We provide direct services across 200+ locations in India through site based workshops.
Dinakar B ,
Senior Vice President – Sales Marketing and Aftermarket ,
Volvo Trucks India.
Volvo Trucks has been offering a full range of heavy- to medium-duty trucks in India since 1998, and been the market leader in the high-performance mining and ODC business. Till date, the company has delivered over 13,600 heavy-duty trucks, and maintained the number 1 brand position in the premium market segment, facilitated 40% of coal production, and have trained over 100,000 drivers in India. “Our focus has always been to offer transport solutions that meet the changing needs of customers and drive progress,” states Dinakar B, Senior Vice President – Sales, Marketing and Aftermarket, Volvo Trucks India. Dinakar highlights the advanced and innovative technologies brought that differentiate its range.
Aftermarket services have become a true differentiator. How innovatively Volvo Trucks have enhanced its service capabilities?
Aftermarket has been our biggest strength since inception. Our business model is quite unique as we provide aftermarket services directly from the company. We do not have many dealers doing this for us. We provide direct services across 200+ locations in India through site based workshops. This is what differentiates us from the rest. We understand the importance of delivering fast and efficient service at the customer’s doorstep. Our technicians are deployed at customer’s sites that ensure that our trucks never stop!
Another aspect of our aftermarket is the high skill levels of our technicians. We foster a learning environment in the team through various initiatives and competitions that result in enhancing the skill levels for our service team. Equipped with the right training and tools, our aftermarket team has delivered some outstanding results for customers, like ensuring 7000 hrs of operations in a year and availability of >95% at the remotest of locations in India.
Volvo Trucks has a comprehensive network of service and parts centres in India with site supports provided at the remotest of locations, considered to be the benchmark in the tough off-road industry. The right service, the most skilled technicians, and top-quality parts, ensure increased uptime, lower cost of ownership, and greater operational control. Volvo’s driver development program, having trained 100000+ drivers in the country till date, is benchmark in the industry.
We also provide service packages that are tailor-made for the specific needs of customers in each segment. We understand that world class trucks require world class service to maximise its operational efficiency.
What is the frequency of maintenance for your range of trucks?
We focus on ensuring that Volvo truck continues to deliver superior uptime while delivering the best in class fuel efficiency. We have pioneered our aftermarket approach to provide customized support services to our customers that are considered to be benchmark in the industry today. We strongly recommend our customers to follow the periodic maintenance practices as per our guidelines.
What industry-leading technology is present in Volvo trucks?
Several unique Volvo Trucks features are already well-proven and are making a positive difference in construction projects today. In creating new, state-of-the-art technology for construction, our vision is always simple: increase productivity and profitability by making assignments faster and easier for drivers. In short, the solutions are designed for the driver and optimized for the customer. Our range of products and models allow users to avail solutions tailored to make their operation more productive, profitable and cost-efficient. The world is changing at a fast pace, but demand for transport that assures safety and efficiency remains as strong as ever, so we will continue to innovate products that meet these needs.
At Volvo, there is a constant flow of innovations to deliver ‘customer success’, push limits, break new ground, and meet new challenges. Building trucks has become more complex with more commitments, more considerations, responsibilities and requirements. The new FM380 8×4 and the first of its kind FMX 460 8×4 19.5 cu m granite body, show our capability to raise the standard of productivity, efficiency and reliability. Similarly, the FM 420 6X4 tractor can enable bulk movement for large projects applications with its powerful engine, superior transmission and weight optimized design.
Could you give some examples on the innovative technology brought in?
Over the years Volvo trucks has introduced many new features in its trucks. A few major introductions have been the I-Shift transmission, Volvo engine brakes, which is Volvo patented technology and Volvo’s advanced telematics system – Dynafleet online.
We have successfully tested many innovative technologies, like the Emergency braking system, Lane assist, Sleep detection system, Autonomous truck, platooning etc. These are under extensive testing and will be available in the future globally depending on the various market needs. Volvo has been actively working on the Autonomous truck technology. There have been many on road trials conducted as well.
\What are the productivity and fuel efficiency initiatives from Volvo Trucks?
We have introduced several innovative solutions and features focusing on enhancing the overall lifetime profitability for our customers. Typically in the mining transportation application, fuel accounts for more than 55% and maintenance accounts for close to 20% of the total operational costs. Volvo Trucks pioneered new concepts for the mining industry focusing on enhanced productivity at optimum efficiency. Some of the technologically advanced features in our trucks include:
High Performance Engines: Volvo engines are engineered very meticulously to deliver superior performance and power without compromising on the fuel efficiency. FMX 460 8×4 has 13 litre engine producing 460 hp at 1400-1900 rpm and generates 2300Nm of torque @ 1000 – 1400 rpm. This means our engines deliver peak torque at a wide rpm range and also peak torque meets the peak power that provides incredible acceleration and pleasurable ride comfort. A wide economic speed range of 1000-1500 rpm helps to get the maximum fuel efficiency.
