“All it takes is a three-pronged approach. Use genuine spares, maintain proper site conditions and make use of the data from the trucks to take preventive care of the machinery."
At Volvo Trucks, we not only design and manufacture the best transportation solutions, but also invest in resources, time, and energy into creating an ecosystem to make sure that our solutions are always working at their best, throughout their lifecycle. Our efforts into developing our service, support and training ecosystems make Volvo Trucks the preferred choice.
“All it takes is a three-pronged approach. use Genuine Spares, maintain proper Site Conditions and make use of the Data from the trucks to take preventive care of the machinery.”
Over the years, Volvo Trucks has leveraged technology, innovation, skill, and a strong support network to provide the best transport solutions across various industries. In India, we have replicated an equivalent success by bringing the same values, ethos, technology, and innovation to meet the country’s unique requirements in coal mining and transportation. Volvo Trucks are known for being dependable, efficient, reliable, safe, and driver-friendly. Volvo FMs have worked relentlessly for years in the treacherous Indian mines without faltering on productivity, availability, and fuel efficiency. When it involves coal mining, the industry is unique in requirements and extreme conditions. We’ve grown with our customers, learning, overcoming challenges, achieving goals, and setting benchmarks. Over the years, we’ve had spectacular success stories across the industry. Ambey Mining Pvt. Ltd. (AMPL) Is one of the long-standing customers of over two decades who has grown alongside Volvo Trucks. With a fleet of over 300 tippers, Ambey Mining has operations in Rajmahal near Dumka, two sites near Asansol, Katapahari near Dhanbad, and Amrapali and Daltunganj near Ranchi.
AMPL bought their first tipper in the ’90s and since there has been no looking back. Recently some of their older tippers clocked 50000 engine Hours and are still going strong. Mr. Sarup Agarwal, Business Head of Equipcare tells us how they achieve high uptime and productivity year after year. A few years ago, AMPL decided of creating a fleet of a single brand of mining tippers, and today they have a fleet of over 300 Volvo FMX tippers. In 2018 AMPL came up with a novel idea of creating an independent company called, “Equipcare” to take care of the procurement of equipment, service & maintenance of tippers, hiring, training, and competence development of the drivers and technicians, and last but not the least sourcing of spare parts and lubricants as well. An initiative that is already paying rich returns now. Equipcare has around 900 people with its main workshop in Durgapur for engine and gearbox overhaul, a central warehouse for parts and lubricants, a fabrication facility for the rebuilding of tipper bodies, HEMM Buckets, undercarriage, and conversion of old tippers into tankers and fuel bowsers and developing of mobile service vans.
Building an innings Running a successful and efficient fleet is like building a robust inning during a cricket match. There’s a strategy and timely action. Just like AMPL, the maintenance of the equipment has been the key element to achieve this 50,000 EH milestone.
“While the initial 20,000 hours happen without much effort, the journey from then on requires continuous monitoring and maintenance. It’s important to combine and match the fleets depending on the projects. With so many projects running parallel, the tippers move from one another, depending on the production requirement. Maintaining the tippers in all these sites was a challenge, as stocking spares for all models was difficult.”
Having only a Volvo tippers’ fleet is a specific advantage as it is easy to bring a synergy through sourcing genuine parts and lubricants from Volvo. Equipcare is the first organization to sign a Rate Contract for parts with Volvo. This resulted in consistent supply, easy availability, efficient parts supply management, genuine quality, and better value across all project sites. The costing, sourcing, and supplies are managed centrally, which has stopped the variation of suppliers and different warranty periods. This decision of Equipcare has worked wonders for AMPL’s efficiency and productivity, resulting in better profitability for the organization.
AMPL has walked an extended road to deploy teams at sites and even have their service stations take care of the fleet. Acentralized workshop connected to a network of services at the site has ensured smooth operations. Equipcare has also built an expertise in fabrication and converting old Volvo tippers that have completed their lifespan for mining applications but are good enough for applications like water sprinklers and fuel bowsers. They also build Service Vans on truck chassis for use in mines.
Mr. Sarup believes is that getting the trucks to perform is no rocket science. Over time a lot of methods were tried, like procuring parts from the secondary markets. There were issues like inventory management and availability of the same parts etc. Volvo Genuine Parts, were easier to source and absolute value for money with a longer life cycle. The site managers of AMPL vouch for the Volvo Genuine Spares and Parts. AMPL witnessed better performance as well as longer life of trucks by using them.
While there is a centralized workshop for large repairs, minor repairs and maintenance are done at the site. This helps saves time and money. The maintenance team follows the maintenance schedule prescribed by Volvo, brings the tippers to the workshop at site level and are inspected regularly.
Site operating conditions also play a role in the lifecycle of the vehicle. Maintaining good roads at the site and having welltrained drivers is another factor that contributes to the getting desired performance from the vehicles.
Mr. Sarup Agarwal is very excited about the usage of data analysis in the mining business. With Dynafleet, they could assess the performance of the drivers and also the health of the trucks. Equipcare has implemented SAP in the last year and now he has real-time inventory details at his fingertips.
Mr. Sarup Agarwal draws a parallel of maintaining trucks to how we visit a regular GP, to treat us for any ailments. “We go to the doctor who is familiar with our health history so that the diagnosis is easier and the time to remedy is faster. Similarly, tippers perform best once they are under the care of the same team of technicians, who know exactly what is wrong with each truck and what preventive or reactive measures are required to get the vehicle back in operation.”
Volvo Trucks is proud to be associated with AMPL and, we look forward to years of engaging and mutually beneficial partnership.
It is this kind of care that has helped the trucks run for long cycle times of over 50,000 EH. The older trucks don’t work in the mines on regular shifts. They are deployed where there is a need for extra trucks and a few are used in special application trucks like a water sprinkler or fuel bowsers.