The tipper truck market is gearing up to a new momentum in sales and technology adoption. Improved mining and construction activities are expected to drive this trend ahead.
Mining and construction activities are on a growth path in the country. New projects (big and small), demolition of old structures to reconstruct new ones and transportation of materials at construction sites, all these make the role of tipper trucks important these days. Players in this sector are looking positive in the new industry scenario. This is evident from the recently concluded Excon 2017 exhibition which saw a range of new tipper trucks with improved features and technology additions. Many players have launched new models, while some others have expanded dealer network across the country to meet the increasing demand for these vehicles in construction and mining space.
The year 2017 saw certain ups and downs in construction industry due to various reasons, which reflected on the construction equipment also, including the tipper trucks segment. Specifically, demonetisation had affected the truck market which is now recovering. Vinod Sahay, CEO - Mahindra Truck and Bus Division, Mahindra Construction Equipment Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, elaborates, 'Tipper trucks have been gradually picking up post demonetisation. This revival is a result of momentum in construction, supported by increase in mining activity. The overall volume for multi-axle tipper trucks is likely to exceed last year's volume. Acceptance
of our tippers has been steadily increasing. We currently hold 5-6 per cent market share.
On the demand trend, Sahay says, 'Demand is indeed growing and is actually diverse too, in terms of specifications of products as well as applications. We have been offering a wide range of variants/configurations anticipating such demand.' He further adds on the product range, 'Our product portfolio consists of construction and mining tippers on 25T and 31T platform, haulage tippers on 31T and 37T platforms and tip trailers on 40T and 49T platforms, which can be customised to suit the varied operating conditions/loads. With this portfolio of products, we are successfully addressing the key market requirements. On 25T tippers, we have combinations of 6-speed/9-speed gearbox along with bogie and non-bogie options.'
Coined under BLAZO platform, these vehicles are equipped with FUELSMART technology, which offers customers the option of toggling between TURBO, HEAVY and LIGHT modes to either maximise power or maximise mileage, based on the nature of load and terrain. According to Sahay, Mahindra is also in the process of introducing more variants to address diverse and evolving market needs of the customers.
Rajaram Krishnamurthy, Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), explains on the BharatBenz portfolio, 'We updated the entire BharatBenz truck portfolio - MDT and HDT - within less than five years after the market launch to give our customers even more value for their money. This has helped us drive our sales further - when we celebrated out fifth anniversary in the market in September 2017, we had already handed over more than 55,000 BharatBenz trucks to customers.
Meeting emission norms
With the government's introduction of BS-IV norms across the commercial vehicles along with passenger vehicles in India, truck players have come out with new technologies that comply with the new emission regulations. Says Sahay, 'Recently BS-IV has been introduced and Mahindra has incorporated SMART SCR airless technology to comply with the emission norms. In fact, given the fact that our engine was already electronic, we had to undertake minimum changes. Post that, we are witnessing a few more regulations which shall come in force soon. From January 2018 itself, blower has been introduced in our tippers and trucks as a standard feature to improve ventilation and cabin comfort to eventually improve productivity of drivers. ABS and speed limiter have already been introduced during FY18.'
Krishnamurthy explains on meeting the latest emission norms, 'All BharatBenz BS-IV vehicles come with significant fuel efficiency improvements and meet the upgraded norms using SCR technology that's been proven in Daimler vehicles in many markets over a decade. Daimler is also the global safety technology leader in trucks, so safety has always been at the core of BharatBenz -tailored to the demanding requirements of the Indian market. We were the first to introduce key features like ABS into series, and our trucks already meet future regulatory updates today, according to global standards.'
Tata Motors offers its truck range with updated emission compliance. Rajesh Kaul, Head-Sales & Marketing-M&HCV, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, explains, 'Our product Prima of 300 hp offers EGR technology. Each product over 150 hp works on the SCR technology. The engine in itself burns out the particulate matter at high temperatures and transfers this through the diesel exhaust fluid in the decomposition area and exhaust processor.'
What customers look for
According to Rama Rao A S, Executive Vice-President - Sales, Marketing, Aftermarkets, VE Commercial Vehicles, customers in the construction sector are in search of higher-capacity trucks. He adds, 'The truck industry catering to mining and construction segment is in a transition mode as segmental shifts are taking place in terms of gross vehicle weight and vehicle power. High performance haulage trucks are being used for the transportation of aggregates, which is a new phenomenon. Such new trends are a positive sign as they will keep a check on costs and are profitable. We are witnessing a maturity in the market, with customers in search of customised offerings. Demand has witnessed a positive uptick in the past three months and OEMs have also launched higher-capacity trucks in the last two to three years. Rise in fleet replacement by fleet owners, and movement towards higher tonnages will further push demand for heavy-duty tippers and trailers.'
Efficiency and productivity
Efficiency and productivity play important role today, considering the way the infrastructure and construction sector is growing and transportation becoming borderless pan-India. Krishnamurthy says, 'More than ever before, borderless pan-Indian transportation and the hub-and-spoke model in logistics require modern, fuel-efficient trucks with higher uptime - exactly what is the core of BharatBenz. Just think that with the GST introduction, the uptime of trucks at an average has increased from 80,000 km to 200,000 km. Only modern trucks like our entire portfolio give customers what they need to capture these opportunities.'
According to Sahay, productivity of a truck depends upon several factors. He points out how Mahindra has ensured its tipper trucks more efficient and promote higher productivity:
Comfortable and safe cabin that reduce fatigue and promote active safety.
Ergonomically designed cabin and instrument panel to reduce fatigue, make driving smoother and safer.
FUELSMART switches which provide driver the flexibility of toggling between TURBO, HEAVY and LIGHT modes to either maximise power or maximise mileage, based on the nature of load and terrain. This innovative and world-first feature adds a lot to the productivity of our trucks.
Superior aggregates of Mahindra tipper trucks ensure lesser breakdowns and higher uptime for years.
Mahindra offers the following unprecedented service and spares guarantees to ensure that the tipper trucks are always moving: