Veerangana Express with eight Tata Magic IRIS, commences in Gwalior

Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer has partnered with LaxmibaiMahilaNagrikSahakari Bank and SGS Motorsin Gwalior to launch the Veerangana Express – an affordable, comfortable, convenient and safe cab service for women, by womenin Gwalior. The Veerangana Express will use Tata Motors’ most acclaimed last mile passenger transport solution – the Tata Magic IRIS, a stylish, safe and comfortable alternative for commuters who depend on three-wheelers.
The Veerangana Express cab service managed by a group of Ladies, will plywithin Municipal limits in Gwalior. This programme has been funded by LaxmibaiMahilaSahakari Bank and is being supported by the District Collector and Transport Department. This serviceis being assisted by the District Industrial center by way of 30% subsidy (on-road price) under “MukhyaMantriSwarojgarYojana” which is an initiative by the Hon. Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh.
Speaking on this initiative,Mr. K Sanjeeva Rao, Ragional Sales Manager, SCV- Passenger, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors, “We are delighted to associate with Veerangana Express, a uniquecustomer focused service aimed at supporting women commuters by women operators with one of our best solutions in last mile public transport-the Tata Magic IRIS. It will not only provide a safe, comfortable and convenient commuting option for all women customers but with its car-like easy driving dynamics, women will find it very easy to maneovour. It comes with several features and offers best-in-class operator economics, thus generating high savings and profits for the vehicle owners.”
Mrs. Alka Srivastava, Founder, LaxmibaiMahilaNagrikSahakari Bank, said,“Women Empowerment has been our organisation’s sole focus and through ‘Veerangana Express’ we will come closer to our vision of seeing more self-independent women in our society. We are glad that all government authorities and Tata Motors through its channel partner, SGS, Motors, are supporting this initiative. We hope the Veerangana Pink Cabs, which is for the women, by the women, will further encourage women, without having to worry about their commuting woes. Mrs. Alka Srivastava also spoke about the GPS (Vehicle tracking system) feature available in the Veerangana Express, which makes the women commuting safer in comparison to other vehicles in auto-rickshaw category.
VeeranganaExpress has been provided auto-rickshaw permits by Transport Department on girls school & college, girls hosteletc., within Municipal limits in Gwalior. Initially, total of eight, diesel-powered, Tata Magic IRIS auto-rickshaws have been introduced under this scheme which is expected to increase over a period of time. These auto-rickshaws, pink and white in colour, will be driven by women drivers, trained by M/S SGS Motors, an authorised dealer of Tata Motors as per the guidelines of Bank and District Administration.
Tata Motors has also partnered with a customer in Bhopal to run a similar service called, Shakti Express with 10 Tata Magic IRIS. The Company is also in discussion with Authorities in Indore to introduce this vehicle, under the programme, Ahilya Express service.b1bfc756-b8fa-4360-ba4a-a136c3da379d_TempSmall

Tata Motors awarded contract for 1239 nos. of 6 X 6 high-mobility multi-axle vehicles, from the Indian Army

Tata Motors has bagged an order to supply around 1200 nos. of its high-mobility 6X6 multi-axle trucks, from the Indian Army – the single largest order awarded to an Indian private OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in land systems under the DPP by the Indian army. The order for 6X6 vehicles is for ‘Material Handling Cranes’ for the loading-unloading and transportation of ammunition pallets, spares and other operational equipment.


Developed indigenously, the Tata 6X6 high mobility all-terrain all-wheel drive vehicle, has completed a total trial duration of 25 months, demonstrating maximum performance in the most demanding conditions. Designed to cope with extreme on or off-road loads, these vehicle have gone through trials like water-fording, on cross country terrains and plains and at VRDE’s (Vehicle Research & Development Establishment) torture track.


The Tata 6X6 is designed for easy operability. The vehicle is easy to maintain, due to accessibility to its aggregates. The vehicle is fitted with central tire inflation system (CTIS) for mobility in soft sand desert conditions. The CTIS allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure from his seat. The system provides the vehicle with better traction on different types of surfaces, especially when carrying vital and heavy loads. The Self-Recovery Winch assists in extraction of the vehicle (including other vehicles in the convoy) during operations. The vehicles cabin is modular with HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and is fully-ready for up-armoring. High ground clearance enables better negotiation of gradients, sand dunes, off-road terrains, trenches with higher water & mud fording capabilities, whilst carrying designated military payloads. The vehicle is also capable of achieving sustained speeds of 40 kmph, on severe cross country terrains.


