Capital Equipment News

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CapitalEquipmentNewsON THE COVER:

The big read in this edition of Capital Equipment News is Babcock’s recent launch of the much-anticipated Volvo A60H articulated hauler, the biggest of its nature in the world, together with its capable loading tool, the EC950E, the largest crawler excavator in the Volvo stable, in southern Africa.

The launch of the A60H in southern Africa – on May 4, 2017 – further underlines a number of global firsts for Babcock as far as this machine is concerned. The local unveiling was the official global customer-based launch of the machines. In another key first, Babcock became the first dealer to place an order for the A60H when one of its long-standing customers, Burgh Plant Hire, ordered not just one, but three Volvo A60H articulated haulers.

While this is an indicator of the significance of southern Africa as a key ADT market globally, it is also equally reflective of Babcock’s capabilities as a force to be reckoned with among Volvo CE’s global dealers. Alec Ruston, Aftermarket Manager EMEA at Volvo CE, says Babcock is a very special dealer in the EMEA region. Babcock was crowned Volvo CE’s Dealer of the Year 2016 in Region EMEA Hub South (Continental Africa and Middle East & Turkey).

The award is based on 2016 achievements in market share growth; parts sales growth; and Customer Support Agreement growth. Dealers’ overall commitment, willingness to invest and use of Volvo CE tools and participation in other programmes were also taken into account.

Reflecting further on the importance of southern Africa, Ruston tells Capital Equipment News that currently, 25% of Volvo ADTs sold in the EMEA region are destined for South Africa, and one in every three ADTs sold in the country is a Volvo.

David Vaughan, MD of Babcock’s equipment business, says the company has made necessary preparations for the roll-out of the A60H and the EC950E. Volvo teams from Sweden and Korea have completed intensive sales and technical training with Babcock staff in South Africa. “We have also ensured that there is sufficient availability of spare parts and other related elements such as the larger specialised tyres for the A60H,” says Vaughan, adding that Goodyear, Bridgestone and Michelin will manufacture these specialised tyres.

Revisiting the electric versus mechanical drive debate

Caterpillar 794AC RDTIn the rigid chassis truck sector, there has long been a rivalry between the mechanical and electric driveline concepts, especially at the larger end of the payload scale.

The origins of diesel-electric trucks go back many years and these were developed as a solution to the shortcomings of early mechanical drivelines, which suffered reliability issues. Some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have found the diesel-electric option to offer many benefits than the conventional mechanical option, while some have maintained that mechanical options remain the best driveline option.

BELAZ is one of the OEMs which maintains that trucks from 130 tonnes (t) payload class and above should be electrical and machines in the 30-60 t class should be mechanically driven. However, the Belarusian OEM also successfully developed an electric truck of 90 t payload, and Rost Lavrenov of BELAZ Africa, tells Capital Equipment News that in this class size (90-100 t), both electric and mechanical drive options are quite viable depending on cost factors.

Caterpillar remains the only OEM to offer both drive options in its different rigid dump truck (RDT) offerings, even on the larger payload units. The OEM says its developments in the alternative drive systems have always been informed by proper monitoring and investigation to ensure that products bring the best value to customers. In the early years of exploring alternatives to mechanical transmissions, several firms opted to use DC wheel drives, and Caterpillar was one of the first manufacturers to develop DC electric drive trucks with the launch of its 75 t 779 model in the late 1960’s.

“After operating trucks at mines, we concluded, at the time, that a mechanical drive offered our customers the best haulage solution and Caterpillar has since steadily advanced mechanical drive technology,” comments John Ingle, Large Mining Trucks Marketing and Performance Manager at Caterpillar.

Today, Caterpillar is the only manufacturer that offers large (182 t) mechanical drives. “Over the years, mechanical drive has continued to move up in size as the preferred drive solution over electric drive as OEMs have been able to offer larger capable mechanical drive systems.”

More than just equipment

Shamrock Materials Handling ConceptsIn today’s materials handling market, innovation and being a supplier that can address any problem statement optimally and service end users’ needs across board from product, financing options, through to aftermarket support, are more critical than ever. With their lines of materials handling gear and a range of in-house processes, local suppliers are ticking these boxes.

Global demand for material handling products is forecast to climb 4% annually through 2017 to $123,6 billion, according to a recent report. However, provision of innovative products is one thing, but the ability to provide a one-stop shop solution to include financing options, unparalleled aftermarket support and flexible buying options, is quite another, and will set companies with such aptitude on a sustainable success curve. One-stop shop suppliers are tipped to see solid gains as end users seek for solutions to their business headaches rather than just equipment.

According to Desmond van Heerden of ELB Equipment, a number of key criteria should form the basis of establishing or replenishing capital equipment fleets based on performance and reliability rather than simply making decisions based on a single-brand mentality, or purely a price consideration.

“Rather than putting all eggs in one basket, fleet owners should practice best-of-breed procurement where the offerings of specialist manufacturers are purposefully weighed into the option,” says Van Heerden, adding that fleet owners who want to simplify their purchasing through a single supplier can do so by procuring from an established best-of-breed distributor.

Contact Capital Equipment News

Title: Editor
Name: Munesu Shoko
Email: capnews@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Elmarie Stonell
Email: elmaries@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

 
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