The Indian rigid dump trucks market continues to develop high business traction. Thanks to the robust growth in cement, quarry and infrastructure sectors, manufacturers have been experiencing strong business sentiment in marketing their advanced products through 2016. The momentum is likely to remain strong during 2017 as well as demand is projected to sharply move northwards, with major companies looking to retain their position in the forefront and garner a big pie of the highly competitive market.
According to industry estimates, demand for tipper trucks has shown a colossal rise to about 34% since April 2015, and the market projected to grow between 55,000 to 60,000 units from December 2016 up to March 2017. Demand will be for light, medium and heavy capacity gross vehicle load trucks.
Expanding its portfolio, Volvo Trucks has introduced its new FMX 8x4, 33 cum body tippers for coal haulage. The tipper will supplement the existing FMX 8x4, 19.5 cum body tipper with I-shift transmission for overburden haulage. “The new FMX with longer wheel base has been positioned for niche applications of higher volumes of coal haulage over longer leads between pit to the coal washeries and further from washeries to the railway sidings or the end consumption heads like the power plants. Since the product will be moving on longer leads, design features like dynamic stability while negotiating sharp turns in the mines and tipping stability have been fully taken care of. While fuel efficiency and higher traction will depend of the nature of the gradient, the trucks fuel efficient engines are capable of delivering the best in class fuel efficiency. Moreover, the design of the trucks for proportional load distribution will go on to deliver lower cost per ton in operation,” says Mr. G.V. Rao, Director-Product, Brand & Marketing, Volvo Trucks India.
He informs “We will continue to look for niche applications in coal and overburden haulage by offering products that deliver value in operation. Our FMX 10x4 dump trucks, targeted for mine contractors for hauling materials over long contracts running between five to seven years are an offering towards the concerned applications. The trucks powered by higher 480 hp and 520 hp engines with 24 and 26.1 cum bodies featuring unique 5-axle configuration for undertaking movement of overburden materials in mines with sharp turns deliver higher productivity and fuel efficiency. Both the products have been performing well in varied operating conditions since their introduction an year ago.”
Adds Mr. Rao, “We are also exploring the possibility of offering our solutions for sub-granular material haulage for the mineral processing industries.” Volvo Trucks provides customized service support packages, parts and maintenance, through its service workshops and site-support facilities like container workshops located across several mines where the trucks are operating. The company has sold more than 11000 trucks in India since the time of their inception in year 1998 and currently has 8000+ tipper trucks working at various mines for coal and overburden haulage.
Rising Demand for Multi Axle in Hauling and Tipping
A major demand trend of tipper trucks is characterized by larger acquisitions of multi axles trucks. This is due to rising requirements of hauling and tipping more output per day. Multi axle tipper trucks enable fleet owners to reduce their fleet size as they can carry more load while reducing cost /ton of the materials moved. Also driving demand for multi axle tippers with higher load bodies is the stricter overloading regulation enforced by different states for transportation of minerals. Due to these factors, manufacturers have been aggressively promoting their 4x2 (16 T GVW) to 8x4 tippers (31 T GVW) with various driveline and body combinations as per application and customer needs.
“Eicher has always been present in mining and construction sector with its Terra range of tippers. We have increased our focus on mining and construction with our new range of Eicher Pro Series tippers in the 220 to 330 HP range. With this new Pro Series, our tippers are set to revolutionize the mining and construction industries where higher productivity, better uptime, lower maintenance and lower project costs are of great importance. Our product range starts from 4x2 tipper (16 T GVW) to 8x4 tipper (31 T GVW) with various driveline and body combination based on application and customer needs. When it comes to mining, our products can cater to different mining operations be it haulage or dumping. Likewise, for the construction industry, we have options for 6 speed and 9 speed gear boxes, bogie suspensions, box and rock bodies,” informs Mr. P Ravishankar, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Aftermarkets, Volvo Eicher.
