, nature of work involved is essentially removal and relocation of earth on the sites to obtain the desired profile. This earth movement is done again largely by tippers. In mining projects, tippers are again used to transport the ‘over burden’ material as well as the underlying mined ore from the blast site till the conveyor/dump yard. Tippers are also used in the road transportation of material such as coal once it is mined from the mines in cases where the lead distance to the end site is too long for conveyors and/or rail transport is not an option.

As per a senior spokesman from Tata Motors, “All jobs can be done by the tippers with ease given their advanced features.” He added “With job sizes becoming larger and compressed work schedules, the market for tippers in India is gradually shifting towards vehicles with larger body sizes and more horsepower. There has already been a considerable shift from two axle tippers to multi axle tippers. In a number of applications such as coal, it is predominantly multi-axle vehicles that are used today. In this sense, in future, the percentage of multi axle vehicles is set to rise sharply.”

Further he said, “Tata Motors Limited has products straddled across the entire range of tippers in terms of capacity – ICV tippers, 16 tonnes and 25 tonnes, body options – box and scoop versions, cabin options – semi-forward and full-forward, power – 130 to 230 Hp, suspension – normal and heavy duty as well as special trucks such as tip-trailers. In the 16 tonne range, there are tippers with 160 and 180 horsepower engines with semi-forward and full-forward cabin options to cater to diverse applications and customer preferences. In the multi-axle range, there are tippers from 160 to 230 Hp again with body and suspension options which include the LPK 2518, LPK 2518HD and the LPK 2523. Moreover, we have an exciting new range of powerful and larger multi-axle tippers coming up as part of our Prima range.” The tipper trucks are manufactured at Tata Motors plant at Jamshedpur and Pune.

On sales and customer support, scenario the spokesman informed, that “Tata Motors has an extensive network across the country with around 600 workshops and over 7700 retailers. Spares and Maintenance support are provided to the customer through a number of channels. The extensive network of service centres, dealerships and retailers is the first line of support offered to the customer. Apart from this, there is an AMC facility which the customers can avail of to ensure year round maintenance and service of our tippers. Yet another option is an on-site service package where maintenance personnel and spares are maintained at the customer’s site to ensure timely support for the customer.

As for equipment selection, our sale team studies the nature of the application extensively and consult the customer to ensure best equipment - given the nature and size of the application - is chosen.”

Wide range of tipper trucks are also claimed to be offered from Asia Motor Works Limited (AMW). A relatively new entrant into the tipper market, Gujarat based AMW has wide range of tippers for diverse construction and mining applications.

AMW tipper trucks are available in the 25 to 49 tonne segment. The engine horse power of the tippers is of 180 or 230 HP range.

Tipper Trucks
As per Mr. A. Ramasubramanian President AMW, “The key differentiator in AMW offerings is the combined feature of comfort and functionality. Our tippers for the mining industry provide cost effective and highly productive solutions for several mining applications.”

He says, “AMW mining tippers are ideal for hauling ore, coal, overburden and other geological materials. They are designed to operate on the toughest road conditions encountered in many mines in the country. Most mining sites in the country do not have adequate road facilities and here is where AMW tippers score over competitors. From difficult conditions encountered in open pit mining to transportation from pithead to loading, our tippers are superior in performance, durability and reliability. The powerful high torque, low emission engine, a power train designed to withstand arduous conditions, suspension that allows excellent stability and easy ride. With the advanced features, the contractors are able to get higher payload, better efficiencies and profitability.

AMW Tipper
Air-conditioned cabin is a standard feature on all AMW vehicles. As per the company, the cabin design provides ample room space and better visibility.

According to Mr. Ramsubramanian, “Our dealer and service network is available 24X7 and at most of the major sites, we have service engineers and stock essential parts to make sure the contractors have minimum downtime we have over 51 dealers across the country. Since service is a key differentiator in this segment, we have mobile service vans, which are a phone call away. These vans are located at every 200 kms or simply 4 hours away for most locations in the country.” AMW tippers are manufactured at its plant in Bhuj, Gujarat.

