A paucity of materials for loading due to the slowdown in road construction projects in the current pandemic situation has impacted demand of tipper trucks. Mining activities, driven by demand for coal from the power sector, has been tardy too, leading to reduced need for overburden removal and material transportation. In fact, even before the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, a general slowdown in the economy was making it difficult for owners of tipper trucks to get due returns on the higher capital costs incurred for the new generation of tipper trucks. In such a scenario, many manufacturers are extending the best possible product support services to help truck owners hedge their financial and operational losses, and are offering upgraded models of their tipper trucks to enhance performance and profitability of the owners.
Vinod Aggarwal, Managing Director & CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles, informs that the manufacturing of Volvo Eicher’s new range of tipper trucks built on EUTECH-6 platform has started from August 2020. They will come with pre-fitted hardware and will be 100% connected with advanced telematics powered by Eicher LIVE. According to the company, this is an industry-first proposition which will be seen across its entire product portfolio.
Says Aggarwal, “The unique proposition of connected vehicles is a significant step towards modernizing the CV industry. With 100% connected vehicles, we are providing a connected eco system driven by the BS VI wave. This will not only reduce the operational cost by maximizing fuel efficiency but will also increase revenue through improved utilization and greater uptime. It will also enable more safety and logistical efficiency for our partners and customers.”
He adds, “Large fleet customers who have high demands for fuel efficiency, safety and driving behaviour to maximize their productivity and profitability, will benefit hugely from this technology as will the last mile vehicles. The customers will get VE Commercial Vehicle’s Uptime Centre Support free for two years and Fuel Management Services, including fuel coaching and driver training, to extract maximum fuel efficiency. Segment specific services will be made available such as for e-commerce trucks and school buses.”
Eicher Live – an advanced telematics system - is fully integrated with the vehicle’s electronics and is engineered as an integral part of it. With the new emission norms of BSVI, the telematics system will convert the data to get deeper insights into the vehicles’ operation and performance, thereby creating great value for the users/customers. On one end, it is connected to the CAN, the electronics backbone of the truck with access to vehicle data generated by sensors, ECUs, and any exceptions through fault codes. On the other end, it’s connected with Eicher’s unique support solutions, such as Uptime Centre, Fuel Management services, and segment-specific solutions.
The company’s state-of-the-art Uptime Centre at Pithampur offers service support with a team of experts who provide remote diagnostics, predictive diagnostics, and specialized field support to all BSVI Eicher vehicles. This is in addition to the 24x7 Eicher On-Road Service (EOS) that gives highway assistance across the country. The team of experts can communicate in English, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, etc.
Shyam Maller, EVP – Sales, marketing and aftermarket, VE Commercial Vehicles, informs, “We have added more competence development centers and mobile training facilities, taking the total to 18 training delivery points. In addition, ‘Uptime Enablement’ of all our workshops is progressing rapidly. This will ensure availability and adequacy of people, processes, and infrastructure so that we can deliver superior uptime to our customers in the BS-VI environment. The objective of the Uptime Centre is to deliver total cost of ownership to our customers through reactive, active, proactive, and predictive maintenance support.”
Eicher’s new EUTECH 6, BS-VI compliant trucks of 4.9 to 55 tons feature an efficient and reliable EATS (exhaust after-treatment system) and engine technology that has been tested for over 5.6 million kms. The BS-VI trucks and buses boast of higher fuel efficiency and duty-cycle based SCR solutions for high reliability and lower maintenance. Says Aggarwal, “Our BSVI engine technology is backed by over 6 years of experience of supplying Euro VI base engines to the Volvo Group. Along with this, our new Uptime solution will give a more reliable after-sales experience to our customers.”
Informs Mr. V Venkateswarlu, Vice President - Aftermarket, Volvo Trucks India, “Our new centralized Uptime Center at Bangalore is rendering end-to-end support to our trucks. It is ensuring safe operations, and timely availability of parts and maintenance to minimize downtime and increase the availability of the trucks, even during the current Covid-19 situation.”
We, at Volvo Trucks India, have risen to the challenge, offering our customers consistent uptime support. The promise of uptime has always been at the core of our service. It continues to be so. We will keep focusing every effort to secure uptime for your operations and will continue to deliver service excellence.
While digitalisation has always been our working format, new methods for monitoring and analysing truck data in real time and machine learning are opening exciting opportunities. These will function like your sixth sense, almost intuitively, improving truck uptime even further.
“We digitally-enabled our processes to address all our customer requirements as well as impart our Driver Training and Technician training. Our telematics solution ‘Dynafleet’ has been continuously monitoring the driver competency. The teams have effectively used the reports to create customised based training models to improve the driving habits using Connectivity. We have been providing certified training and refresher training courses to operators in the mining areas of Ramagundam, Neyveli, Udaipur and some locations in Ahmedabad. During the training period, complete arrangements, including accommodation are made for the drivers,” says Venkateswarlu.