Mr. Vernon Noronha, Vice President, Defence & Government Business, Tata Motors Limited said, “We at Tata Motors are extremely proud to have bagged the single largest order, among Indian OEM’s from the Indian army, for the most technologically advanced High Mobility Load Carrier system ever built here in India. The order is a validation of our strategy and growth potential, for our durable and extensive range of defence vehicles, designed and developed with our evolving customers, including that of security forces across the world. As leading suppliers of mobility solutions to the country’s security forces, we will shortly commence delivery of these high-mobility vehicles”.


The Tata Motors 6X6 High-Mobility MAV can be customised for a wide range of applications such as –


  • CGT (Common Gun Tower)
  • MBRL (Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher)
  • MFU (Missile Firing Unit)
  • MSV (Missile Service Vehicle)
  • FSV (Field Service Vehicle)
  • SRSAM (Short Range Surface to Air Missile)
  • QRSAM (Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile) vehicle
  • LLQRM (Low Level Quick Reaction Missile) vehicle
  • MRV (Medium Recovery Vehicle)

Tata Motors offers its defence customers with a wide range of vehicles, in the light, medium and heavy category, having created a focused division to design and develop defence technologies and products, at its manufacturing facilities in Jamshedpur and Pune. Tata Motors also has a dedicated service team and network for defence products, across the length and breadth of the country. Through HORIZONEXT, Tata Motors four-pronged customer-focused strategy, we have adopted a customer centric approach in the design and development of our mobile defence land solutions, that are reliable, offer optimum usability, and are easily serviceable, with technology at the forefront.




For self-reliance in the area of Combat Vehicles & Engineering, Tata Motors has laid emphasis on the development of Combat Vehicle Technologies and systems, with the aim of empowering our defence forces, with breakthrough technologies. The idea is to ensure high mobility, fire power and protection to troops during military operations, with world-class Armoured Fighting Vehicles. Hence Tata Motors is strategically moving from a logistics support provider, to a combat vehicle player.


In combat vehicles, Tata Motors has designed and developed indigenously, the Wheeled Armored Platform (WHAP), an Indian Armoured Personnel Carrier, designed for optimized survivability, all terrain performance and increased lethality. Tata Motors has also developed a Light Armoured Multi-role Vehicle (LAMV), a reconnaissance vehicle, combining vital operational pre requisites of mobility, protection and firepower. Equipped with modern observation, surveillance and communication equipment, the vehicle will provide our armed forces with a technological edge necessary to achieve superiority on the battlefield.


Mahindra Jeeto: Sound Contender

Article by: Anirudh Raheja, Photos by: Bhushan Mhapralkar

In a sector that has been de-growing for a little less than two years in a row after posting over 40 per cent growth five years ago, the Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV) segment is not in the best of health yet. It is true that the rate of decline has slowed down in the past six months; Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales, of which SCVs are a part according to the classification by Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM), declined by 11.6 per cent in FY15 against the 17.6 per cent fall registered in FY14. Industry experts are of the opinion that there is still time for the (LCV) segment to recover as compared to the recovery posted by Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicles (M&HCV) in the course of seven-to-eight months. M&HCVs posted a 16.6 per cent year-on-year growth in FY15 against a decline of 20 per cent in FY14. It was in 2014 that the news of Jeeto’s development broke out. Enthusiastic motoring press put up images of the camouflaged SCV being subjected to tests with a brief explanation that this was to be the new arrival sometime next year. They went to the extent of digging out information about the project, and claimed that it was called as P601 in the Mahindra circles. It was around the same time, the news of Maruti Suzuki developing a SCV broke out too. In mid-2014 to be precise.

