Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Interaction-GV Rao, VP, Volvo Group Truck Sales-Hub India

Volvo offers models suited for demanding and tough overburden applications

Volvo Trucks are pioneers in India in the high performance mining tippers delivering over 8500 mining trucks. GV RAO, VICE PRESIDENT-VOLVO GROUP TRUCK SALES - HUB INDIA responded to queries from PANJAMI ANAND about the brand’s efficiency and productivity


Could you brief us of the role played by your company in terms of the support it is providing to the Mining Sector?

Volvo Trucks was the first European company to start a manufacturing plant for high performance on-road and off-road trucks in India, to meet the transportation needs of the core sectors and industries. We created many firsts in the mining industry including innovative product platforms, unique aftermarket solutions and competence development programs. For ex: Volvo trucks pioneered the 8X4 concept (4 axle truck). The 8x4 with a tipper of 19.5cu.m is now the most popular model for overburden applications.

Premium trucks require the best driving practices. Volvo took on the responsibility of making good drivers even better and help customers get higher returns on their investment.

Hosakote, offers an in-depth know-how on advanced truck technology, safety and superior driving skills.

Volvo Trucks set up the first Driver Training Centre in the CV industry in India, at its plant in Hosakote, close to the test track, with complete training facilities for classroom and practical sessions. The training programs offer an in-depth know-how on advanced truck technology, safety and superior driving skills. Special attention is given to improving fuel efficiency.

The Driver Training Centre till date has trained 50,000 truck drivers (both at the Centre and at customer sites), making it one of the most important parts of Volvo’s commitment to competence development for our customers.

In July 2015, we delivered the 10,000th Volvo truck in India. Volvo is the first European, premium truck brand to cross the landmark of 10,000 truck deliveries in India.




Tell us of your various product offerings and their demand in the Indian market? Tell us of the new products you intend to introduce and the geographical markets where you are planning to push them?

Volvo offers the entire range in the Heavy Duty segment –

FH- FH is Volvo Truck’s Flagship model. This model is offered mostly for on-road application for heavy haulage and Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC) transportation. This is offered in 13ltr engine 520 hp. The FH is designed to carry a Gross Combination Weight of 200 Metric tonnes. Available in 6X4 tractor / puller models

FM – FM is a flexible all-rounder designed for carrying out multiple applications and offered in India mainly as a puller for medium heavy haulage and ODC transportation to carry a Gross combination Weight of 125 Metric tonnes. Offered with a 13ltr engine generating 440 hp, it is available in 6X4 Tractor / puller models.

FMX Built for toughest working conditions, extremely robust, powerful & efficient

The Volvo FMX is designed exclusively for the mining segment. Volvo FMX is the toughest truck Volvo has built and is suited for extremely tough and demanding overburden applications operating in harsh conditions in the open cast mines. The FMX comes with a 13 ltr engine producing 440hp to 520 hp.

Mining (tipper segment) The 8x4 tipper or the 4 axle trucks is the most popular model in the overburden application.

Volvo offers the very popular FMX 8X4 440. The FMX 8X4 has a 13 ltr engine generating 440hp and 2200Nm of torque @ 1050 – 1400 rpm. This is the most powerful truck in this category. The FMX 8X4 comes in both Manual and Automated Gearbox (iShift) versions. These also come with two body types – regular and exhaust heated body with a capacity of 19.5cu.m.

The FMX 10x4 is the largest dump truck in India which comes in two models the 480hp & the 520hp with a body capacity of 24cum and 26.1cu.m respectively. Like the 8x4, the 10x4 is also designed for the extremely demanding overburden application where the coal production demands are high with longer contract periods.

The Volvo FMX 440 hp with a 33cu.m body is designed for transporting coal (Both washed and raw coal) in the coal mines.

Volvo FM 440 6X4 Prime mover is offered with 3 axle trailers for Bluemetal, clinker and coal transportation for long distances.



Tell us about your firm’s focus on technological innovations?

Under extensive testing, innovative technologies like Emergency braking system, Lane assist, Sleep detection system, Autonomous truck, Platooning etc, will be available in the future globally depending on market needs.

Dynafleet: Our telematics solution is a standard offer for all trucks delivered in India and it allows operators better maintenance, higher productivity and better driver management.

AMT: The best in Automated Mechanical transmission, the Ishift manages gear shifts effectively based on the speed, load, gradient and terrain. It guarantees optimum shifting ensuring fuel efficiency almost 3% better than manual transmission.

