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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Launch of Navistar - set to change the way of transportation in India

Recently at Pune, the first Mahindra-Navistar truck MN 25 rolled off the assembly line. Here is something on lorries which will facilitate better understanding of this giant.

As one steps on highway, there are trucks everywhere. Lorries with different types of loads – you may not like them – but they are the ones which connect villages to cities; factories to people; Nation to other countries. The all important means of transportation, the cargo carriers without which things could come to a standstill. They are the reason why the price of brinjal goes up with rise in petrol (diesel). A lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo; they vary in size, power and configuration. For somebody who has watched with interest, there are bodies made up of steel, aluminum and composite; based on the style of construction (not factory made by manufacturer but constructed on basic cowl) differentiated as Punjab bodies, Namakkal and Vijayawada.

Goods carriers as they are commonly called were monotonously regular with capacity of 10 tons, (GVW of 16200 kgs ; axle weights of 6000 & 10200 kgs). Many a times, they would be carrying weights beyond the specified / permitted limits. Of recent origin are those of 25000 kg laden weight which have load capacity of around 16860 kgs. From the Insurance perspective, one of the determinants is the GVS which was divided in to 5 categories of : Not exceeding 7500kgs, 7500-12000 kgs, 12000-20000kgs, 20000-40000kgs and exceeding 40000kgs.

In a way, the identification by GVW is not internationally standardized. In some countries, a ten ton truck is one that carries 10 tons; in Britain and most parts of Europe, it is the one of GVW, which in effect is the weight of the complete vehicle, including the body, the load, fuel and those on the cabin !
What the vehicle will carry depends on the manufacturer’s design, the maximum weight of the vehicle and the maximum weight permitted. In India, we have the Permit issued by the RTA (Transport Department) which specifies the type, capacity, the nature of goods to be carried as also the areas where the vehicle can operate.
Some of the conditions of National Permit include:
a) painting in a dry leaf brown color with 30 cm broad white borders with words “National Permit” inscribed on both sides (different for a tanker carrying dangerous or hazardous cargo)
b) board with inscription of National permit valid in the states of…. With blue letters on white in the front side top of the vehicle.
c) Vehicle shall have two drivers and shall be provided with a seat across its full width behind the driver’s seat providing facility for the spare driver to stretch and sleep.

Then there are articulated vehicles where the weight would be composite; there are multi axled vehicles; the more the axles, the greater the weight allowance. For those with less automobile knowledge, axle is a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear. They are integral structural component of a wheeled vehicle and maintain the position of the wheels relative to each other and to the vehicle body. They bear the weight of the vehicle plus the cargo that is loaded on.

Ashok Leyland & Tata Motors have been the mainstay in the market and wide range of trucks ranging from 10 tonnes to 75 tonnes being available in the market. India’s infrastructure has been improving and it is making possible for transporters to reap the benefit of trucks with higher power, speed and carrying capacity.

Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd., is a joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Navistar of the U.S. On June 15th (2010) Mahindra-Navistar Automotives Ltd. (MNAL) announced the start of production as its first truck offering, the 25-ton capacity MN25, rolled off the assembly line in Chakan, Pune, India. It is priced at Rs.14.99 lakhs (ex-showroom, Pune) The launch is described as a major step in their attempt in becoming a full range commercial vehicle player. MN 25 is claimed to be one of the most powerful, fuel-efficient, rugged and comfortable 25-tonners to launch in India. It comes with a world-class cabin, spacious and ergonomically designed to suit Indian drivers for continuous long hauls and is powered by a 7.2-liter diesel engine. The Chakan plant has capacity to produce 50000 trucks per year.
Here is its technical specs; Similarly MN 49 which is in the offing has GVW of 49000 kgs.

Regards – Sampathkumar.

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