He adds, “For road construction we have a wide range of solutions which can be deployed in different applications. As most of these projects are driven by deadlines, Eicher Pro 6025T with 220 hp and 850 nm torque is an appropriate solution for construction companies looking for improved productivity and high uptime. Our latest additions are the 6-speed variant of Pro 6025TFE, specially designed for on-road transportation of materials, and Pro 6025TM RMC chassis, which will be available in the BSIV engine version.”
“In mining, our products are now relevant to a much larger cross-section of the market, and go beyond coal and iron ore overburden. We are now catering to a broad base of mining operations in limestone, China clay, and sand, besides coarse coal and iron ore. We launched the Eicher PRO 8031XM, which is designed for a variety of mining applications and operating conditions, overburden and coal transportation, and is suitable for both flat roads and gradients, and for both long and short leads.”
According to him, both the Terra and Pro-series tippers can efficiently tip the loads without compromising the stability. “The design of our tippers has taken into consideration the practical operating conditions in mines and quarry sites. Since we offer fully built solutions, we are closely involved in the tipper body design along with the superstructure manufactures. Furthermore, we carefully craft the body sizes based on the application requirements. Safety is a critical aspect in mining and our tippers are designed keeping in mind the tip-stability aspect.”
He adds, “Lower cost of operations and site efficiency of our tippers are delivered by our state-of-the-art Volvo Group’s fuel efficient engines. The 5L and 8L capacity engines have a power band from 180 Hp till 350 HP. Volvo Group’s global standard technology and Engine Management system deliver the most fuel efficient engines. On-board weighing systems can also be made available on our trucks as an optional accessory to supplement lower cost of operations.”
“Holistic initiatives are being undertaken by the company for making the tipper trucks engines compliant with the upcoming BS–IV norms. In fact, we are already manufacturing and exporting Euro VI-compliant base engines to the Volvo Group. Investment towards making Indian engines BS-VI-emission compliant will be made over a three-year timeframe and will involve a big outlay. We will have to adapt the Euro VI engines for BS-VI emission norms, when enforced. We also plan to undertake a lot of work on after-treatment, testing, developing the right software, as well as tweaking the fuel injection system. We have already started work on this and we will be ready before time with the product. Also, our Pro 6000 and Pro 8000 Series are made compliant with BS-III and BS-IV emission norms,” Informs Mr. Ravishankar.
“We are carrying out engineering improvisations in the products by putting stabilizer bars and scissors mechanism, so as to reduce swaging and have better stability. The trucks are being incorporated with an anti-roll bar in its suspension for proper distribution of load on rear axles. Since the Captain range of economy tipper trucks with 14-16-18-20-22-24 cum body variants have excellent brand recall, we are looking to push sales through attractive propositions to customers. We will position the Captain series for combined mode application for movement in the quarries and also for surface transport involving a distance of 300-400km. This is being done mainly through CT 3718, 10x2, 24cum body and CT 3118, 8x2, 20 cum body,” informs Mr. Surendranath.
Mr. Nalin Mehta, Mahindra Trucks & Buses Limited (MTBL), informs that the company’s Torro tippers offer best in class pulling power, which has been coupled with world class proven aggregates. “A seamless integration has been created on the trucks, which offer high levels of reliability with higher uptime. Apart from driveline and other aggregates, a lot of detailing has gone into designing the cabin for optimum comfort to the drivers to ensure higher productivity. A similar approach has been taken while designing our new Blazo range of tippers. We have made the Blazo trucks more fuel efficient as they now come with Fuel Smart technology. This unique technology offers power on demand based on the operating condition in the quarries and mines. The power can be drawn by the driver and changed at the switch of a button, thus giving him the flexibility to change power based on the operating load and road conditions,” he informs.
The new Blazo range of tippers comes with an electronic BS-IV enabled engines that feature selective catalytic reduction and after treatment systems. According to Mr. Mehta, Blazo and Torro tippers have optimized designs based on a combination of length and wheel base. This is in view of the varying loading requirements that vary from light density materials like coal, and heavy density materials like iron ore and construction aggregates. The design gives a high level of stability to the trucks and has been tested across the country on various terrains and operating conditions.”