Powerful variants of tipper trucks are stated to be manufactured by Force Motors Limited, India. Force Motors has entered into a 50:50 joint venture collaboration with Man Nutzfahrzeuge AG of Germany. The new joint venture entity is Man Force Trucks Private Limited. Under the collaboration, the trucks are manufactured at Force Motors state of the art plant at Pithampur near Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The plant has an installed capacity to produce 24,000 trucks per annum. Half the production is earmarked for exports through MAN’s global sales network. The alliance has delivered more than 2,000 trucks to the domestic market. It has exported over 800 trucks to 13 countries.

The Man Force’s official communiqué states “The tipper trucks manufactured at its plant are a byproduct combining MAN’s proven leading edge technology Force Motors with 50 years experience in the Indian Commercial Vehicle Industry, making the trucks much suitable for the Indian working conditions.”

Man Force’s tipper truck
Range of tipper trucks manufactured by Man Force includes mining and construction tippers. It also manufactures haulage and multi axle trucks. The product variants are available under the collaboration between the capacity range of 16t GVW to 49t GCW. Man’s global product capacity range for trucks and other commercial vehicles consists of 7.5t GVW to 250t GCW.

Man Force has recently launched its MAN CLA 31.280 8X4 rigid truck. The company says, “The 31 tonne truck can have its application in construction and mining sectors. 31.280 rigid is powered by a 280 hp turbocharged, inter cooled MAN engine fitted with a 9 speed ZF synchromesh gear box. The gearbox has been equipped with additional crawler gear to offer exceptional gradeability. Other superlative aggregates such as MAN planetary rear axle, inter axle and differential lock as well as a heavy duty bogie suspension provide superior traction and unmatched reliability.”

It mentions, that “durability has been duly addressed in the machine, most visibly through an extra strong ladder frame chassis with special high strength steel, which provides high torsional and bending stress capability. This is a key requirement for heavy duty applications like mining, ODC, steel and cement.

On safety of the equipment, said that, the extra heavy duty, dual circuit drum brakes and the MAN patented ‘Exhaust Valve Brake’ assures quick response at all times. Chances of accidents is in any case less. This is because the driver can work in a fatigue-free air-conditioned cabin. As per Man Force, it has pan India service network through its main equipped and associate dealers. Prompt and efficient after-sales service is provided by nationwide network of fully equipped main and associate dealers. The dealers are equipped with mobile service van to provide on the spot service. It also provides customized “On site support” for large operations and major mining and construction sites.

Man Force’s service centers have been equipped with stocks of parts at competitive prices to minimize down time and maintenance costs. To have higher equipment uptime, Man Force provides training to drivers and technicians, free of cost at its plant at Pithampur. The training component consists of, training on fuel efficient driving, preventive maintenance, engine, EDC, Transmission, axles, suspension, steering, gearbox, brakes and electrical systems.

Effective dumping and haulage solutions is also claimed to be offered by Kamaz Vectra through its tipper ‘Kamaz 6540’ currently assembled in India. A much new entrant into the Indian tipper market, Kamaz Vectra is a 51and 49% joint venture between Kamaz of Russia and Vectra of UK. The tippers are assembled by Kamaz at Hosur in Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Hemanth Kumar
Mr. Hemanth Kumar, General Manager, Sales, Kamaz Vectra, says, “Kamaz 6540 comes with a longer wheel base comprising 1800-2080-1320 mm. This makes them ideal for mining and construction applications. The truck can be used for transportation of crushed aggregates, sand, asphalt mix, dolomite, lime stone and other mining and construction materials. The varied commodity variants can be hauled owing to the customized rock and box bodies we offer.”

He adds, “Kamaz 6540 comes with 8x4 axle configuration. This provides more stability to the vehicle, apart from ensuring through uniform distribution of load through the frame on the wheels that effectuates high road grip and low stress on tyres. Additionally, the axle configuration provides more maneuverability to the vehicle. Not to mention, ensuring better life expectancy to the machine.”

The engine output of Kamaz 6540 is 260 hp @ 2200 rpm while maximum torque is 1093 @ 1400rpm. Mr. Hemant informs, the gear boxes for the tipper are imported from ZF Germany while engine is from Kamaz.

