The truck manufacturing industry of India produces various types of trucks for diverse uses. Trucks may be medium commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 to 16 tons, or heavy commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of above 16 tons. Trucks of the light commercial vehicle category have gross vehicle weights of less than 3.5 tons.
Why has the trucking industry gained importance in India?
The importance of the trucking industry in India is rising. Trucks can access remote and hilly areas where rail lines cannot be constructed. The trucking industry enables quick, easy departure of goods and accepts smaller loads than railways. The industry has captured short-haul goods transport and a major chunk of long-haul goods transport where quick delivery from railways is essential.
Types of trucks in India
Haulage trucks in India are heavy duty carriers used to carry parcels, courier and for logistics. Some are used to transport cars, two-wheelers and three-wheelers, bricks, sand and coal, or as water/petrol tankers.
Rigid trucks are sturdy and used as transit mixers, containers, acid tankers, recovery trucks, self-loading cranes and even as liquefied petroleum gas containers.
Tippers are robust vehicles used for tipping operations in industries such as construction and building, mining and quarrying industry, and the public service sector. They can be used for on- or off-highway needs.
Dumpers are trucks used by municipal corporations and the building industry. Cabs include pick up cabs that are utility vehicles. Cabs come in six-, eight- and 10-seater models. Delivery vans and trailer trucks in India are used to carry goods.
Leading Indian truck manufacturers
Ashok Leyland is the leading truck manufacturer in India. It specializes in the manufacture of haulage trucks, rigid trucks, tipper trucks and cabs. Other players in the truck manufacturing industry are Tata Motors, Swaraj Mazda, Force Motors, Hindustan Motors and Volvo. Mahindra and Mahindra make diverse ranges of cabs and delivery vans. Eicher Ltd. is known for its range of rigid trucks.
Popular truck models in India
Ashok Leyland's haulage models like 1613H, Comet 1611, 4/51GS and 1616H-BSIII are popular. Popular rigid truck models include Ashok Leyland's Ecomet 1112 and Ecomet 912, Tata Motors' LPT 1109 Turbo Truck, Swaraj Mazda's Swaraj 4 and Sartaj WV26-S and Volvo's Volvo FM. High selling Tipper truck models include Ashok Leyland's Bison Tipper and Taurus 2516-6X4 Tipper models. The best selling dumper in India is Ashok Leyland's ALRD 20 Rear Dumper.
Problems in the truck industry
The global financial crisis of 2008-09 has raised the trucking industry's raw material costs. This has led to price rises for Indian trucks. In April 2008, Tata Motors hiked its truck prices by an average of 3.5 percent. This adversely affects demand.
The energy crisis period of 2003-08 has raised automotive fuel prices, lowering demand for low-fuel efficiency trucks like pickups. There is a move to use railways more for goods transport due to energy conservation concerns and the poor road infrastructure in India that hinders the trucking industry's efficiency.
- Photo Credit vm2827: flickr.com An Indian truck in front of the Veerapaksha temple in India.
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