Tipper trucks manufacturers continue with their heightened preparedness to introduce newer, cost efficient products on the backdrop of demand becoming firmer. P.P. Basistha reports.
The Indian rigid dump trucks market continues to attain higher traction as demand for hauling granular sub base materials continues to remain buoyant from growing road construction sector. Development of newer coal mines and expansion of the existing ones are also contributing to the rising demand. Manufacturers are actively looking to tap the off take through placement of more advanced equipments which, in particular, minimize operating costs and deliver faster uptime. The business strategy for meeting demand through delivering products with longer, cost effective lifecycle is being done by launching entry level products. The new products come at a premium and deliver higher productivity. According to industry estimates, spurt in demand for the newer tipper trucks units is projected to take the market volumes close to 45,000 units in 2016 up from 35,000 units in 2015.
He explains, "The 'Blazo' series is equipped with the 'Fuel' smart technology. CRDe engine is behind this technology. The attribute of the engine is the multimode drive feature, usually seen in passenger cars. The modes are turbo, heavy and light. The modes can be switched by the driver as per the load and road conditions. The uniqueness about this product is ability to change power at switch of button. Based on this, the series offers 274 HP power when pulling power is required especially for quarry operations. The same vehicle can deliver 220 HP for aggregate transportation. This will enable delivering higher fuel efficiency, optimally enabling the truck for usage in combined mode applications, resulting in maximum utilization."
He elaborates, "Our current range of engines mPower were conceptualized with varied applications in mind. We offer 7.2 L engine which has been optimized for all platforms ranging from haulage to tipper. In order to make it suitable for varied applications, we have different power bands starting from 170 HP & going upto 274 HP. For quarry operations, which require high torque at low rpm, our engine would be highly suitable offering the most optimum combination of fuel efficiency & power efficiency. Generally, one requirement is sacrificed at the altar to meet another requirement. In mPower we have taken care to ensure that in quarry operations, both parameters are effortlessly operating at optimum levels."
MTBL's existing Torro and the new Blazo range of tipper trucks can efficiently tip the load without compromising the stability of the vehicle while it is working in undulated conditions, informs Mr. Mehta. "Quarry conditions are highly uncertain and would vary largely from site to site. We have carried out extensive trials to arrive at an ideal combination of wheel base, tipping body locations etc. This is to ensure that stability isn't comprised in an operating condition. Our testing and design offers us the confidence to offer higher cubic capacity bodies which increase the productivity of vehicle contributing to large savings."
Claiming further that the tippers can deliver required tractive effort while working in quarry sites he adds, "Tractive effort is a combination of several aspects which would include engine power, gear ratio & rear axle ratio apart from tyre types. We offer different kinds of combinations depending upon the application. mPower engine offers torque upto 960Nm, which is best in class. This has been suitably coupled with bigger gear box which would ensure adequate pulling power at wheels for smooth movement of loads even in quarry condition, featuring muddy sloppy and rough terrain conditions".
However, the company's focus will be to expand and retain its presence in the mining sector, where it claims to maintain a sizeable presence. It will look to strengthen its presence through offering newer solutions in the sector. "We have maintained between 60-65 percent business share in the coal overburden haulage in the mining sector. This has been possible with our well packaged aftermarket service, ensuring timely parts availability, maintenance and training at the remote mining locations allowing higher uptime of our tipper trucks. Select areas of remanufacturing support have also allowed us to build up our presence."
He continues, "Dovetailed with our highly efficient product support is our highly reliable and fuel efficient solutions that has enabled us to maintain our business share. Our most vital attribute that has gone towards making our trucks highly productive and fuel efficient making them highly suitable for overburden removal is our I-Shift transmission. With the automatic intelligent gears, the drivers can focus on his core driving operation. This also contributes towards reducing fatigue making him more productive. Overall it provides the trucks with high levels of traction in the poor underfoot conditions at the mining site. Seeing the encouraging response of I-shift transmission, we will be looking to increase the penetration levels of thesolution in other segments as well, making it a standard offering in near course."
Volvo offers FMX 440 HP 8x4 tippers with 19.5 cum body, FMX 480 HP 10x4 with 24 cum body, and FMX 520 HP 10x4 with 26.1 cum body for overburden haulage. For coal haulage it offers FMX 440 HP 8x4 tippers with 33 cum body.
Mentioning about the response of FMX 520 HP 10x4 launched during previous Excon, with retractable rear wheels for better tractive effort and fuel efficiency, Mr. Rao says, "We have placed some pilot vehicles for trials at the coal mining sites in North India and the response of their performance have been encouraging. We now propose to deliver the trucks for the indexed applications."
