We strive to innovate and introduce technologically superior and proven products.

Dinakar B,
Senior Vice President – Sales,
Marketing and Aftermarket,
Volvo Trucks India,
VE Commercial Vehicles.

 

We are consistently the market leaders with >62% market share.

– Dinakar B
Senior Vice President – Sales Marketing and Aftermarket, Volvo Trucks India, VE Commercial Vehicles

Volvo Trucks pioneered new concepts for the mining industry focusing on enhanced productivity at optimum efficiency. “Volvo pioneered the 8×4 configuration tipper and we are the first to introduce 8×4 tippers in India way back in 1999. The product has undergone continuous improvements in terms of technology and features to deliver best in class value for customers even in tough applications,” says Dinakar B, Senior Vice President – Sales, Marketing and Aftermarket, Volvo Trucks India, VE Commercial Vehicles. Dinakar sheds light on the opportunities for heavy duty trucks from the mining sector and also elaborates on the solutions provided.

 

How do you assess the current mining scenario in India?

Mining sector performance in the current fiscal as indicated by index of industrial production (IIP) data reflects a growth 5% during April – July 2018 as against 2% growth in Apr-Jul 2017.  Coal being the major component in mining, its production by Coal India in the first five months this fiscal grew by 12% on year on year basis and coal off-take improved by 9.5% through the sustained demand from power sector. Going forward, as the overall economic activity recovers and the industrial output gains pace, the coal demand is further slated to improve.

 

What business opportunities do you see in Coal India’s decision to acquire mining equipment worth Rs 120-130 billion in the next 2-3 years?

Coal India’s decision to procure mining equipment worth 120-130 billion in the coming three years is a very good indicator in terms of coal behemoth moving towards adopting enhanced technology to augment coal production as well as improve productivity, equipment utilization, and efficiency at optimum cost.

 

What are the key challenges faced by mining equipment industry in India?

Mining industry with relevance to our presence in the mining transport solutions face several challenges in terms of drivers shortage, pressure on execution of projects with strict time lines, better control on overall fleet to enhance the utilisation and efficiency, rising fuel costs etc. In order to address these challenges, customers have been embracing new technology improvements in their operations.

How do you look at the growth opportunities in the coming days?

We are extremely positive on the opportunity and the potential for mining equipment coming from the key policy and government related initiatives like enhancing coal production to reduce dependency on imports, commercial coal mining, opening up and operationalization of new mines, MDOs, increased focus on safety and emission related concerns etc. Our commitment towards customer’s success enabled us to introduce the suitable transport solutions and uptime services coupled with value added offerings including driver training, operational consulting etc. made us their preferred business partners.

What is the year-on-year growth trajectory you project for mining trucks?

High performance trucks operate in the coal overburden transportation application primarily and Volvo Trucks has a significant presence in this tough and demanding application. We are consistently the market leaders with >62% market share. In the last five years premium trucks market grew at a CAGR of ~15% and is currently total premium trucks market in mining is at ~1300 units’ levels. Overall infrastructure development initiatives and positive GDP growth forecasts, improving industrial output etc. will lead to a higher energy demands which are largely addressed through thermal power. Also initiatives towards rural electrification, power for all, reduced dependency on coal imports etc. will further push the demand for domestic coal. We are positive about the opportunity potential for high performance trucks with the trends suggesting preference towards contractual mining, increasing stripping ratios, higher mine depths, coal production demands etc.

 

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 liter 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.

 

What are your new products and technologies offered in mining?

It has been almost close to two decades of Volvo Trucks journey in India and we constantly strive to innovate and introduce technologically superior and proven products, technology for maximizing our customer’s profitability in their respective operations. In tippers portfolio, currently we offer 8×4 tipper trucks and 10×4 dump trucks with body capacities ranging from 19.5 Cu m to 33 Cu m

FMX 460 8×4 I-Shift:  Volvo FMX tipper is exclusively designed and built for tough operating conditions in the mining and construction segments and is extremely robust, powerful and efficient. This is the toughest truck Volvo has built and is best suited for extremely demanding applications operating in harsh conditions. Volvo pioneered the 8×4 configuration tipper and we are the first to introduce 8×4 tippers in India way back in 1999. The product has undergone continuous improvements in terms of technology and features to deliver best in class value for customers even in tough applications. FMX 460 comes with a 12.8 ltr engine producing 460 hp at 1400-1900 rpm and generates 2300Nm of torque @ 1000 – 1400 rpm. Also, a wide economic speed range of 1000-1500 rpm helps to get the maximum fuel efficiency.

FMX 8X4 comes with 19.5 Cu m load body for overburden and mineral applications. Depending on the moisture content of material to be transported, we offer rock body and exhaust heated body variants.

FMX 10×4 Dump Truck: We have pioneered to set new benchmarks through innovation and 10×4 dump truck is a five axle dump-truck built on the robust FMX platform. We offer 2 variants in the 10×4 dump trucks category – FMX 480 10×4 dump truck with 24 Cu m body & FMX 520 10×4  dump truck with 26.1 Cu m body. Primarily these dump trucks offer the productivity in terms of a dumper while the efficiency and flexibility of a tipper in overburden transport application. FMX 520 is the largest capacity multi-axle mining tipper in India.

FMX 460 33 Cu M Tipper: Volvo FMX 460 hp with a 33 Cu m on sturdy FMX platform and with a unique U-type body design enables light weight body and thereby providing enhanced payload for hauling coal (Washed / raw coal). FMX tippers comply with all statutory and safety requirements of the DGMS (Directorate General of Mines Safety). Safety is in our DNA and
Volvo Trucks meet the toughest
Swedish impact test norms and are the safest cabs.

Volvo FMX 8×4 Tridem – Futuristic and conceptual display only: First of its kind 8×4 tipper with liftable tag axle which offers extreme maneuverability and performance in the construction segment. With the new product range coupled with customized service offerings, we had good success in the construction segment in the recent fiscal while retaining our strong leadership position in mining segment.

We also offer customized product offerings depending on the application requirements and operating conditions – 45 Cu m capacity tip-trailers for aggregates movement and 46 Cu m capacity tip-trailers for coal transportation application. For coal haulage application through a dedicated haul corridor, we offer 148 Cu m road-train solution coupled with suitable tractor thus offering superior productivity with minimum number of truck fleet.

 

What is your future outlook on the industry from your company perspective?

Latent customer demands from niche segments in mining and construction have been more challenging and complex with the pressure on stricter project execution time lines etc. and from each project to project needs are unique and different. This is translating in to the demand for more reliable, highly productive and most efficient transport solutions consistently delivering profitability for customers

We see potential to grow our business by using the good image and reputation we have in mining to expand into new areas like construction and long-haul. We have already made some headway in construction with some key customers, who have bagged some large projects. We know, we are in the right place at the right time, and are all geared up for the industry.

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