Specialized Transport Manufacturers Bank on Firm Demand Fundamentals

Goldhofer Specialized Transport

Companies look forward for demand of tailor made solutions

Specialized transport equipment manufacturers are currently witnessing demand fluctuations of their solutions, due to slowdown in infrastructure sectors. However, they see demand to rise in near future from core infrastructure and industrial projects in India owing to increasing modularization of industrial infrastructure and requirements of moving precast sections for general infrastructure construction from fabrication yards. The project designers and contractors are looking towards minimizing project construction costs and curtail time overruns. Manufacturers also are optimist on growing business opportunities owing to project sizes getting bigger, mainly in power and energy sector, requiring movement of over dimensional project cargoes from manufacturing plants to project sites. According to the industry, the Indian specialized transport market has been cyclic. During the peak period the market size is around 2,000 axles per annum while at normal times it hovers around 500 to 600 axles per annum.

Based on the projected, rising requirements of units, manufacturers are looking forward to expand and consolidate their business presence with range of solutions for the varied user industries in India.

According to Mr. Ramesh Balan, India Representative, Industrie Cometto S.p.A., Italian manufacturer of trailers, semi-trailers and self-propelled vehicles, "Cometto trailers have the capacity to transport up to 7,000 tons and more while their applications also aid mass scale movement of 49-220 tons. Cometto's global product portfolio consists of flatbed semi-trailers (XA series), high-speed modular trailers (series) OED, low modular trailers (series 2), heavy modular trailers (1MS series), self-propelled vehicles (MSPE), shipyard transporters (SYT), steelworks transporters (ETH, ETL), and accessories like bolsters, adapters and intermediate decks. Our products are well accepted in India and we have long-standing association with many of the leading names in the industry such as Nabros, Resham Singh Transport Contractor, Globe Eco Logistics, All Cargo (MHTC), and Kataria Transport."

He continues, "Cometto supplies self-propelled vehicles to many of the shipyards in India. In terms of modular transportation, we supply 36-ton capacity axles in combination of 2, 3,4,5 and 6 axle trailers for the ODC segment which could be coupled with Volvo, Scania, MAN, and Tata prime movers. We provide extendable trailers also to transport windmills blades and their moulds and also offer special twin-blade transportation trailers."

The Italian specialized transport equipment manufacturing major will expand its market presence banking on its advanced technical product attributes. Mr. Ramesh says, "We have nearly 10% market share in the heavy duty axles segment and will increase it to 25% in next five years. In the long run, we are targeting a 40% market share to achieve when we have our production facility in India. In the mid-term, we are banking on our advanced solutions."

He elaborates, "All our axles are built with high tensile steel and are robotically welded to give 30% more mileage than the conventional trailers available in the Indian market. Industrie Cometto has a state-of-the-art R&D centre at its headquarters in Cuneo, Italy, one of the biggest and most advanced centres in the field of heavy equipment manufacturing globally."

Mr. Ramesh informs, "We are selling our products directly from Italy. Of course, servicing is undertaken in India by our authorized representatives. For major overhaul or support, we undertake direct service as well. We undertake annual maintenance contract also to give total support to our customers. The Indian market is vital for us and we are keen on tapping the huge potential in holds. We have been supplying our products to customers in India for over four decades. Moving forward, in order to expand our market presence, we are planning to establish cooperation with a local manufacturer."

German specialized transport equipment manufacturing major, Goldhofer, is also looking to tap the growing Indian market with tailor made solutions. According to a company spokesperson, "Goldhofer has developed the THP/MI series of modular trailers for the Asian market. With the axle lines specially designed to comply with government regulations, Indian haulage companies find it much easier to obtain transport permits, which greatly reduces the administrative outlay. All THP/MI modules are compatible with the THP/SL modular system and with all Goldhofer accessories for maximum convenience with regard to individual axle line configurations and vehicle combinations. The THP/MI is ideal for road transport operations with a gross weight of up to 400 tons and an axle load of 28 tons at 15 km/h. The lightweight versions of the THP modular trailer, the THP/SL-S and THP/SL-L, with their extremely low deadweight and high bending moment, are also an attractive solution for road transport and construction site operations."

Cometto Specialised Transport

The spokesperson mentions, "There is growing demand in India for our THP series of heavy-duty modular trailers and the SPMT vehicles in our PST series, which represent the transport solution of the future. Thanks to a choice of axle configurations to meet customers' individual needs, various combinations with other Goldhofer axle lines and a wide range of accessories, Goldhofer's modular vehicles can handle loads of up to 10,000 tons and more on a highly flexible basis."

The spokesperson adds, "In addition to its heavy-duty axles, Goldhofer engineers special vehicles also for transporting wind-power plants, including a range of flatbed semitrailers for the long rotor blades that have been specially developed for the Indian market. These flatbed semitrailers are extendable up to a length of 62 m." All Goldhofer vehicles combine top-quality engineering, reliability and robustness with control systems designed for outstanding precision. For haulage companies, they offer the ultimate flexibility and project security.

According to the company, for ODC haulage, Goldhofer's THP series of heavy-duty modular trailers and PST self-propelled modules are ideal. With a hydraulic suspension stroke for longitudinal and transverse control and lateral leveling, these trailers are ideal for both on- and off-road operations.

Goldhofer PST/SL-E modules are fitted with electronic multiway steering with a steering angle of +/- 135°, with each axle individually controlled by a sensor and stepless hydraulic rotary drive. Apart from a choice of standard steering modes such as normal, transversal (90°), diagonal and carousel, additional steering programs for special transport operations are also available.

Further, according to the company, Goldhofer's PST/ES-E (385) series is specially designed for ultra-heavy loads. With an axle load of up to 60 tons, these self-propelled modules have an optimum payload/axle load ratio. And they are all fitted with standard truck tires in 285 (19.5 inch), 315 (22.5 inch) and 385 (22.5 inch) widths. This results towards significant reduction in maintenance costs for the operator. In addition, tire wear is significantly reduced by the +/-135° maximum steering angle.

According to the spokesperson, "For appropriate product support, Goldhofer provides full service around the world. That includes trained personnel who are available worldwide and at all times to offer instruction and guidance for challenging transport operations. The company also runs extensive customer training courses for the individual vehicles. Goldhofer's Project Department is at the disposal of customers with difficult transport requirements and is always pleased to provide individual advice. India is an important market as it is one of the booming regions of the world where transport volumes will keep increasing in the future. We will continue to strengthen our focus on the market through highly professional service of our local agent."

While there are indications of growing demand of specialized transportation solutions in India, it will be prerequisite to offer support by the manufacturers to the transporters for safe operation of the equipment. Additionally, there will be requirements of strengthening and improving transport infrastructure, mainly through broadening of roads and strengthening of bridge infrastructure for movements of the solutions from the manufacturing or de-berthing location to the work sites, which is currently inadequate in the country.
Lifting & Specialized Transport April-June 2015
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