Beginning as P601 at Mahindra’s Research valley on the outskirts of Chennai, Jeeto is expected to redefine the segment that currently has the Tata Ace Zip and Ace. It has begun rolling out of the company’s Zaheerabad plant. To facilitate its production a new building was erected, leading to an extension of the Zaheerabad plant. The extended facility, inaugurated by the chief minister of Telangana, K Chandrashekar Rao on April 22, 2015, was built with an investment of Rs.250 crore, and includes the manufacture of Jeeto and its two engines. The plant has an installed capacity of 92,000 units. It will be hiked to 2.5 lakh units as the demand for Jeeto and other Mahindra products made at the plant rises. This would include 1.5 tractors and 60,000 Boleros and Alfas. Alfa, ironically, is Mahindra’s three-wheeler cargo carrier in the 0.5-tonne category. It is almost in the same category where the Jeeto will head for, albeit with four-wheels to boot. Capex to 2.5 lakh units according to Vivek Nayer, Chief Marketing Officer, Mahindra and Mahindra, will happen over a period of time, and will be dictated by an uptick in demand. Jeeto is certain to be an important part of this strategy, and it does not come as a surprise when Nayer expresses that the category has seen challenging times in the past, and the company is therefore cautiously optimistic. “The launch of this product (Jeeto) will allow us to leverage the maximum when the turnaround in the economy happens,” he says further.

Modern and comfortable

The name Jeeto signifies ‘Go out and win’ in Hindi. Marking the arrival of a new cargo platform, the Jeeto measures 3281 mm, 3431 mm and 3581 mm in length (more on this later), and 1485 mm in width. A soft, rounded front gives the vehicle a modern look. Contributing towards it is the pseudo grille and lamps that are set into a recess. Turn indicators are a part of the head lamp assembly, and gives an impression of being ‘projector lamps’. A high bumper below sports a large air dam with a honey comb grille. If the quarter glass and a step at the bottom of the windshield presents the Jeeto with a cab-forward stance (folks at Mahindra call it as semi-forward), it also hints at clever packaging. For its width, the cabin of the Jeeto is surprising spacious enough to seat two, and without feeling cramped. There’s good shoulder room, headroom and legroom in supply. The dash is plain Jane and could do with a dark shade. The light grey shade looks prone to staining and soiling. The oval shaped instrument panel seems inspired by that of the Nano, and is placed behind the wheel. The wheel is not exactly round, and hints at an amount of effort paid to add a touch of style. It is good to grip, and the ergonomics on the whole have been well worked out. Even getting in and out is easy. The door opening is fairly wide, and the large windshield offers a good view ahead. The driver’s seat may seem a bit upright at first, but it feels comfortable on the go. The dash mounted gear level is easy to reach and makes driving the Jeeto easy. ELR seat belts ather parts of the world.[7] Polar deserts cover much of the ice free areas of the arctic and

Aspirational product for three-wheeler buyers

Built on a ladder frame, another example of clever packaging is evident from the way the front wheels are placed. They are placed right at the corners. This ensures good cabin space. Says Jayanta Kumar Deb, Senior Vice President, Head – Product Development, Auto Division, “Jeeto been designed as mono body but the deck has been bolted using fasteners.” An interesting part of the Jeeto is its availability in three different sizes (lengths), dictated essentially by the length of the cargo deck – 1630 mm for S, 1780 mm for L, and 1930 mm for X. If this hints at a modular design, Jeeto, depending on the length of its deck, is had with a wheelbase of 2250 mm, 2375 mm and 2500 mm respectively. Comprising of eight variants – S6-11, S6-16, L6-11, L6-16, L7-11, L7-16, X7-11 and X7-16, Jeeto offers two payload options. That of 600 kg and 700 kg respectively. An aspirational product for three-wheeler buyers, Jeeto is powered by a single-cylinder, direct injection, water cooled 625 cc (m-Dura) engine located at the rear. The drive goes to the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual (synchromesh) gearbox and a transaxle. Producing 11 bhp and 16 bhp respectively, access to the engine is had by removing a lid on the deck floor. In what can seem a bit complicated, the engine arrangement is such that the Jeeto S6-11 gets a 11 bhp engine, and the Jeeto S6-16 gets a 16 bhp engine. Fitted with a 10.5-litre fuel tank, which should have the Jeeto covering a distance of 300 km, with an average consumption in the region of 31-33 kmpl, what strikes, is the lack of vibration as the engine fires to life. Since it is located at the rear and placed under the deck, not much noise reaches the cabin even with the windows down. Car-like feel is dialled by wind-down windows and door locking knobs. Despite being a cable initiated mechanism, gearshifts are surprisingly light and precise. Clutch action is light too.

