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Interaction | January 2011

Earthmoving Equipment: We are the market leaders in vibratory compactors in India

We have redesigned our loader backhoes which makes it one of the lowest fuel consuming machines (fuel consumed per cubic meter production) for both backhoe and loader operations, says D V Junnarkar, Head – Marketing, L&T-CASE, while speaking to Equipment India about the trends in the earthmoving and compaction equipment segments. Excerpts from the interview.

There is a huge difference the way a backhoe is used, rather over-used in India compared to developed markets. How these issues factored in when L&T-CASE redesigned backhoes?
That’s really true. There is a huge difference in the way backhoe loaders are used in the Western part of world and in India. In India, backhoe loaders are deployed for production jobs, whereas in the west, they are used as utility equipment. Here a backhoe is put to work continuously for 10 to 20 hours a day; in fact, the average number of working hours per annum for a backhoe here is around 2,500 hours, whereas it is just around 700 hours in developed countries. That is the difference. So, when we developed the new model, our major focus was on fuel savings, which in turn increases the value for customers. So we have redesigned our loader backhoes which makes it one of the lowest fuel consuming machines (fuel consumed per cubic meter production) for both backhoe and loader operations. Apart from that we also use best components to build the machine which makes it sturdier and more reliable machine.

What is the current market for backhoe loaders by volume and value? And what is your market share?
We expect the industry for loader backhoe to be around 25,500 units in FY 2010 - 2011.

What differentiate L&T-CASE from competition?
We deliver value for money products; and provide services on time to our customers and ensure customer satisfaction.

What is the scenario of compaction equipment and how strong is your presence in this segment?
In terms of market size, it should be somewhere around 2,400 units. We are the market leaders in vibratory compactors in India, and our models L&T-CASE 752 and L&T-CASE 1107 are very popular in the market due to its overall performance and the lowest owning and operating cost for the contractors. The model 752 is the highest selling tandem vibratory compactor in India for many years. In soil compactors, we offer options like drum drive and PD version which are needed for special soil conditions for better compaction.

How do you look at the importance of training of operators and technicians?
At L&T-CASE we give major emphasis on training of the operators and maintenance technicians. The perceived value will not be seen if these equipment are not operated and maintained properly. It is manufacturer’s responsibility to train the field and operating people for effective operation and proper maintenance. Our training department conducts special programmes throughout the year which is being attended by many of the operating people. We also conduct special programmes based on request from our customers. We strongly feel that our customer’s success is our success.

Nowadays there is more emphasis from end-user community on the services provided to them. What is your take on this?
You are absolutely right. We strongly believe in our motto ‘In service lies success.” We have 55 dealers and each dealer is having a dedicated well trained service team. These engineers respond to customer calls and resolve the issues at the earliest. Each dealer is fully supported by L&T-CASE service professionals who monitor and guide the dealers’ service team. As regards the parts support, all the critical and essential spare parts are available with our dealers who are connected with our portal and they can order online. Dispatches are effected on the same day.

How do you look at the potential of earth moving equipment industry?
The potential is really huge. Development of infrastructure will play a major role in India’s GDP growth in the next ten years as there is a huge gap in demand and supply. The government is well on its track and has put greater emphasis on implementation of various infrastructure projects in a time bound manner. This sector will continue to grow in the coming years exponentially; we expect that this industry to grow at 20 per cent CAGR till 2015 – 2016.

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