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Having concentrated on the fortification of its product range, parts support and services last year, Barloworld SEM is placing major focus on the plant hire and contract mining markets this year. With a comprehensive range of products and support services, the company believes it has the right offering to help the two sectors survive the tide of a downward business cycle.
The plant hire market is contending with volatile rates due to waning demand of its services. This is largely driven by the lack of meaningful projects in both construction and mining industries. As with any product or service, the law of supply and demand affects plant hire rates. With low demand for plant, the rates have naturally decreased. Yet, plant hire companies have instalments and insurances to pay for their standing premium gear.
The same can be said about the contract mining market. Mining projects have become smaller and shorter. Just like in the South African construction space, there is a big shift towards smaller, upcoming contractors in the mining industry. A key challenge for this group of customers is their inability to access the capital they need to purchase their mission critical assets, which in most cases jeopardises their few and far between contracts.
Barry Fang, business manager at Barloworld SEM, says this is where SEM comes in – the initial capital investment of its product is significantly low, giving small contract miners a foot on the door. Fang says the SEM product comes at 40-60% of the Western premium offerings’ price, but without sacrificing quality and reliability.
“By offering initial affordability, high reliability, simplicity of use and maintenance, complemented by a strong parts and service support regime, the SEM product can help plant hire companies and contract miners build a strong foundation for success in tough economic conditions,” says Fang.
Growing the 4x4 ADT concept
With the launch of the new Bell B45E 4x4 at bauma last year, Bell Equipment added a new model to its range of articulated 4x4 two-axle ADTs. Similar to the 60-t B60E and the smaller Bell B30E 4x4, the new truck is configured to provide a highly efficient and cost-effective transport solution for niche applications in the mining and construction industry.
With the front half of the truck being essentially the same as its 6x6 counterpart, the Bell B45E 4x4 is derived from proven high-volume technology and decades of experience. Powering the truck is a 390 kW / 2 460 Nm inline six-cylinder engine from Mercedes Benz, optimised for off-highway use by MTU.
This, combined with the Allison seven-speed automatic transmission, contributes to outstanding driving performance while delivering the low fuel consumption typical of Bell ADTs. Wet brakes on both axles ensure safe deceleration and work in conjunction with the Jacobs Engine Brake, to provide the multi-stage programmable automatic retardation.
The standard Bell cab is spacious, offering great visibility and comfort while ensuring safety and productivity. This is achieved through a comprehensive package of productivity, safety and ease-of-operation features, based on real-time data collection by the truck’s sensors (on-board weighing, pitch/roll sensor, among others).
Raising the stakes in light off-road missions
IVECO South Africa has introduced the Stralis X-WAY range of construction vehicles to the local market. With low tare mass of 7,7 t, the X-WAY raises the stakes in light off-road applications with what is claimed to be best-in-class payload capacity.
This best-in-class kerb weight was achieved through a number of design choices such as the redesign of the mechanical rear suspension, the chassis architecture and cross members optimisation.
“The result is a robust vehicle customers can rely on to deal with the driving conditions on a construction site while carrying the biggest payload in the construction logistics and urban services segment, then go on to deliver greater fuel-efficiency, safety and comfort on the road,” says Elvis Mutseura, product marketing manager at IVECO South Africa.
Mutseura says the vehicle comes at a time when regulation 330 of 2015 of the National Road Traffic Act (consignor consignee legislation) places the responsibility for correct vehicle loading on the consignor (especially) and the consignee.
The consignor who dispatches over 500 t of cargo per month must have records of loads dispatched and the calculation of mass distribution. Mutseura says 500 t per month is nothing for a commercial transporter – that is only 35 x 6 m³ loads of concrete mix per month. Additionally, the AARTO (Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act) legislation will place a bigger burden on compliance with the National Road Act and will increase the risk of non-compliance with possible consequences that can ground a whole fleet.
“Sustainable use of public road infrastructure is the responsibility of all players in the road transport industry and IVECO is doing its part by providing a solution that allows operators to maximise payload without exceeding design limits on our roads,” explains Mutseura.
“The X-WAY truck combines the outstanding on-road performance of the Trakker, which has become a byword for robustness in the industry with the on-road comfort and efficiency of the Stralis platform. We now have a product that is equally at ease in on- and off-road conditions, and is designed specifically for construction logistics,” adds Mutseura.