Developing 38 Nm torque between 1100 and 2000 rpm, the SCV accelerates well. Not quite car-like, it does exhibit an amount of spring in its feet. No vibration creeps in even when accelerating through the gears, signalling an amount of effort to ensure low levels of NVH. Considering the behaviour of a single-cylinder diesel engine, the low levels of NVH deserve appreciation, and should help the operator to achieve better productivity. Avers Deb, “Jeeto has been a clean slate product. The m-Dura engine has been developed in-house from scratch over a period of four years with the help of over 70 engineers at Mahindra Research Valley, Chennai, followed by production at the Zaheerabad plant.” Touching upon component sourcing and platform architecture, he adds, “Every part integrated into the vehicle, whether it was developed in-house or by a vendor, has been subjected to rigorous testing. This includes thermal trials, distortion trials, squeak and rattling trails, and also flame-ability trials.” On the components front, an investment of Rs. 100 has been accorded to set up Mahindra Industrial Park. Six prime suppliers have already made it to the park. Others are expected to follow soon.

Supported by suppliers like Minda, Bosch, Exide, Brakes India, etc. Jeeto is equipped with disc brakes at front and drum brakes at the rear. For the speeds that the Jeeto can attain, the brakes provide enough bite. It is claimed to attain a top speed in the region of 70 kmph, and weighs no more than 708 kg.

Last mile connectivity, and ride and handling

Equipped with a strut suspension at the front, and semi-trailing arms at the rear, Jeeto provides a pliant ride. Riding on 145/80 R12 LT 8PR radial tyres (of Maxxis make), the ability of the vehicle to provide a good ride, albeit at speeds in the region of 40-50 kmph, was evident when treated to a stretch with broken surface. Aiming to provide last mile connectivity across different sectors, including perishable products, auto ancillary, poultry, FMCG, etc., and where heavy volumes and quicker delivery matters, the Jeeto looks promising. It is not surprising therefore, that Nayer expresses an opinion about the growth of e-commerce having taken the hub and spoke model to a different level altogether. Paradigms in terms of logistics are changing. Some are been creating their own logistics arms to ensure faster delivery for the ever demanding customer which in turn has been becoming a real competitive advantage,” he adds.

Currently, the Jeeto is BS III compliant. It will take a year and half for the BS IV emission norms to come into force. Not to be caught on the wrong foot then, Mahindra, says Deb, has developed a BS IV version. It will be sold at an additional cost of Rs.15,000 over the BS III variant. With the advent of Jeeto, Mahindra is planning to withdraw the Gio gradually.

Global Desi

Plans to export the Jeeto are underway. Mahindra plans to export the SCV to SAARC countries where the emission norms are suitable. According to Pravin Shah, President and Chief Executive, Automotive division, his company will start exporting (Jeeto) to the neighbouring markets of Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. “These have emission norms similar to what India has. This will allow us the flexibility to start the exports simultaneously to expand horizons,” he adds.

To get an edge in the domestic market, Mahindra has tied up with top NBFCs and regional rural banks to ensure easy availability of finance. Currently the manufacturer enjoys a 43 per cent market share in the LCV segment. With the economy gradually recovering, the segment, according to Dr. Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, Mahindra, is expected to grow at five to seven per cent. Interestingly, Mahindra is not keen to stop at the Jeeto. It plans to introduce a passenger version on the same platform, and powered by the same, m-Dura, engine. The launch of this vehicle marks the further utilisation of the Zaheerabad plant. A good part is that Mahindra aims to offer employment to 1,500 people as the capacity expands, from the region. It has already employed 350 people for the Jeeto from the region, and over 900 people at the tractor plant.