Engine Management system: The Volvo EMS, a wholly electronically controlled system provides efficient engine control. Integrated with the truck’s electronic system, it permits advanced communication with the driver via the information display.

Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS): Unarguably VDS is the best steering system as it combines conventional hydraulic power steering with an electronically regulated electric motor fitted to the steering gear. The electric motor receives around 2.000 signals per second from the truck’s on board sensors to create highly precise steering. VDS is available for mining trucks and we are evaluating the same for bringing it to the Indian market.



Give us an understanding of their key features, their specific advantages and the post sale services offered?

The overburden application is a round the clock operation and is extremely demanding on the trucks as they carry very heavy loads over steep inclines and very rough road conditions. This puts lot of demands on the truck engine, chassis, body and the other mechanics and on the driver as well.

Ishift in mining: -I-Shift allows the driver to relax a little and let software do some of the work. It reduces driver fatigue as the driver needs to focus only on manoeuvring the vehicle. With I-shift, the new Volvo FMX can take on rough and hilly terrain with unmatched driver comfort which further improves the driver’s and vehicle’s productivity and fuel-efficiency. Due to all the shifts happening smoothly and automatically, I-Shift results into lesser strain on driveline components.

High performance engines: The FMX comes with a high performance engine generating 440 to 520hp and is best suited for mining operations. Flat torque- 2200Nm peak torque over a broad rpm band at 1500rpm ensures superior drivability and better startability.

New 33 tonne rear axle: RTH3312 is a tandem axle with hub reduction approved for maximum axle loading of 33 tonnes. Tandem drive offers excellent traction and superb pulling power resulting in low tire wear. The reduction at hubs takes places at 4 planetary gears, giving more uniform and steady load distribution, resulting in higher truck vehicle availability.

Stronger chassis: Volvo offers chassis for severe duty applications. Its front section is bent outwards to accommodate the cab and engine, and has the same material thickness (8mm) in the web and the flanges. Frame is reinforced with 5mm thick inner liner, made from high-strength steel, which runs from front of frame to end of frame.

Electric parking brake: The parking brake activation is through an easy access electrical switch on the dashboard. The brakes are automatically activated the moment the ignition is switched off and automatically released when accelerator is pressed to move.  It avoids accidents resulting from human error.

Safety cab: Volvo Cabs comply to the most stringent Swedish Can Strength standards. In real life, the test is comparable to a crash at 80km/h with a stationary truck, and suggests that the driver too would survive the crash.

A lot more tough – Front towing member tested for 32 tonnes, heavy duty bumper, and Cab lower portion integrated with cross member providing strength to the vehicle front.

Spacious and stress free cab – New ergonomic dashboard, instrument cluster, driver’s seat, stalks and switches etc. Air suspended seat for I-shift variant.

More robust – 18 tonnes twin front axle, 33 tonnes rear tandem axle, and 10 tonnes front axle hub bearing, reinforced rear suspension.

Volvo Support: Uptime is the time the truck is operating at its optimum levels. Volvo focuses on our customer’s business and ensures very high levels of uptime. We develop the complete eco system at the customer’s site that includes onsite support, Volvo trained technicians, parts availability etc, to ensure that the truck is always operating and generating revenues to our customer. Volvo after sales support is the benchmark in the industry.



Could you offer information about your manufacturing units, location of plant, their current capacities and investments?

Volvo Trucks globally has 45 plants and the manufacturing plant in Hoskote, near Bangalore has a capacity of 4000 Volvo Trucks per year. The investment under Volvo Group till date would be around over 800cr and have plans to invest further in the coming years.



What are the opportunities you are seeking in the Indian market?

The government has ambitious plans to increase the production of coal mining to 1 billion tonnes by 2020 and from this perspective, opportunities are tremendous. India produces 88 minerals, 4 fuel-related minerals, 10 metallic minerals, 50 non-metallic minerals and 24 minor minerals. There are plenty of opportunities. “Make in India” campaign is laying big emphasis on the other minerals and metals and coming with industry friendly policies and initiatives. With the Government taking positive strides to boost Infrastructure, Manufacturing in general and mining in particular, we are quite bullish and are planning to use this opportunity to bring in innovative and world class products to our customers that help them be more productive, efficient and ultimately  more profitable.

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