He informs, “To gauge the real-time efficiency of the trucks taking into account the fact that fuel expenses contribute more than 50% of total cost of ownership, the Blazo range is equipped with a digital information system (DIS). The system offers real time fuel consumption information to customers, apart from key statistics of diesel availability, and service schedules. We are improvising other features as well so that customers can further reduce their operational costs. These features will be introduced shortly.”
Man Trucks India Pvt.Ltd, the 100% subsidiary of Man Truck & Bus AG, Germany has recently launched its new CLA EVO 25.300, 6x4, BS-3 tipper trucks. Targeted for construction and aggregates haulage, the truck is equipped with 300 hp Man-0836, 300 hp common rail engines complying with BS-IV emission norms with well configured driveline offering best in class fuel efficiency, according to the company.
With growing requirements for higher productivity, fuel efficiency and faster cycle times, vendors strategic manufacturers are looking to incorporate value-added features in their tippers in consultation partnership with the OEMs. Mr. Sudhir Chaudhuary, Head-Sales, Hyva India, comments ,“We are working very closely with agencies for making our bodies lighter and more durable to enable them to haul more loads. For this, we are carrying out finite element analysis in the design and innovating in production practices of building newer the bodies.
According to Mr. Chaudhary, “Our lighter and but more durable bodies can easily take the impact of the boulders loaded by the wheel loaders or excavators. Moreover, they can take the carry abrasive rocks and also provide extended longevity without being worn out soon. With the new ALPHA series hydraulic cylinders, the most vital benefit of the newer bodies is that the trucks will be able to make more trips, resulting in higher productivity”. Demand for the new body variants has been encouraging from OEMs like Tata, Ashok Leyland, and Eicher trucks,” he says. The sandwiched bodies can be fitted on both 6x4 and 8x4 chassis.
“We are rendering appropriate one the best and widespread product support through annual maintenance contract for the bodies and hydraulic cylinders and so such that equipment uptime availability is maximsed.” Adds Mr.Chaudhary.
Hyva India has recently introduced its new 65th generation ‘Alpha’ series of hydraulic cylinders for the tipper trucks. The cylinders, the company claims are lighter, faster safer and higher on tipping productivity, resultantly providing lower higher equipment uptime. To keep pace with rising demand, Hyva India is in the process of augmenting its production capacities at its Jamshedpur, Bangalore, Pune and Navi Mumbai production facilities.
Heightened action in heavy capacities
Sharing details, Mr. Garg adds, “Our SRT series of trucks offers higher levels of safety, reliability, durability, comfort and cost competitiveness based on lesser fuel used per ton per kilometre. The SRT 55D dump truck will mainly be used in large surface mining sites in quarry sectors and for transportation of coal overburden, iron ore, limestone, and bauxite.
The trucks have a high-strength frame and are 20% stronger than any other product in the same category. They have a gross horsepower of 480kW, 650HP@1800rpm, and a payload capacity of 60 U.S tons (55 metric tons).”
Sany India will be importing the SRT series as CBU (Completely Built Units) from China for the Indian market. It may indigenize the products at its Pune plant with an option of coal and overburden body in the near future, depending on the demand attaining critical mass. The trucks will be directly marketed by Sany.
He adds, “Product support and maintenance service for all the new products will be provided through the vast support service network of Cat’s two dealers in India – GMMCO and TIPL.”