Scania and Transpro Motors inaugurate dealership and service workshop in Karnataka

Keeping up with the commitment of establishing and expanding strong dealer network in India, Scania Commercial Vehicles India, inaugurated its first dealership in Bidadi, Karnataka. Transpro Motors will exclusively sell Scania buses and on-road trucks and extend aftermarket services such as vehicle service, spare support, accidental repair and insurance.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Anders Grundströmer, Managing Director, Scania India and Senior Vice President, Scania Group said: “I am proud to inaugurate this dealership as it is one more step towards Scania’s promise to deliver Sustainable Transport solutions to the Indian market. It is a pleasure to be associated with Transpro Motors, who will exclusively market and sell Scania buses and on-road trucks in the region of Karnataka, and also extend aftermarket services to our customers. We look forward to strengthening this association. Scania is bound by its principle “Customer first”, our goal is to deliver a dependable and reliable after sales service that is prompt and effective and meets the customer needs in all ways. With this dealership we establish a strong foothold in Karnataka, being an important state for us. Going forward we will steadily strengthen our dealer network in the northern and western states of India.”

Mr. M.K Lakshminarayan, Chairman, Tranpro Motors added: “Transpro Motors are extremely delighted to be associated with Scania a leading premium commercial vehicle manufacturer. Our dedicated team will compliment and complete Scania’s core value in customer satisfaction and top-notch services. There is a growing demand among the fleet operators for premium products and the segment is rapidly opening up, our Scania dealership will not only address this growing demand but also ensure happy and satisfied customers”.

The new dealership in Bidadi will further strengthen the existing dealer network of Scania. The strategic location of the new dealership will increase the accessibility for key bus hubs and fleet operators to avail aftermarket services. The dealership will provide 24×7 assistance and service to Scania customers. Scania’s focus in the Indian market is to deliver the best aftermarket sales for all its products, to strengthen the same Scania is establishing a wide service and dealership network in India. In addition to the dealer outlets, Scania also offers service vans to guarantee service support to customers within two hours of fault reporting.

Scania stays committed to its promise of Sustainable Transport solutions. With every product the customer receives an outstanding Total Operating Economy including maximum uptime, great fuel economy with lesser impact on the environment as well as high residual value. Scania has a strong focus on driver training and the driver has a vital role for operating economy, safety and repair costs in any transport operation. In addition Scania’s Fleet Management Services ensure safety through monitoring.ae7e42d4-1b21-4969-bfa9-f93ec921c0e2_TempSmall

The Automotive Engineering Show opened in Chennai

The Automotive Engineering Show will be your destination for technologies and products that set new benchmarks for manufacturing in the automotive industry. Messe Frankfurt takes pride in announcing the 9th edition of the Automotive Engineering show which will be held from the 7 – 9 July 2015 at Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai.

Hon’ble Minister of Industries Thiru P. Thangamani addressed the gathering of auto sector professionals at the opening day of  Automotive Engineering Show 2015, Chennai. The Automotive Engineering Show is India’s only trade fair focussed on Automotive Technologies.

Innovations are the driving force for mobility in tomorrow’s world. Putting forward innovations of the future, the Automotive Engineering Show will cover engineering and automation in Vehicle and Automotive component manufacturing companies. Such a clear vertical focus on the vehicle manufacturing plant makes it a unique ‘one of its kind’ show in the world.

Messe Frankfurt’s expertise in the automotive industry spans the OEM and Aftermarket with the world-renowned trade fair ‘Automechanika’ which takes place in 13 locations around 4 continents. The Automotive Engineering Show and the Indian edition of ACMA Automechanika New Delhi will resultantly deal with the growing needs of the rapidly growing automotive industry in India.

Safety conscious

Article by: Rajesh Rajgor

Googling truck and bus accident images will throw up horrific scenes. Mangled remains of trucks by the roadside; burnt buses displaying their raw structure; head-on collisions between a truck and a bus, or between a pickup and a car appear in quick succession. If they bring to mind the three laws of Sir Isaac Newton, and how they seemed to have found application, it is at once clear that safety is not to be taken lightly. May it be on the move or even when stationary. Not in an active sense or in a passive sense either. It is therefore not surprising to find OEMs and suppliers testing new safety systems on test tracks almost tirelessly. At the same time, engineers and designers in front of large computer screens toil to develop new safety apparatus, and better what has already been developed. As the quest for autonomous driving vehicles and zero accidents gains force, active and passive safety systems get a shot in the arm. And, irrespective of whether a collision mitigation system will work on an Indian truck or a bus. In India, the latest developments in the area of safety include a government order to fit a certain class of trucks and buses with ABS. The developments also include a mandate for Bus Code, which speaks about the use of approved materials and
coach work.