Volvo Trucks offers a customized package of maintenance agreements, with an option for a comprehensive support agreement. Based on the inputs gathered through the telematics, the Uptime Center sends the alerts to the owners and operators on their maintenance schedules, following which, the required repairs, maintenance, and parts replacement are undertaken. “We stock parts for three weeks, usually, which are made available from our central warehouse at the site or at the customer’s container workshop. Even during the Covid-19 crisis, we have ensured that there are no disruptions in the supply chain.”
Chhattisgarh-based tipper truck body manufacturer Vazron is looking to widen its business presence in the growing tipper trucks market. The company has been producing tipper truck bodies since 2017 at its 80,000 sq.ft. facility in Raigarh (Chhattisgarh). Initially, it was catering to customers in Chhattisgarh and Odisha, but subsequently increased its presence in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
In a short span of time, the company is being rated amongst the best Commercial Vehicle body manufacturers in the country. Its design and manufacture of tipper trucks is based on the inputs it invites from customers on their requirements, and also by understanding the road conditions, payload capacity to be carried, etc. This enables the company to provide zero breakdown products to its customers.
Says Abhishek Jain, Director, Vazron, “The Company began production once we got the design approval from ICAT and the tests approval from Wabco in Chennai. Stringent tests were carried out on its tip trailers and tipper trucks bodies to evaluate their road worthiness, safety features, centre of gravity, and ability to deliver accident-free drive.”
“Vazron’s core competence lies in designing, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. The team of experts take feedback from the customers at the time of order placement, and gauge their requirement based on the application of the tipper trucks and the materials that will be hauled, including their density. The team also take into account factors like road conditions where the tippers will be used and whether they will be used for combined mode application. Since safety is important, the underfoot conditions and the tipping stability while unloading the materials is examined thoroughly. In this way, the bodies of the tipper trucks and the tip trailers are made to synchronize with the payload of the trucks.”
He adds, “For tippers in fly ash application, we provide extra support to the floor by adding a wooden block under the floor. This prevents the floor from damage caused by hooks of unloader machines. And for tippers in hot slag application, Vazron is the only player in the country to give a line of silica paste in the floors. This innovative mechanism prevents the floor from damage caused by hot slags generated at steel plants.”
Vazron manufactures rock bodies and box bodies for tipper trucks and produces about 150 trailers monthly. Says Jain, “There is rising demand for tipper trucks owing to increased activity in overburden transportation in coal mining and haulage of aggregates for road projects. Although Vazron’s main business is fitment of bodies in new tipper trucks, it is also active in the replacement market, and though it do not work directly with OEMs, it can cater to their requirements with its high-end manufacturing and customization capabilities.”
He informs that Vazron is planning to diversify its product range; and once certified by PESO, it will be able to manufacture tankers for the oil and gas industry. “The company is also in touch with a few MNCs for manufacturing garbage compactors and scrap bins, as it foresees a huge market for these products. The sky is the limit, and Vazron aims to be present -in all parts of the country.”
Mahindra Truck and Bus (MTB) has recently launched its BS VI emission compliant BLAZO X range of tipper trucks with its tried and tested mPOWER and MDI Tech engines with FUELSMART technology and robust aggregates, retaining over 90% of parts of the erstwhile BS4 vehicles, which will give customers a hassle-free transition to the BS VI engines. To meet BS VI norms, Mahindra Truck and Bus has used CRDe engines with the incorporation of world-class technologies such as SCR, DOC, DPF and EGR. Making the BS VI vehicles world-class. Along with the company’s unparalleled service and spare parts ‘guarantee, its customers will be assured of more profit and peace of mind.
Blazo X tipper trucks have a higher power to weight ratio, advanced features and components, and comfortable cabins. They will be demand for transporting mining, aggregates, etc as they can carry additional loads due to the new axle loading norms and can make faster trips. They have a higher fuel efficiency and need less maintenance.
The new Blazo X range along with other Mahindra commercial vehicles are supported by MTB’s pan-India network of over 100 3S dealers, 168 authorized service centers, 2,900 roadside assistance points, a spares network of 1,600 retail outlets, and 33 strategically located parts plazas. According to the company, currently 21,000 Blazo trucks are on Indian roads with nearly 44% of sales being repeat purchases.
To provide higher product uptime to its customers, the company has an express North-South Service Corridor on the 3,800-km stretch from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. It comprises 41 service touch points (one every 100 kms), with a guaranteed service reach of 4 hours or Rs. 500 compensation for every hour of delay. This is the second such corridor after the Mumbai-Delhi service corridor that caters to nearly 30% of truck movements. It claims to offer India’s first multi-lingual 24x7 helpline NOW, manned by technical experts to provide instant support to customers and drivers. The NOW mobile service vans and mobile workshops add to the reach and agility of the support network. MTB offers six years or 6 lakh km of transferable warranty (again an industry first), besides a very cost-effective AMC, the lowest cost of ownership, and a powerful insurance package called MCOVER.