The current market size for motor graders is around 600 units and is expected to reach 1000 units, provided the renewed focus on the road sector gets executed.
Motor graders are mostly used for in the road construction and maintenance sector where the 125-174 hp range accounts for over 75 per cent of the market share. The government focus on infrastructure is a key enabler. While all the right signals are being given out by the government, there still exists vast scope for the government to aid the industry and act as an enabler by bringing in the necessary reforms (land and financial reforms in particular), transparency and removing road blocks, says Kamal Bali, Chief Executive Officer, LeeBoy India. He adds, "The Indian customer is increasingly looking at ownership and lifecycle costs and hence, reliable and sturdy construction equipment that are not only cost-effective but extremely productive with minimum downtime are the need of the hour."
Case recently introduced the B series motor grades in the Indian Market. "The idea behind bring the Case graders in India was to provide quality in the construction business through advanced technology in India. NHAI has indicated that this year many projects are going to be awarded on EPC basis, which will definitely give a boost to the road construction. The actual execution of the road jobs has a direct bearing on the demand of graders and so we are optimistic that demand will be high for graders." He further adds that graders in the horsepower range up to 150 hp will continue to dominate the segment for some time in the future. Graders are needed for road construction and have a direct co-relation to the actual execution of road projects. The higher horsepower graders will be in demand as the size of jobs increases, says Anil Bhatia, Director - Sales and Marketing, Case India.
As India continues to focus on its infrastructure requirements, the demand for the motor grader continues to grow. For over a decade, road building activity in India has offered major growth opportunities for the construction equipment industry. Today, the Indian customer is much more appreciative of the modern technology available. He is looking for high efficiency in terms of productivity and low costs of operation. Since the main application of the motor graders in India is in the road sector, the market is dominated by 125-174 hp which accounted for a significant per cent of market share in 2012, says Rohit Punjabi, General Manager (Strategy Development), LiuGong India.
According to Gurman Reen, Sales Manager, Caterpillar India, road construction activity in India is currently suited to motor graders in the 12-14 tonne weight class and around 150 hp range. This size class, equipped with a 12 ft blade, is sufficient to execute anything from rural roads to 4-lane national highways. However, going forward, an increase in 6- laning works and awarding of mega highway projects will drive an increased demand for 190-200 hp class graders equipped with 14 ft blades.
In the recent economic scenario, we have seen an influx of technologically inferior and limited life products. These products basically last for one project duration and are written off by customers after 2-3 years of use. We are confident that the customers will go through this cycle and return to world class products which offer great life cycle value and much lower owning and operating costs. As the pace of road construction activity picks up, motor graders will continue to evolve and the best of technology will come to India.