Tipper truck manufacturers have been seeing a buoyant market during the last two years, with volumes expected to close at 60,000 units during 2017-2018 - a 7% increase from 2016-17. Higher demand is coming primarily from road construction for hauling granular sub-base materials, processed minerals, and overburden. While a sizeable chunk of the demand is for new units, customers are also looking to replace their old trucks.
The market trend indicates a transition to higher capacity trucks, that is, from the 16-ton (gross vehicle weight) GVW to 25-ton GVW; and for trucks of 8x4 axles, 31 tons over 6x4, 25 tons. This transition has been noticeable during the past two years. Demand for 25-ton trucks is over 25% now, but the 6x4 segment continues to occupy substantial market space.
Contractors want trucks that ensure higher productivity as they want to complete projects before schedule and get dividends. Truck owners are taking a relook at the conventional design of their tippers and haulers; and are moving away from cowl chassis to full-bodied trucks that come complete with cabin and body, and which can be put to work from the day of commissioning.
The company is making its Construck range of tipper trucks using best-in-class aggregates, and is sharing performance inputs with body manufacturers to design lighter bodies. "The internal change in aggregates has resulted in improvements in tipping cycles, vehicle uptime, gradeability, fuel efficiency and tyre life." Tata Motor’s Construct tippers for used in infrastructure, road and mining applications and they comprise the premium Prima, Signa, LPK and LPTK range.
Tipper owners want tippers with higher fuel efficiency and lower cost of operation and maintenance.
Shroff informs that they have incorporated the global SCR technology in their 150-300hp mining tippers and EGR in the lower power i.e. 130-150 HP range of tippers. "In SCR technology, the gas is treated by adding adblue (AUS32) additives to reduce the pollution levels. This is injected into the exhaust gases as a post combustion process through an SCR System that breaks down the harmful NOx (Nitrous Oxide) emissions into mostly Nitrogen and Water Vapour. This is a cleaner and more efficient way of treating the harmful gases in high powered vehicles. Also, this has a positive effect on the life of engines."
"We have added a fuel efficiency switch with which the operator can make the vehicle run on varied modes as per the haulage requirement. Tipping efficiency without compromising the vehicle’s stability on undulated grounds in quarry sites is a necessity that Tata is addressing these by using better designed bodies, high quality tipping kits. Sensors, which can stop tipping on steep gradients to prevent toppling of tipper trucks, are also being tested on our high-powered tippers."
He adds, "The trucks may command an higher initial price since we are making them more productive through value engineering, and making them lighter by adding more aluminium in the body, gear box housing, etc. We are asking body manufacturers to ensure that the vehicles have higher durability vis-à-vis their weight, and we are also taking care of very fine application requirements where spare wheels may not be required."
He continues, "A year back, BSIV has been introduced and Mahindra has incorporated SMART SCR airless technology to comply with the emission norms. In fact, given the fact that our engine was already electronic, we had to undertake minimum changes. Post that, we are witnessing a few more regulations which shall come in force soon. From Jan 2018 itself, blower has been introduced in our tippers and trucks as a standard feature to improve ventilation and cabin comfort to eventually improve productivity of drivers. ABS and Speed limiter have already been introduced during FY18. We have been regularly introducing variants customized to meet application requirements."
"Mahindra has ensured its tipper trucks are more efficient and promote higher productivity. This is ensured through ergonomically designed cabin and instrument panel to reduce fatigue, make driving smoother and safer. Fuel switches provides driver the flexibility of toggling between turbo, heavy and light modes to either maximise power or maximise mileage, based on the nature of load and terrain. This innovative and world-first feature adds a lot to the productivity of our trucks and hence we offer Mileage Guarantee on our BLAZO Range of tippers. Further, superior aggregates of Mahindra tipper trucks ensure lesser breakdowns and higher uptime for years." Mentions Sahay.
Widened & Higher Capacity Offerings
Tippers undertake varied applications as in quarries, infrastructure projects and mines, where they operate in circuits as well as haul materials, and must, therefore, have bodies for both tipping and hauling.
"VECV is offering U tipping bodies to ensure that the materials do not get stuck while being tipped. Our Pro 8000 series, 25 and 31-ton tippers are ideal for quarry jobs, while our Pro 6000 tippers and tractor trailers are designed for longer hauls," informs Rama Rao.
Schroff informs that driver comfort and safety are of utmost importance for us. At Tata Motors we value the role played by drivers and we go the whole hog to provide better driving comfort to these drivers for whom, vehicle is like a second home. We already had AC options on Prima and Signa Cabins, now we also have them on our LPK and LPTK range, be it a LPK1618 or a LPK2518 or a LPK3118 all have this. Also, we have decided to go with the sleeper cabins for our new 37T 10x2 tippers which gives extra comfort for long hauls. Our vehicles are sold with Delight Loyalty Program. This program offers points for spends on Tata vehicles, which can then be redeemed on vehicle service or other gifts. Along with this is given an accidental & hospitalization benefit through an unnamed insurance policy covering Accidental Death or Disability Cover upto ₹10 Lakh per year per vehicle for drivers linked to the vehicle in case of contingency. Moreover, changes of such fatality are drastically reduced as our vehicles follow global standards of safety and are designed with best in class safety features.
Higher Product Optimization & Service Orientation
"Since tipping efficiency without compromising stability is not an issue with the higher capacity trucks, we are educating customers on safety issues of the lighter capacity tippers and the best practices and precautions while tipping. Our Eicher Live telematics ensures higher availability of the vehicles by providing critical information on the working parameters," informs Rama Rao. VECV is supported by company-owned 300 touch-points.
For better fleet utilization and monitoring, Tata Motors is providing Telematics solution- Fleetman. Says Schroff, "With the solutions, geofencing of the vehicles can be carried out, and information on trip details, fuel consumption can be gathered remotely by the owner /operator on his laptop or smartphone."
Our aim is to give complete package to our customers across the product’s lifecycle. We have made our services competitive and attractive to customers with Tata Motor’s Gold, Platinum and Silver Annual maintenance packages, which include scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Onsite support is provided by our mobile work stations. We offer assured backup support, with timely parts supply at competitive prices through our multiple channel partners supported by a large service network spread across the country and also assure customers with a warranty for six lakh kilometers or 6,000 hours on our M&HCV tipper range."
Tata Motors maintains a strong market share and leadership position of No.1 in the tipper segment and will be further consolidating the same in the coming days. "Watch out for our new launches and expect more innovation from us to improve the profitability of transporters."
Vinod Sahay says, "Mahindra offers 48 hours uptime guarantee (back on road in 48 hours or we pay ₹1000 per day) Onsite service support for Tippers, Mobile Service Vans for breakdown service support, 24X7 NOW Call Centre manned by Technical experts, 4000 hrs/24 months standard warranty; Extended Warranty – 6000 hours or 72 months; warranty is transferrable. Our service packages also includes, 2 hours service reach guarantee on Delhi-Mumbai Service Corridor or we pay ₹500 per hour, 36 hours service turnaround guarantee at Dealership or we pay ₹3000 per day, 150 maintenance parts availability at MParts Plaza or they will be given free, 250 critical parts availability at select 50 dealerships or they will be given free, lowest TCO and 6 years/6000 hrs whichever is earlier for HCV tippers."
Tipper truck manufacturer’s rapid response to the changing application requirements based on customers’ needs, will require sustained cooperation between manufacturers and owners, and the necessary servicing.