Active safety

Defined as a system that is activated in response to a safety problem or an abnormal event, active safety in an automobile could mean a function as simple as good steering and good brakes. Starting with a good steering and good brakes, active safety has gone much beyond however. It has come to include mechatronic developments like brake assist, traction control, electronic stability, etc. Employing sensors that interpret signals to help the driver control the vehicle, active safety systems have also come to include advanced driver assistance systems like adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation systems. In the development of such systems are involved tier 1 suppliers like Wabco, Knorr Bremse, Bosch, Continental and many others. They continue to work closely with OEMs to turn out systems that make an automobile safe. At the risk of reducing the driver to a mere passenger almost.

What works in USA or Japan may not work in India however. It does not come as a surprise therefore when Jacques Esculier, Chairman and CEO, Wabco Holdings Inc. opines that it is not desirable to introduce collision mitigation system in India because one is always prone to a collision due to the heavy traffic. “You may need a different kind of functionality depending upon the speed itself. This is the work that we are doing right now to provide the best optimised system that will benefit the Indian market,” he adds. Wabco commands a large chunk of the commercial vehicle market in India for brakes. The company, based at Chennai, also supplies ABS to most commercial vehicle manufacturers in the country. Apart from collision mitigation system, some of the active safety systems that Wabco has been working on, include AMT, which Esculier claims, helps the driver concentrate on the road better. Describing ABS as a major cornerstone to enhance safety, Esculier drew attention to the need to manage energy without challenging the safety of the vehicle. Especially in the case of hybrid vehicles that are emerging. India will also get them, albeit later than that of Europe
or USA.

If the Freighliner autonomous truck has demonstrated that it can drive itself without the help of a driver under varying conditions, the success marks the rise of active safety systems to the next level. Passive safety systems can’t be ignored either. In case a collision is unavoidable, they reduce
the damage.


Passive safety

Aimed at reducing damage, passive safety systems include seat belts, airbags, safety seat structures, head restraints, crumple zones and energy absorbing body structures. Passive safety systems protect vehicle occupants from injury in case of a collision. They are engineered such that they create a safe zone for vehicle occupants in case of an impact. Ensuring that the vehicle occupants remain in the safe zone throughout the crash, they work such that a seat belt, airbag and headrest will keep the driver and passenger safe by limiting him to the safety zone. Reduce the risk of serious injury.

Also a part of passive safety are measures like the positioning of fuel tank in a truck or a bus. Engineering a collapsible steering column. The engineering of crumple zones, and the design of the cab. A part of the cab design are issues like the view outside. In other words, providing the driver of a truck or bus with unobstructed, long-range visibility of both the road and approaching obstacles. This could be done with the help of full close- and long-range rear view mirrors; large, well-positioned and adjustable mirrors, and advanced alternatives like, camera systems with full-frontal display monitors. When driving at night, automatically levelling headlights help to enhance safety. Also, directions indicators, position lights and side indicators improve safety. Not just for the driver of a truck or bus, but for other road users. Even technologies like auto transmission and Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). The driver of a CV is able to focus more on driving rather than split his focus between the road and the controls. In case of automatic transmissions, supplementary safety features like door integration (gears cannot be engaged when the door is open; door will not open when the vehicle is in motion) and no roll back when in drive-mode also help to enhance safety.

New developments

New developments continue to emerge in the area of commercial vehicle safety. Airbags do not just inflate out of the steering column but also appear along the side-panels and even around the knees. Advanced seat belts moderate the amount of tension across a person’s body, and reduce instances of seat belt-related injuries. A major safety application that enhances safety, but is yet to reach out to Indian CVs include tyre pressure monitoring systems, camera monitor systems, adjustable steering and steering mounted controls to operate the vehicle features to avoid distraction of drivers. Tyre pressure monitoring systems, monitor tyre pressure and alert the driver via a display and an audible alarm in case the pressure in the tyres depletes beyond a certain limit. Capable of monitoring tyre temperature, the systems warn the driver when there is a fire hazard or a tyre burst risk.