Engine Management System: The Volvo EMS (Engine Management System), a wholly electronically controlled system which provides precise and efficient engine control. The engine control module takes in data from several sensors on the engine and the vehicle and adjusts fuel quantity, injection timing accordingly, throughout the engine’s operation.
I-shift: I-shift feature is another superior innovation from Volvo that ensures precise torque from the engine is available at wheels through electronic control unit even when the truck carries heavy loads. This means driver can focus on maneuvering the truck and the driving experience is extremely easier, safer and comfortable. Ease of driving puts less stress on the driver and smoothness in the system put less stress on the driveline and tires thus helps to minimize the maintenance costs. As against the manual transmission technology, I shift offers fuel savings benefit up to 3%.
Driver Training Programs : we have established driver training center even before we introduced our truck in 1998. Such is the importance we provide on enhancing the driver development to achieve the best out of the man-machine interface. So far we have trained over 100000 drivers in India.
Dynafleet : This is the intelligent fleet-management system which captures the data from the truck on a real time basis to follow the performance of our trucks and generate user friendly reports to spot the trends and implement necessary changes in operations to achieve best in class operational efficiencies.
Fuelwatch Competition : One of its kind innovative driver competition – Fuelwatch; to sensitize and motivate drivers, fleet managers and also our customers to focus on the importance of efficient driving practices that will lead to fuel savings and environmental care through lower emissions. We have successfully completed 9 editions of this annual event and our customers experienced and acknowledged fuel efficiency sensitization led to an improvement of ~12 – 15% in their operations.
Could you talk about features in your trucks enhancing safety and driver comfort?
Safety is our core value. We build trucks around this core value and not as an additional feature in our trucks. We take pride in our offerings – especially our cabins which are of same design and quality offered globally. Our cabins are tested under the Swedish cab test norms which require both; head on collision testing as well has back crash testing. Our cabins are designed for ergonomic and comfortable driving position with all buttons, instruments and storage within easy reach. The sloping design towards the windscreen improves visibility.
We also provide an additional safety feature of automatic electric parking brake where the parking brake is automatically engaged once the engine is turned off. There are many other features like the Air suspended seats, the controls on the steering wheel, the easy glance instrument cluster etc., that are designed around the driver for comfort and productivity which appeals to our customers.
Could you brief us on the newly lanuched FM 380?
Our flagship product in construction is the newly lauched FM 380 8×4. FM truck from Volvo is globally known for their efficiency and flexibility in the toughest applications. We offer two different superstructure solutions on this truck – 23 cu m U-body and 19.5 cu m rock body – both of which are highest capacities in their segment ensuring maximum productvity for the customer. Volvo FM 380 comes with a 13 litre engine generating a maximum horsepower of 380 Hp and peak torque of 1900 Nm @ 1000-1400 rpm. A unique feature of Volvo engine is that maximum horsepower and torque are available at low engine rpm in operating range resulting in better fuel efficiency and higher average vehicle speed. FM 380 8×4 also comes with I-Shift (Automated Manual transmission) and Volvo is the only manufacturer to provide AMT in this segment. This truck also comes with a host of safety and comfort features like auxillary brake, ABS, air suspended seats, electric parking brakes and ergonomically designed dashboard.
Our approach has always been driven by TCO and unearthing value for our customers over the life cycle of the product. Our sales teams work very closely with customers to understand their requirement and propose a solution only after understanding the feasibility of our offering. We never sell our products without understanding the return on investment being made by the customer.
We understand that our job has only started after we have sold the truck to the customer. We make our after-market services available to the customer on site. We understand the criticality of a breakdown and promise customer’s very high uptime so that they can make the most out of our trucks. This helps them plan their operations more efficiently and realize the intended benefits of buying a premium quality truck.
What sets the Volvo brand of products apart from its peers?
Over the last 20 years, we have created many firsts in the industry, which included innovative product platforms, unique aftermarket solutions and competence development programs that set new standards and created benchmarks in the industry. Our focus has always been to offer transport solutions that meet the changing needs of customers and drive progress.
Volvo strengths lie in building a large capacity body resulting in higher productivity; using powerful and fuel-efficient engine and matching driveline, higher gradeability, better productivity and suitability for toughest applications; l-Shift transmission for heavy duty applications, best-in-class cabins; Dynafleet, Volvo Trucks Fleet management system for a more profitable transport operation; maximum uptime and full support to all our stakeholders, along with customized service packages. All our products are made to handle extreme stress, contact with abrasive material, and maximum payloads.
We are setting uptime benchmarks in the construction business – In the Construction segment where no one measures uptime, we have set a new benchmark of achieving around 98% uptime. This is not by chance, but by design.