Tata Hitachi is looking to leverage its presence in rigid dump trucks having capacity from 35.3 to 290 tons. The company manufactures its EH600 a, 35.3 tons, 21 cum body, rigid dump truck at its Kharagpur plant, in West Bengal. EH600 has been working in coal, cement, granite, iron ore and slag handling application in India is widely accepted because of its lowest cost per ton with highest uptime in its category. EH600 truck comes with options of 190mm body extension, 21 cum rock body, Allison transmission etc. including the statutory features to suit the coal mining, limestone mining, chromite mining, etc. The higher capacity dump trucks are manufactured in Rinko facility of Hitachi Construction Machinery, Japan. They are fitted with features like proven Hitachi AC Electric motors which has established its reliability by operating “Shinkansen”, the popular bullet train in Japan, IGBT technology for operating the trucks, environment friendly engines etc and not compromising the safety features like Arial angle to remove the blind spot of the trucks.
The rigid dump trucks complements from 35T to 800T class Tata Hitachi excavators. Reduced cost per ton of material hauled with minimal fuel consumption, cannot be measured in isolation without taking factors like lead distance, nature of haul roads, gradients and workable speed between the lead distance. “The entire fleet economics of all machineries working at the mining sites needs to be calculated as well for evaluating cost/ton of material transported. ” explains Mr. Krishnakumar.
To make the fleet utilization more effective and efficient, fleet management solutions are also offered by “WENCO” a Hitachi Company for monitoring trucks and excavators which had improved the operational efficiency at various mine sites across the globe. Hitachi also offers Trolley Assist on rigid dump trucks so as to reduce the operation cost thereby reducing the cost per ton.
Focussed service orientation
Along with newer solutions and upgradations in the existing ones, tipper truck manufacturers are giving a facelift to their service support packages as well. Mr. Ravishankar says, “In line with our endeavor to maximize the productivity of our customers who deploy tippers and trucks in various infrastructure and road construction sites, Eicher provides onsite support through container set up. These onsite container set ups are customized as per the needs of the site and can be installed, dismantled and transported from one location to another with ease. They come equipped with special tools, parts, lube and minor aggregates overhaul, which help in providing quick and prompt service to the vehicles running on the site, thereby improving uptime and productivity.”
Volvo Eicher’s service support also includes Eicher on-road service, an emergency service that provides round-the-clock assistance in case of enroute breakdown. With more than 250 GPS-enabled fully equipped EOS van, Eicher’s expert technicians are available 24x7 and they do real-time tracking of vans to enable faster service to the customer, hence facilitating faster turnaround time for enroute breakdowns.
The initiative of the company for ensuring higher equipment availability is pre-fitting, Eicher branded trucks and buses with a trucking intelligence system called Eicher LIVE. This monitors truck movement, fuel consumption and maintenance needs. The Eicher Pro 6000 & Eicher Pro 8000 series are equipped with this advanced on-board diagnostics system, which enables proactive maintenance of the truck. The system throws up fault indicators to the driver in the form of visual signals, messages and alarms.
Avers Mr. Mehta, “We have been offering customized service packages, extended warranty schemes, and annual maintenance contract packages. Our Blazo series offers mileage and service guarantee. We have been carrying out improvisations in our truck fleet management systems, and will be shortly introducing a separate system, which will guide in optimum utilization of tippers. MTBL has been the first to offer multi-lingual on-road assistance 24x7 NOW. This helpline makes sure that expert advice and immediate aid is available anytime, anywhere in India for Mahindra Trucks & Buses.”
Tata Hitachi tipper trucks are backed by customer support agreements informs Mr. Krishnakumar. “We offer the industry’s best customer support through our full maintenance contracts, where we post crew for carrying out required repairs, monitor operations and back the maintenance with parts, stocked at sites. We also offer ‘Cap Contracts’ on spare parts. We charge the customers based on the number of spares consumed in the course of operations and maintenance of the trucks.”
For product support, Ashok Leyland has in place containerized workshops with spare parts for deployment at sites. The company has also put quick response team on two wheelers to attend faults at short notice by customers.
On-going activity at the tipper trucks manufacturers’ stable heralds good news for the industry as they are increasingly responding to new applications, charting product modifications and design refinements. Increased cooperation between the manufacturers and the users will enable the former to incorporate advanced features in in their product line, and expand their support packages as per the evolving customer demand on usage of the trucks in varied operating conditions.