With large/mega size mines coming into play in the last few years, high capacity trucks are increasingly being deployed in India, says S Ananthakrishnan, Senior General Manager, Machine Business Group, Gmmco. In an exclusive interview with Equipment India, Anananthakrishnan elucidates the market trends for high tonnage trucks for the mining segment. Excerpts from the interview.What is the market scenario for trucks of 40- tonne capacity? OHT of 35 tonnes capacity was earlier widely used in small coal mines (< 2 million tonnes annual coal production), limestone and granite quarries. However, with such small mines being gradually replaced by medium and large- sized mines, market has moved to 60 tonnes OHT, leaving the 35Ton OHT to the smaller limestone quarries, granite sector and start up mines. Existing 35 tonnes OHTs in the market are of very old vintage and there is a need for OHT of 40 tonnes Size with current design and technology which would offer higher reliability and productivity and make operations of small and medium size mining operations more profitable.What is the range offered by GMMCO (Caterpillar) in this segment?Currently we offer the Hindustan model 1035 OHT manufactured exclusively for India by CAT India. We have plans to introduce a new design of 40 tonnes OHT in the market very soon.What is the market for high tonnage trucks, 60 tonnes and above, in the mining segment?The Indian mining segment for high tonnage trucks (= >60 tonnes) is predominantly in the coal sector. The coal sector is poised for an average 20 per cent annual growth in the next five years as tremendous thrust is being given by India to power generation. In Coal India, considerable outsourcing is taking place which will increase the deployment of 60 and 100 tonnes trucks in the coming years. CIL also continues to deploy of 190 and 240 tonnes trucks for some of their large- sized mines. Also, several private coal blocks of medium and large size are to come up in the next five years which would also increase the demand for trucks of 100 tonnes and above.What is Gmmco's market?Gmmco markets the world- renowned CAT brand mining trucks of 60 tonnes to 360 tonnes payload capacity. CAT trucks of 60 and 100 tonnes are manufactured in CAT India plant near Chennai while higher capacity trucks are manufactured in USA. Large fleet of 50/60 tonnes and 100 tonnes CAT trucks supplied by Gmmco over the last several years, have been working in various mines of Coal India as well as in several private mining companies. CAT mining trucks are designed and built stronger for years of reliable operation supported by Gmmco's experienced product support group. Gmmco-Cat has been increasing its market share gradually and is now the preferred truck by many customers.Are there any specific reasons that footage for high capacity trucks / dumpers has not been too good?Higher capacity trucks (>190 tonnes payload capacity) reached dominance over the years in developed countries, owing to their distinct advantage viz lowest cost per tonne. However, in India, higher capacity trucks, though introduced two decades ago has been slow to gain importance. This is due to factors such as high initial investment, higher technology level, high levels of custom duty on machines and spares, lack of infrastructure for heavy repairs, low cost of manpower etc, which made them uneconomical. However, with large/mega size mines coming into play in the last few years, this opens up the opportunity to amortize the assets over longer periods and the necessity to reduce the fleet size and make the operations more easily manageable. Today, high capacity trucks are increasingly being deployed in India.Tell us about the market scenario for high capacity equipment in the mining segment.Most of the substantial expansion projects as well as new mines of CIL have been planned with high capacity mining equipment as they ensure lowest cost-per- tonne as well as use of current technology and highly efficient machines. Two UMPP planned by Reliance and a mine planned by Essar are set to use higher capacity shovels, trucks and supporting equipment. Other private mining companies are also seriously considering deploying high capacity equipment.What is the percentage of business achieved from the mining segment, and what is the growth envisaged? Gmmco has been in the mining equipment business for over two decades and our mining business forms a substantial part of our overall business. We envisage an average annual growth of 10-15 per cent in the next five years.