Camera monitor systems are said to provide the same level of functionality that traditional mirrors provide. Interest is therefore growing in Europe and USA towards this technology. Indian CV manufacturers are prioritising driver safety and overall drive enhancement of CVs. They are likely to embrace these new technologies that promise greater safety, just as we saw the acceptance of ABS and Bus code.

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Indian safety requirementsCommercial vehicle safety in India is mainly governed by regulatory requirement – AIS 029. As a part, the cabin of a truck is subjected to frontal impact test, roof strength test and rear wall strength test. Other than these tests the truck is also tested by loading it to the maximum. Test are also conducted to avoid small vehicles and pedestrians coming under the wheels of the trucks. Under run safety provisions are made. This includes UPDs (Under run Protection Device) like, SUPD (Side), RUPD (Rear) and FUPD (Front). This devices are added to the trucks in India under AIS(069), IS:14812 and IS:14682. Lighting, primarily at the rear-end, forms one of the core requirements of the passive safety. However, rear lighting systems alone are not enough to make a truck visible. It is also mandatory to have conspicuity marking under the regulation AIS 090. International studies revealed that the presence of reflective tapes can result in 41 per cent fewer rear end collisions and 37 per cent fewer side collisions. Mandatory conspicuity markings under AIS 090 comprise of colour and width of marking. For side to be marked in yellow, the width is 50 mm. Rear should have red reflective tapes of 50 mm width. For vehicles exceeding 2.1 metres width at the rear, a red full contour marking is mandatory. Similarly vehicles exceeding 6000 mm in length should have partial yellow contour marking. Roll Over Protection (ROP), mostly for buses, comes under (AIS 031). Bus rollover is one of the most serious types of accidents. ROP ensures adequate strengthening of the bus frame to maintain life space (occupant space) and minimises occupant injuries.

The Scania Metrolink bus, for example, is equipped with a Fleet Management System (FMS), fire detection and suppression system, six emergency exits with twelve hammers, emergency doors and flight like safety video to educate passengers on do’s and don’ts, at the time of emergency. All the Scania products also comply with R66 standard which is formulated to ensure, best possible safety even in case of vehicle roll over and accident, tested and certified by TUV, Germany. To reduce the wear and tear of the braking system, Blended Retarder (BR) in the Scania products improves safety by keeping the service brakes cold for full emergency performance, and also adds on to the stability of the vehicle while braking. The engine and bus body is built with 100 per cent fire retardant material. Other advantages such as shorter turning radius for easy manoeuvring and Scania Opticruise, a fully automated manual gearbox, helps the driver concentrate better.
Volvo too has introduced several new concepts and technologies like the Volvo Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS), Electronically Controlled Brakes (EBS), Volvo Engine Management System (EMS), ABS, kneeling mechanisms in city buses, FUP/FIP safety systems in all coaches, and bus multiplexing. With the introduction of each of these technologies, Volvo raised the benchmark in terms of safety, performance and reliability. Monocoque coach construction specialist Corona who has delivered the company’s Majestic AC sleeper coach to the North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and the North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC)claims that the space frame structure, increases passenger safety.

Mining deep

Article by: Bhushan Mhapralkar

The Indian-made BharatBenz 3143 deep mining tipper is set to change the way the deep mining tipper segment will be looked upon.

From behind the wheel of the new BharatBenz 3143 deep mining tipper, the view ahead is almost uninterrupted. It is a far cry from the trucks of yesteryear where the cabin was cramped and the driving position uncomfortable. Displayed at the AAI show at Hannover last year as a ‘Made-in-India’ product along with the left-hand-drive Fuso truck, the 3143 has begun rolling out of the Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) facility at Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. A commercial launch is scheduled later this year. Impressive is the attention to design and ergonomics. The day cabin flaunts good built, presents a good service of space. The large, sweeping dashboard may look a touch bland, it does not feel like it was built to a price. The modern instrument panel has two large dials. At the centre is a digital readout which indicates the gear the vehicle is currently in. If it is in the manual mode or the auto mode or if the differential-lock is engaged, and more.

