Head – Corporate Communications and Corporate Relations,
The unique boom offset feature enables the machine to do trenching in a straight line
along a wall.
The Indian construction equipment sector has grown considerably in the last two years, owing to the government’s thrust on building world class infrastructure. All product categories are seeing an increased demand. “We feel as the market matures, the mini excavator concept will only gain popularity due to a unique combination of compact size and higher productivity,” states Jasmeet Singh
Head – Corporate Communications and Corporate Relations, JCB India elaborates on the market trends in compact excavators.
What is the current market size of compact excavators in terms of value and units sales? What are the expected growth and the growth drivers?
The market for mini excavators is at a nascent stage; however we are seeing this segment gaining popularity gradually in segments such as pipeline laying as these applications require a compact product to work along narrow roads in the cities. Projects such as AMRUT, Smart City Projects which are aimed at infrastructure development in Tier 2 and 3 cities will generate considerable demand for this category.
We are already seeing favourable demand where there is a paucity of manual labour for jobs such as plot cutting, building foundation work and in plantations of banana, areca nut and ginger. We feel as the market matures, the mini excavator concept will only gain popularity due to a unique combination of compact size and higher productivity.
The Indian construction equipment sector has grown considerably in the last two years, owing to the government’s thrust on building world class infrastructure. All product categories are seeing an increased demand. The 3T mini excavator has been designed specifically for applications where space is a constraint. These machines are also increasingly being used in non-construction related applications also.
Brief us on the range offered by JCB in compact excavators. What area the attachments offered?
At present, JCB India offers the 3T mini excavators, the JCB30 Plus which is manufactured at our JCB Jaipur facility. The market has shown a favourable response to this machine and we also offer various attachments such as buckets of widths 450 mm, 600 mm, 300 mm and 1,000 mm, JCB hammer master140 for road breaking tasks and JCB auger for soil drilling to plant poles.
The JCB30Plus is primarily being used by contractors in urban infrastructure development, irrigation, and cable laying, also by plant hirers and plantation owners. We feel that the machine will find great use in the urban infrastructure development many of which involve working in areas where space is a constraint.
The concept of mini excavators is gaining momentum as customers are now seeing the value in the machine especially in applications which require compact products. Moreover, the machine offers various world class features such as the unique boom offset feature which enables the machine to do trenching in a straight line along a wall and offers perfect visibility to the operator of the work area.
Could you throw some light on the rental scenario of compact excavators?
At present, the rental scenario of compact excavators is confined to individual machine owners in some parts of Southern India. Gradually, we expect big rental companies to include mini excavators in their fleet. JCB has been continually encouraging rental companies to include this product in the fleet as they will be able to offer complete solutions to their customers. As the concept takes off and the machine becomes more acceptable, there will be more rental companies willing to invest.
Machine uptime is tantamount to success, so equipment that is simple to service is top on the list of concerns, especially for rental segment. How service / maintenance-friendly are your range of compact excavators?
After sales support is one of the key deciding factors in the overall buying cycle of a product. It is imperative that a well-connected product support is offered to customers to minimize the downtime and maximize productivity. JCB India has ensured to provide an unmatched distribution network to its customers through 650 outlets and over 60 dealers.
We, at JCB India, ensure that our dealers are well stocked with the requisite parts, lubricants, and well trained service engineers are well trained to carry out preventive maintenance. Our dealers have made significant investments in setting up their product support network with over 6,000 trained professionals who are periodically trained on the operation and maintenance of the product. We have also strategically set up five warehouses at Pune, Chennai, Faridabad, Guwahati, and Kolkata to support these outlets with parts supplies.
Could you brief us on the various features in your range that helps a customer / contractor to have lower maintenance cost and higher resale value?
Ease of Maintenance – the JCB30Plus has been designed in such a way that daily / weekly / monthly tasks
like greasing, filter change
(hydraulic oil, engine oil) etc. and oil level checks can be carried out easily by our machine operators and service engineers. Good preventive maintenance ensures repair possibilities are low.
Parts Availability – Our parts and lubricants are economically priced and are easily available at all our dealer outlets. Better design of the machine results in low diesel consumption and low maintenance cost. Some of the parts such as teeth, side cutter, and grease nipples etc. are compatible with our other products like a backhoe loader. Compatible parts help our customers to leverage the Parts and Lubes inventory at their premises.
What is the trend with regard to zero tail swing models in India? What are the advantages of these models over conventional tail swing models?
Zero tail swing have an advantage in plantations such as rubber and areca nut where the trees are closely placed and in construction sites such as tunneling and digging in very narrow spaces. It enables the superstructure of the machine to rotate within the boundaries of its undercarriage.
Zero tail swing machines are useful in logistics as it means a compact superstructure and takes up lesser space. They have a great advantage of being able to work in very tight areas such as plantations and cable laying or trenching next to wall.
With the role out of the next set of emission norms the price of backhoe is expected to go high that may give an edge to compact excavator. What is your take on this?
At this point, we don’t wish to comment on the price gap and its movement after the implementation of these norms as we are still in the process of readiness. We wish to be in a better position to comment on this once we are closer to the date.
Government’s primary objective behind introducing these norms is to protect and conserve the environment and also contribute towards public health. As an industry, we are completely supportive of this action and all of us have to contribute to ensure its success.
Backhoe loader and mini excavator are two different segments of the construction equipment industry and are used in different applications. The backhoe loader is a multi-functional, versatile equipment used in various general purpose applications while mini excavators are a niche segment and is used for different applications such as urban development projects or in projects where space is restricted.
With the recent boom in affordable housing, construction and infrastructure projects, as well as development projects driven by Gram Panchayats and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana projects; there has been a rise in demand for backhoe loaders and is expected to sustain for some time.