Need for technical improvisations that meet emerging application requirements and the new hauling regulations and emission norms, is driving manufacturers to focus on the technological features of their tipper trucks and their after-sales service capabilities. P.P. Basistha takes a look.
Indian tipper trucks market has been passing through an interesting phase since the past couple of months. As per the new emission regulation to migrate from BS-3 to BS-4 norms, manufacturers are making the requisite improvisations in their engines, and with the new loading regulation in force, they are making advancements in the core hardware of their machines. The transition has been marked by drop in sales, leading to large inventory pile-up as some of the manufacturers were yet to get ready for the new order. To neutralize the situation, manufacturers had to resort to distressed sales in some cases. This was amidst apprehension, that potential and even loyal buyers may resort to quick brand substitution. This is when demand is swelling, especially from road construction projects, for hauling crushed granular sub base materials and overburden materials, with tight completion schedules. To offset the impact, manufacturers have been working on strategic business development and retention initiatives. Interestingly, there has been some heightened business development initiatives by some very new entrants into the business.
Volvo truck is targeting the niche segment of owners such as big road contractors involved in long road stretch construction, with very tight delivering schedules that require faster turnaround from loading, hauling and tipping to unloading, and covering long distances from the mineral processing sites to the delivery points. Volvo trucks are built to deliver optimum utilization with fuel efficiency, high horsepower, robust bodies designed to carry high loads, rugged super structure with faster tipping ability – all of which go towards delivering lower cost per ton and higher levels of productivity.
He says, “We will look towards banking on these competitive technologies to drive future sales, targeting customers looking for higher levels of productivity, even we continue to carry out improvisations on the same.”
Mr. Dinakar mentions, “Optimum utilization of Volvo tipper trucks is backed by Volvo’s unique Dynafleet telematics system. This allows the owner to gain information on the pattern of fuel consumption. Dynafleet also enables customers to see in real time the location of their vehicles and vehicle’s performance data that are critical to have control on their fleet, letting the customer fully focus on running their core business.”
He adds, “As part of product support, higher levels of vehicle’s availability is ensured with Volvo Trucks Driver Training services to coach drivers into further improving their fuel saving skills. We have pioneered our approach to provide customized support services to our customers that are considered to be benchmark in the industry today.” Volvo Trucks has an active population of 8000+ tipper trucks working at various mining, over dimensional and construction operations.
Looking forward to leverage its market presence in haulage of crushed granular sub base materials, MTBL has been carrying out advancements in its Torro and Blazo range of tippers. Mr. Sahay explains, “Ideally, transportation of crushed aggregates happens from crushing point to point of usage. They are also transported for long distances. The varying combination of load and terrains necessarily translates with varying performance of vehicles. In order to reduce this variations, our Blazo series offers ‘Fuel Smart’ technology. This technology offers drivers options to choose power depending upon the terrain and load to optimize on the fuel savings as well as manage turnaround time.” Blazo range of tippers comes with power rating of 274 hp with wide range of tipping bodies offering between14 cum box body to 20 cum box body
He adds, “To enable the operators have optimized performance of our tippers, we have recently introduced ‘DiGiSENSE’ technology on all our Blazo range of trucks and tippers. ‘DiGiSENSE’ is our telematics platform which offers host of features starting from track and trace, geo fencing, live fuel efficiency, alerts for critical parameters of vehicle operation, maintenance reminders”.
He elaborates, “For our tipper customers, we provide comprehensive and round the clock service support. This includes onsite support of mechanics and spares stocking to fleet of 10+ vehicles. Additionally, we also support the tippers working at remote locations backed by our mobile workshop, and critical spares parts availability. We provide standard warranty 4000 hours or 24 months and extended warranty of 6000 hours or 48 months on Torro and Blazo tippers.” Mahindra trucks and Buses posses more than 120 authorized service centres, 2900 roadside assistance points, and spares network of 2069 retail outlets.
Higher Capacities Attain Traction
He informs, “While SANY India’s existing service network will be servicing the trucks, for delivering higher availability of the trucks we will be adding product experts.”
Caterpillar India is promoting its four models of rigid dump trucks: Cat® 770G (40 ton), Cat 772G (50 ton), Cat 773E (60 ton) and Cat 777E (100 ton). All four models are manufactured at its Thiruvallur facility in Chennai. Cat 770G is powered by Cat C15 engine of 511 hp, Cat 772G is powered by Cat C18, 598 hp, Cat 773E is powered by Cat 3412E, 760 hp and Cat 777E by Cat C32 1016 hp engine.
Vital Information Management Systems (VIMS) and Traction Control Systems in Caterpillar tipper trucks enable higher levels of performance. “Through VIMS, the operator gets information on oil temperature flow, engine temperature flow and fault alerts, which enables the customers to undertake preventive maintenance. The traction control systems enable auto braking when the trucks are working in sleep slopes and stiff gradients and also feature an automatic speed retarding system.” He elaborates.
Caterpillar India’s exclusive dealers GMMCO and Tractors India provide maintenance and repair with contract services on re-manufacturing of critical parts and components for the rigid dump trucks.
Tata Hitachi markets its range of 35.4-100-190-220 and 300-ton, 2x4 rigid dump trucks. It manufactures its 35.4-ton, 14.6 cum bodied, EH 600 tipper trucks at its plant in Kharagpur near Kolkata. The heavier capacity trucks are imported from Hitachi Japan. The company has sold close to 75 units of EH 600 to the coal, cement and granite sectors.
According to the company, it recently introduced Hyva care hydraulic oil for the cylinders which will enable extended drain out intervals, thereby reducing maintenance. The oil is available in the retail market through Hyva dealer network.
The rapid responsiveness of tipper trucks manufacturers to reposition their trucks in accordance with the new emission and hauling requirements indicates the growing maturity of the tipper trucks market. However, it will be vital for manufacturers to also reorient their service support initiatives in line with the repositioning.