He adds, "We have whole range of hauling solutions for the coal mining sector across the value chain. Two of our recent introductions include water sprinklers for dust suppression and fuel tankers on 8x4 platform. We will look for introduction of newer specialized solutions to provide further value to our mining customers.
Ashok Leyland has begun commercial sales of its newly launched 'Economy' range tipper trucks. The 'Economy' range is the second offering under the company's Captain Series of tipper trucks which also offers the 'Premium' range of tipper trucks. Three models are being offered in both the variants Captain 2518, 2523 and 3123.
"With our existing 'U' series, 'Captain series' offering dual 'Premium' and 'Economy' range and CGPT cowl chassis as the super economy range of tipper trucks, we are now adequately positioned to cater to the multiple haulage requirements of aggregates plant owners," says Mr. M. Surendranath, Head- Sales, Construction and Mining Business vertical, Ashok Leyland.
He adds, "The response to the 'Economy' range of tipper trucks, ever since its launch in January 2016 has been very encouraging. We have sold close to 400 units." The Captain economy 2518 and 2523, 6x4 is powered by Ashok Leyland's 180 and 230 hp engines, manufactured at its Hosur plant at Chennai and Pantnagar at Uttarkhand.
Mr. Surendranath says, "We have made the trucks more fuel efficient by making the engines IT enabled. The driver can now change the power of the engine from power mode to economy mode, thereby extensively saving on fuel. The mode change can be done by the driver through a switch while the truck is returning empty, after tipping the materials. Further, to ensure that the trucks deliver higher tractive force while working at steep gradients with poor underfoot conditions, they have been provided with deep rear axles. Additionally, for enabling the trucks to work at combined mode application, we are providing 2518 and 2523 with 14-16 cum rock bodies, while 3123 is being provided with 22 cum box bodies."
The Economy series trucks come with a torque of 650- 700 n/m, while 3123 is with torque of 800 n/m.
Ashok Leyland is providing high tensile customized truck bodies for enhanced longevity. For optimum utilization of the trucks, Ashok Leyland will be soon introducing, its own new fleet management systems. This will deliver data to the operators and also to the owners on the fuel efficiency of the trucks. It will also generate information on the engine oil flow, engine temperature and information on working location of the trucks will also be transmitted.
He adds, "Followed by our introduction of premium Tata Prima range of tipper trucks in the recent past marking a paradigm shift in bringing global standards of trucking to India, in terms of technology, innovation and comfort, addressing the high-end CV segment, our new initiative has been introduction of the Signa range of M&HCVs, at the recently concluded Auto Expo. The product will address the conventional segment, with a modern truck cabin."
Mr. Kaul informs, "Offered in various configurations, the Signa range of trucks are offered with a newly designed cabin, with proven Tata Motors aggregates, for a world-class trucking experience. With its smartly designed cabin space, improved ergonomics and NVH levels, the Signa range of trucks offer a superior in-cab experience. This would enable drivers to operate fatigue free over long hauls, thereby delivering higher productivity. With an inbuilt telematics system by Tata Fleetman, the new Signa range also empowers fleet operators with a more connected experience, to better manage their transport business in terms of optimum utilization and fuel management."
Tata Motors displayed its three variants from the Signa range – the Signa 4923.S tractor, the Signa 3118.T multi-axle truck and the Signa 2518.K tipper at the Auto Expo. Mr. Kaul says, "Our well-defined product development strategy comprises constantly developing multiple new platforms with improved performance and reliability. The development of the newer platforms is carried out based on changing customer requirements. The newer products are at par with the existing ones and are supported by our dedicated and strong sales and service network across the country."
"Hyva produces a variety of tipper bodies for various applications. Hyva has innovated to design specific bodies for very difficult and extensive usage. So, we have a range of mining bodies, construction bodies as well as transportation bodies.
As part of the package of new products, Hyva India has also recently introduced, its new 5th generation 'ALPHA' series hydraulic cylinders for the tipper trucks. "The cylinders are lighter, faster and higher on tipping productivity, thereby providing higher equipment uptime. The new generation of hydraulics with advanced cylinders, will deliver savings on weight. Further, it will provide added stability to the trucks while tipping the loads. We will be looking to introduce newer solutions based on the "ALPHA" platform in the near future to make the system more intelligent." adds Mr. Chaudhary.
Ongoing activity at the tipper trucks manufacturer's stable heralds good news for the industry as they are increasingly responding to newer applications, characterising product modifications and refinement. However, inclusive demand for the equipments will have to be stimulated through creation of infrastructure jobs in large volumes apart from newer financial packages, so as to make the products affordable to own and operate.