Kamaz Tippers
Kamaz has 12 dealers across the country and provides training to its dealers for better customer support. The company has its own technical team as well. Kamaz Vectra maintains its central parts inventory at Hosur.

Customised haulage and dumping solutions is one of the key feature of the modern day tippers.Tailor made bodies are the component that enables the OEM’s to pass the desired solution required by the contractors.

Hyva India manufactures customized bodies for tippers. The 100% Dutch subsidiary, manufactures standard bodies for hauling asphalt concrete, sand and other general construction materials. The standard bodies come at a capacity range of 14 cu‎m-19 cu‎m. Hyva also manufactures rock bodies for aggregates. Capacity range of the rock bodies are between 4.5 cu‎m-8 cu‎m. It also produces exhaust feed bodies for transporting wet soil and other wet materials. Capacity of exhaust feed bodies are between 14 cu‎m- 19 cu‎m.

Tipper Trucks
Mr. Sudhir Chowdhury, GM Sales & Marketing Hyva India, explains “Rock bodies manufactured by us are designed to withstand the pressure of the aggregates the tippers are carrying. While the exhaust feed bodies are designed to circulate the exhaust of the engine of the tipper to the body. The exhaust removes the moisture content of the wet material the body is carrying. This removes the stickyness of the material, thus enabling complete unloading of the material from the body without any left overs.”

Hyva Tippers
"Bodies manufactured by Hyva are designed to completely withstand the pressure of the commodity the tipper is hauling. The designing enables the bodies to be well integrated with the vehicle and its hydraulic systems,” he added, Hyva supplies bodies to AMW, Tata Motors, ManForce, Volvo, Ashok Leyland and Eicher. The company has seven offices across the country and a team of 47 engineers to provide sales and service support.

Huge Potential
Increasing application of tipper trucks in construction and mining sectors have created demand of diverse brand and model variants of tippers. As per manufacturers estimates, the size of tipper trucks market in India is around 1.6 lakh units. To avail the opportunity Ritchie Brothers, global construction equipment auctioneering major has been promoting different brand of tippers in India.

Tipper Trucks
According to Mr. Sameer Malhotra, Ritchie Brothers “We feature tipper trucks consisting of Tata, Ashok Leyland, Volvo, Tatra, Hindustan, and other global brands in our auctions in India. “He says, for minor mining and general construction applications, Tata and Ashok Leyland trucks are popular brands in demand. In heavy mining and earthmoving projects Volvo, Caterpillar or Komatsu trucks are in demand. Recently, Mercedes, MAN and AMW trucks are increasingly used in these jobs as well. However, there are large selections of Tata, Ashok Leyland and Volvo trucks. They are popular brands in India, which always attract many bidders. In general, the selling prices of these trucks in particular are pretty strong.” Ritchie brothers has sold around 200 trucks in its last three auctions it conducted in India since September 2009.

Tipper Trucks

Ritchie brothers acquires trucks for auctioning from rental, construction companies, financial institutions and mining companies. It does not either perform overhauls on the equipment and trucks or offer spare parts support and sells all items in the auction ‘as is, where is’ basis. Although, it enables interested buyers to come and inspect, test and compare the items and trucks they’re interested in. The auctioneer provides assistance in the repainting and refurbishing of the consigned equipment. It provides consultancy to the buyers to select the appropriate tipper based on his requirement.

Selection & Operation
Tipper trucks have their numerous utility as a haulage and dumping vehicle. However, as per manufacturers, there are that play vital role number of factors in selecting the right tipper for an application. One part is based on the application – nature and quantum of material to be handled, terrain, gradient, width of access roads or ‘benches’ and lead distance to be covered. On the customer side, it would depend on whether it is for captive use or for contractual work, size and duration of the contract and availability of finance. Other factors which influence choice of tipper could be regulatory issues and existing population of vehicles in a site. As for calculations, the relevant figures would be centred around the return a contractor would earn from his investment in a tipper – contract rates, contract duration, labor charges, maintenance expenses, mileage, life expectancy, depreciation and resale value.
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