Equipped with a 12-forward, 4-reverse G330 ‘Powershift’ constant mesh Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) that is operated by means of a multi-function stalk (paddle shift) on the steering column, the 3143 deep mining tipper that I am at the helm of, is filled with 28-tonnes of cargo. Enough to make me realise that this truck, referred to as Thunderbolt internally, is rated at 31-tonnes and equipped with a 29 cu. m. rock body from Satrac. The hydraulics are from Hydromass India.

Gearshift is activated by moving the multi-function stalk vertically. Moving it laterally activates or releases the exhaust brake. Pushing the ring on the stalk gets the transmission into neutral. A button at the end of the stalk also facilitates a similar function. It marks a world of change from manual transmission. With the gears positioned such that the first gear amounts to first-low, and the second gear amounts to first-high, highlighting the G330 transmission’s splitter arrangement, a switch on the centre console and part of a three-switch bank, enables the move to manual mode. Conversely, it also facilitates a move back to auto from manual. In the auto-mode, the transmission is sensitive to the push of the accelerator pedal and brake, thus shifting up or down. One of the three-switch bank is a switch for the air-conditioner. Not far from it and closer to the steering column, is the parking brake lever. On the other side are the HVAC controls.
If the cabin of the 3143 deep mining tipper reflects the amount of comfort an European driver has come to expect (most trucks in Europe are fitted with air-suspension), it is the quality perception that is carried over to the outside.

Subjected to extremely strenuous conditions and expected to operate for 22 hours in two shifts everyday, with the sole break for refilling fuel, deep mining trucks typically ferry overburden in a mine. Since three deep mining tippers come at a price of one dump truck, they are a preferred lot. Capable of ferrying 48-tonnes in-line with the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) regulations, and 31-tonnes according to CMVR rules, overloading of deep mining tippers is always a possibility. The need therefore is to withstand such conditions. Replacing Mercedes-Benz Actros, and with 90 localisation at the chassis level (powertrain is sourced from Germany), the 3143, according to Erich Nesselhauf, CEO, DICV, will be a game changer with its low acquisition cost and strong technological prowess.

To facilitate the nature of its application, the cabin of 3143 is situated 180 mm higher. Riding on 24-inch diameter wheels and off-road tyres the truck looks intimidating. A ‘Make-in-India’ ambassador according to Nesselhauf, it looks slightly different from the one that was displayed at the 2014 IAA show at Hannover, Germany. The 3143 thus has been treated to a facelift. The grille, in matt black is now more pronounced and wider. The BharatBenz logo is at the centre. It does not take long to find out that the cabin of the 3143 has been inspired by that of the Axor C. Contributing to an impression where even when standing still, the 3143 looks brutish, a dandy looking bumper includes the head lights (with daytime LEDs in them). At the bottom of the bumper is a scrub plate.

Walk over, and thick wheel arches painted in the same shade of grey as the bumper draw attention. Just aft of the cabin, and ahead of the superstructure is the hydraulics hardware. Structured on a chassis that is made from high-strength E500TM material, the 3143 deep mining tipper, ironically is easy to drive. There is no clutch pedal to deal with. All it takes is to step on the accelerator. In auto, it does not take long for the transmission to shift into 4th gear. Speedo needle shows 25 kmph. With speeds in mines for such trucks topping out at 40 kmph, the 3143, employing a 400 series engine in comparison to the 500 series engine found in the Actros, produces less power but more torque than that of the Actros’ engine. A mere touch of the brake pedal retards the machine, and leads to the transmission downshifting itself.

If a torture track leads to considerable axle articulation, which is easily accomplished, the 3143 was subjected to many ‘torture’ tests in Indian mines and at Daimler’s testing facility in Germany to ensure that a robust, reliable and efficient solution was arrived at. Development on the product started two years ago, and as part of a strategy to offer a highly diverse range. Also meant for export under the BharatBenz and Fuso brand, the 3143 gives the impression of being refined. Not much noise is filters in. Outside, I am sure, it is noisy owing to the viscous clutch fan, which creates quite a din. Powered by a 430 hp, 12-litre OM457 six-cylinder motor, this 8×4 truck, with a wheelbase of 4380 mm, has two front steered axles. The rear bogie arrangement contains Meritor axles with hub reduction.