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Maximising uptime: Eicher trucks' real-time monitoring and remote support

By Dipika Lalwani,

Added 11 August 2023

The long-haul trucking industry has been undergoing rapid transformation since the setback of the pandemic. An Interview with Gagandeep Singh Gandhok, SVP - HD Trucks Business, VECV, highlighted the increase in demand for long-haul trucks driven by infrastructure development, consumer spending, and the growth of e-commerce.

How has the long-haul trucking industry transformed since the setback of the pandemic? Could you provide an overview of the industry at present?

The challenging pandemic years have ended with the return of consumer confidence and an increased priority to infrastructure development. We are seeing a noticeable increase in the demand for long-haul trucks to transport essential building materials like cement and steel. Furthermore, an increase in consumer spending and the growth of e-commerce is translating into demand for not only long-haul trucks but also efficient long-haul logistics services.

At Eicher, we have seen significant traction in the long-haul segment. Our customers appreciate our modern trucks which are backed by our commitment to Uptime. For the past three years, all Eicher vehicles have been equipped with connected telematics, enabling us to deliver uptime to our customers.

Looking ahead, we are confident that several factors will drive the demand for long-haul transportation services. These factors include the robust economic recovery of the country, substantial investments in infrastructure, the implementation of the Logistics Policy and Gati-Shakti, and continued emphasis on initiatives such as 'Make in India'.

The Eicher Truck Sales Report March 2023 has observed a sales growth of 18.72 percent. What are the contributing factors resulting in this increase?

We sincerely appreciate the trust placed on us by Eicher customers. Our growth has been achieved thanks to our industry-leading products and differentiated services. Eicher is setting new benchmarks in providing a superior uptime experience with our suite of connected services, competent manpower, and an ever-expanding network across the country. All of Eicher's long-haul trucks are 100 per cent connected and supported by an industry-first Uptime Centre offering remote and predictive diagnostic services.

At a macro level, the increase in infrastructure spending and road construction projects has been a major driver for the long-haul trucking segment. Large accounts involved in road and infrastructure projects have been in a buying mode, creating a surge in demand. Prominent projects like the Ganga Expressway and Gati Shakti, along with construction work on major national and state highways, have fuelled the growth of long-haul trucks. It is anticipated that the construction of national highways will substantially improve in FY24.

Since the pandemic, e-commerce has become a way of life for many of us. With high volumes of goods being transported, truck owners in this sector have a higher demand for truck replacements, often within 3-4 years. This ongoing cycle of fleet renewal and expansion has led to increased demand for long-haul trucks in the market.

These trends are reflected in Eicher's growth. At Eicher, we outpaced the market and increased our market share. With 18,965 units sold, we set a record for HD Truck sales in FY23 and captured a 7.7 per cent market share marking a growth of 74 per cent.

By 2050, HDTs' demand share of road freight travel is expected to increase to 83 per cent and it is expected to be carrying nearly 8.4 trillion tonne-km of long-haul freight. What, according to you, will be the drivers of this growth?

Continued economic growth is expected to drive increased demand for goods and commodities, resulting in higher volumes of long-haul freight transportation. As the Indian economy expands and global trade flourishes, the reliance on HDTs for the efficient movement of goods across regions and countries will see strong growth.

Infrastructure investments in roads, highways, and logistics hubs will drive an increase in efficient long-haul freight transportation. The improved infrastructure connectivity will enhance the efficiency and accessibility of HDT operations, driving the demand for their services. The rise of e-commerce and changing consumer behaviour, with an increasing preference for online shopping and doorstep deliveries, will also contribute significantly to HDT demand.

What are some of the key features of Eicher longhaul trucks that make them well-suited for long hours of travel, and how do these features help to improve efficiency and safety?

As a part of VE Commercial Vehicles, a Volvo Group joint venture, Eicher's long-haul trucks have access to the latest technologies and advanced cabins, engines, and transmissions. Eicher trucks come equipped with efficient powertrain systems that combine industry leading powerful engines with advanced transmission technology.

These powertrains are designed to provide optimal fuel efficiency, ensuring that the trucks can cover long distances while maximising fuel economy. Additionally, Eicher prioritises driver comfort and wellbeing while designing its long-haul trucks. Eicher truck cabins are designed to provide a comfortable working environment for drivers.

Features such as adjustable seats, ample legroom, ergonomic controls, and optimised driver ergonomics reduce driver fatigue and improve overall comfort, in turn driving productivity and safety.

Eicher long-haul trucks come equipped with telematics systems and connectivity features. An innovative and intelligent telematics system delivered through a convenient MyEicher app supports Eicher owners and drivers to keep track of fuel consumption, maintenance needs, and fleet monitoring.

Technologies like Eicher's MBooster+ allow the driver to drive in different modes of load and gradient to achieve best-in-class fuel efficiency and the cruise control maintains speed/rpm without pressing ABC control pedals which leads to fatigue-free driving and higher fuel economy. Fuel coaching personally guides the driver towards the right selection of gear and rpm to help achieve higher fuel economy.

What are the facilities that Eicher trucks entail, which enable real-time monitoring of a fleet of trucks and maximise uptime?

Through the industry-leading MyEicher app, Eicher provides fleet management software that integrates with telematics systems. This allows fleet managers to analyse data collected from the trucks and gain insights into fuel consumption, engine health, maintenance schedules, and driver behaviour.

Eicher trucks also feature remote diagnostic capabilities. Through Eicher's telematics systems, trucks can transmit relevant diagnostic data to a central platform. Fleet managers or service teams can remotely access this data to monitor the health of the vehicles, identify potential issues, and proactively schedule maintenance or repairs. This helps in reducing downtime and maximising uptime.

Our trucks also utilise predictive maintenance systems that leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools to process data collected from the telematics systems and onboard sensors. By analysing the data, these systems can predict potential maintenance needs or failures before they occur. Fleet managers can receive alerts or notifications indicating when specific components require attention, enabling proactive maintenance planning and minimising unplanned breakdowns.

Eicher today is setting new benchmarks in providing a superior uptime experience through an ever-expanding service network. The company offers onsite repair, training, and prompt part delivery as part of its end-to-end truck support. Both small and large fleet owners can take advantage of Eicher's competitive annual maintenance contracts.

The company has also introduced Eicher Site Support, through which it provides support on sites that are located remotely. This is especially useful for mining and construction customers who often need hassle-free support 24X7 to ensure their projects run smoothly and on time.


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