Abhijit Gupta, Managing Director, Case New Holland Construction Equipment (I) Pvt. Ltd., speaks on the various kinds of wheel loaders that his company manufacturers, and the state of the market.
What are the latest technology features incorporated in your range of wheel loaders that helps a customer achieve:
- Fuel efficiency
The CASE F series range of Wheel Loaders come with the FPT F 4HE9684E, Turbo charged engine, fitted with an intercooler developing 230 Horse Power @ 1800 rpm. Equipped with an Automatic Transmission Mode this enables the Operator to select this mode for automatic gears shift depending on the load and thereby preventing engine overloading and reducing fuel consumption. In India the offering is Tier III compliant and has a common rail with multiple injections. Further to enhance fuel efficiency, it is possible to cut off the engine by setting the engine for auto shut off, if allowed to idle beyond a certain time limit. Also by locating the Engine to the Rear end, the Engine also acts as a counter weight. This helps in a lower operating weight for a similar pay load and leads to fuel saving in each cycle.
- Maximise profitability
The four-speed transmission with manual kick-down setting allows maximum traction and bucket breakout during digging and loading operations. Between loads, a dual-mode shutdown feature allows the operator to set and limit the time that the machine can idle, in five minute increments. All these saving leads to a higher profitability.
- Safety and user-friendliness
The machine has a ROPS Cabin as a standard feature. The hydraulic joy stick controls in the Cabin ensures maximum comfort to the operator. All the filters and check points are accessible from the ground level itself and Operator can easily access them. The machine also has Cooling Box, a unique concept where the Air, Hydraulic Oil and the Engine Oil are all cooled by this Cooling Box. This concept of Cooling Box helps the operator keep the Radiator clean by simply rotating the Radiator fan in reverse direction for a short while.
How do you assess the shift in trends, especially end-users opting for ´value-added features´ at a premium? Is there a demand for machine-control technologies in the wheel loader market?
The large size wheel loader more than 5 tonne pay load is where the clients would be willing to opt for technologies like Automatic Transmission and Electronic controls for engine. The customers will pay for features and demand them once the benefits are seen. The Cooling Box in the CASE wheel loader, the hydraulic Joy sticks for controls are some of the features which the market is bound to appreciate.
Brief us on the range of wheel loaders offered by your company.
CASE is introducing the 5 tonne and the 6 tonne Wheel Loader, the CASE 721 F and the CASE 821 F. Both these wheel loaders are very well accepted world over.
What is the current capacity of your plants for wheel loaders? Are you geared up to meet the expected upturn in the market?
CASE has adequate capacity to meet the market needs. The large size wheel loaders are predominantly used in Mining and Quarrying applications.
What is the impact of the slowdown, especially in the road and mining sectors on the wheel loaders market?
Wheel loader industry for construction continues to remain low in 2014 whereas for mining sector was it has further dipped in 2014 due to the slowdown in mining.
What is the current overall demand supply scenario for wheel loaders from different verticals such as mining, general construction, material handling, especially in ports? Also brief us on the growth enablers.
The current overall demand is down in 2014 across verticals. Opening up of the mining sector will boost the demand for Wheel Loaders. In ports we expect that once economy picks up and the traffic in ports picks up, the demand for the Wheel Loader will pick up.
How do you assess the potential for wheel loaders from the agri-sector?
Compact Wheel Loaders will find acceptance in the agricultural sector. These Wheel Loaders will be in the 55 HP 70 HP class. CNH Industrial through its agriculture company, New Holland Tractors, offers Tractors mounted with Loader attachment which is popular in the Agri sector. These Tractor mounted loaders are used for variety of utility applications.
To what extent concepts such as ´low life cycle cost´, faster ROIs, ´lowest cost per tonne´ have had an impact on OEMs? And how have these reflected in your product offerings?
Capital Equipment Purchases are done after carefully examining all these costs, like life cycle costs, cost per tonne of material handled. All offerings keep these in mind and our machines are designed to improve the overall life cycle and keep the operating costs low so that are able to offer a better economics to the customer.
How do you assess the potential for various attachments and what are the market trends?
Wheel Loaders are equipped with various attachments like Grabs, Forks and a variety of buckets. The selection of the attachment is done on the basis of the material being handled. Selection of the right Bucket is crucial to get the lowest cost per tonne figure.
Is finance for buyers still a major issue?
Finance was always available for viable, bankable projects. Wheel Loaders are bought by mature clients against a specific requirement. While the Financing options are available, the number of Hirers in the Wheel Loader market is still low, as compared to Loader Backhoes or Excavators.
What is your outlook for the CE industry in general, and especially on the wheel loader market by another 3-5 years?
CE Industry normally grows twice as fast as the Infrastructure Industry. The Wheel Loader industry will bounce back once the market revives. The agencies have forecasted growth rate of 10-15 per cent per annum for over the next two-three years.