Article by: Desire Pereira
Jalan Transolutions looks beyond logisticsHaryana-based Jalan Transolutions India Ltd. (JTIL) has invested in a full-fledged auto service center named ‘Jalan Business Center’ at Rewari, Haryana. It marks the company’s progress from a two-wheeler transporter. The business centre at Rewari is equipped to service commercial vehicles. Trucks to be precise. The initial plan, said Rajesh Jalan, Director, JTIL, was for a company-owned service centre, devoid of any external tie-up. “Fellow fleet owners suggested that I should associate with an OEM, and after a quick revision of plans, we tied-up with Ashok Leyland for an authorised service centre catering to Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV),” Jalan explained. Serving as the company’s corporate office, the 65,000 sq.ft. business centre caters to preventive as well as emergency maintenance. Also proving useful in maintaining JTIL’s own fleet, the centre provides services to other transporters round the clock. “As transporters we are aware that in order for our fleet to grow and thrive, our trucks need to be well maintained. After all our vehicles are the backbone of our business, and that was from where the idea of a business centre emerged,” stated Jalan. Located on National Highway 8, and in close proximity to NH71 and NH71B, the business centre has come to be appreciated for on-time delivery, good working standards and an inventory of genuine spares. It also has modern equipment including a DynaCorp automated oil management system.

Principal support

The JTIL employees who man the Business Centre are regularly monitored by Ashok Leyland, averred Jalan, “Ashok Leyland trains them, and carries our fortnightly visits to check on their skills.” In an effort to further elevate its ability to serve, for the Business Centre, JTIL tied-up with JK Tyre for its ‘Truck Wheel’ concept. This is a one-stop-solution for CV tyre maintenance and sales, and offers wheel alignment, wheel balancing, new tyre fitment, tyre rotation, tyre inflation checks, nitrogen filling, radial tyre repair and more. To address the issue of scarcity of drivers, Jalan took the decision of starting a driver training centre. The training centre helps drivers brush up on their driving skills and knowledge about the vehicle. “Most OEMs have driver training programs, yet quite often, transporters do not avail of them. We decided to make the most of the opportunity present,” said Jalan. JTIL brought OEMs on-board to educate drivers in methods of driving, night-driving, following traffic rules and maintaining the right tyre pressure. “When it comes to driver training, there is never a 100 per cent resolution to skill based issues, but even a 20 to 50 percent improvement is headway enough,” remarked Jalan.

The road travelled

JTIL started its journey in 2003 with the fabrication of two Tata LP chassis for transportation of Yamaha two-wheelers. Impressed by the level of service, Yamaha (India) asked JTIL to add two more trucks. Business grew, and JTIL came to include other two-wheeler OEMs like Hero MotorCorp, Kinetic Engineering (now Mahindra entity), Bajaj Auto, Suzuki Motorcycle India, TVS Motor, Yamaha Motor and BSA Motors. JTIL currently owns a fleet of 409 single- and multi-axle trucks, and over the last two years has been transporting 45,000 two-wheeler every month. Almost 80 per cent of JTIL’s two-wheeler carriers are of Ashok Leyland make. The rest are of Tata or VECV make. Each truck averages 5,000 km a month and has a replacement cycle of around 8-10 years. A combination of organic and inorganic growth saw JTIL expand its operations to beyond North India, to Madhya Pradesh (MP), Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh (AP), Uttar Pradesh (UP), Haryana, Uttaranchal, Karnataka and Maharashtra. “We specialise in transportation to MP, Chhattisgarh and AP. These routes are considered the most challenging routes in the industry, but we have successfully made these routes our prime area of operation,” said Jalan. Touching upon issues involving regional road transport authorities, Jalan mentioned, “Harassment for automobile carriers has risen. Its was not so in the early stages of our operations.” He opined that it has particularly risen over the past six years.

Transporting two-wheelers from over five plants in the NCR region and Dadri in UP, JTIL also transports two-wheelers from Pithampur where Mahindra has a facility. It also caters to Bajaj Auto, transporting two-wheelers from its Pune, Aurangabad and Pantnagar plants. Jalan claims that JTIL is an exclusive transporter of Bajaj Auto two-wheelers from its Pantnagar plant to MP. With 14 branches across India, JTIL has set up check points every 500 km in states like UP to eliminate to eliminate chances of damage during t ransportation. “At times during transportation fittings on two-wheelers come loose. Our drivers may not posses the technical know-how to deal with such issues. We therefore created check points, which handle these and any other technical issue that may arise during transportation,” stated Jalan. For return loads, the company has worked numerous arrangements, and quite often has return loads from OEMs located within the area itself. Drivers are hired on a project basis and are remunerated on a per Km basis. Jalan confesses that there are operational issues mainly due to handling of drivers. Getting a driver to stay on the rolls is a herculean task, expresses Jalan. “Most of our drivers come through reference, and a large number have worked with us for years. Yet, driver shortage is an issue, and it afflicts the entire industry,” said Jalan. Many drivers come from rural areas, and work for 2-3 months. Then, they go home.

The road ahead

To ensure efficient management, the entire JTIL fleet has been fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS). This was done in 2008. In 2010, JTIL invested in an Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. JTIL currently uses Trimble’s technology for GPS, and monitor’s its trucks from its Chander Nagar office at Ghaziabad. “We plan to diversify and enter into multi-modal transport business, warehousing and 3pl logistics,” said Jalan. “With these, we expects our business to grow by 20 per cent in next two years,” he concludes.

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