As quarries strive to compete in a tough business environment, investment in new mining equipment takes on a more important role. End users now need to evaluate everything that surrounds the product – from financing and insurance through to maintenance programmes and specialised remote services, among others – in addition to the normal productivity and cost savings calculations already commonly used. With its total solutions approach, Scania South Africa has every parameter covered. By Munesu Shoko.
Like most things in today’s world, purchasing mining equipment – especially hauling gear, which fulfils a crucial role in the mining value chain – is becoming more complex. In a tough economic environment, investing in such big-ticket, high-value assets can be a stressful endeavour as it ties up capital for long periods of time, and the longer the period, the greater the uncertainty and risk involved. Consequently, it must be done correctly the first time, as mistakes are not easily rectified.
In the decision-making process, one of the critical considerations should be the ability to source all the end user’s needs from a single supplier. It’s much simpler in the long run to deal with a single provider. Having to purchase equipment and solutions that drive your business from different suppliers and being serviced by a myriad of service providers can be time-consuming and costly. Working with an established supplier of Scania’s stature means quarry owners will have access to a sound product, in-house financing, insurance, reliable and flexible support, as well as the parts and technological solutions they depend on for maximum uptime.
This requires a great deal of experience in navigating the ever-growing pool of suppliers, along with answering many critical questions you may not even know how to ask. Many equipment suppliers regard themselves as “one-stop shops,” but are they really? A true one-stop shop is where the customer has one contact on campus for everything they need. That contact is the person who then speaks to everyone else on campus to orchestrate the deal. At Scania South Africa, customers have one contact for everything, making the company a true one-stop shop.
Scania for every mining stage
From a product perspective, Scania offers a full range of trucks that can work across several application areas within the quarrying environment. There is a Scania for every stage in mining, all the way from in-pit applications and outbound hauling to service vehicles and concrete mixers.
The first area of application is in-pit. Profitable in-pit mining operations are about hauling as much material as possible at the lowest cost. “The key to mining profitability is all about controlling capital and operating costs. It pays to take a look at our solutions. Many times the lower total operating costs of our vehicles outweigh the benefits of conventional, over dimensioned mine haulage equipment. The robust and reliable Scania trucks are the perfect choice for tough in-pit operations at quarries,” says Raimo Lehtiö, MD of Scania South Africa.
The second area of application is outbound hauling of run of mine (ROM) material from the rock face to the processing plants. A key advantage of Scania’s on-highway truck is that it is more flexible than traditional dump trucks when it comes to manoeuvring, which is a very big advantage, especially on short hauls. The heavy nature of yellow metal dump trucks also means that they can cause more damage to the haul roads, thus increasing operational costs through more support equipment for maintenance of haul roads.
“When you want to improve efficiency and uptime rates, as well as reduce running costs, Scania is the way to go. The trucks are tailored to your operating needs and well suited to turn your outbound operations into a profitable business,” adds Lehtiö.
Another area of application for Scania trucks at a quarry is when transporting crushed and screened product from the stockpiles to the construction site or concrete batching plants. This is already a common application for tipper trucks in the local market. For this application, Scania offers a range of vehicles.
“If you are looking at hauling the product with side tipper links or sloper trailers, I will recommend the Scania G460CA6x4MSZ and P410CA6x4MSZ truck tractors. Or you can even use a Scania P410CB8x4MHZ rigid tipper with either a three or four-axle drawbar trailer. This combination has become very popular,” says Theuns Naude, key accounts manager – Construction, Public and Special at Scania South Africa. For smaller quarries, Naude believes the 12 m³ Scania P360CB6x4EHZ and 10 m³ Scania P310CB6x4MSZ rigid tippers are the ideal options.
Another area of application is transporting readymix concrete from the batching plants to the construction site. Scania currently offers two models in the mixer range, the Scania P410CB8x4MHZ Mixer Chassis fitted with an 8 m³ mixer drum and the Scania P310CB6x4MSZ Mixer Chassis fitted with a 6m³ mixer drum. Elsewhere, Scania trucks can be tailored into service vehicles as well as solutions to transport people at the mine.
Apart from the complete range of vehicles that suits the varying needs of quarrying operations, Scania also offers a complete suite of service solutions. In recent years, Scania rolled out Scania Finance and Scania Insurance. The service solutions are tailored to meet the sector’s needs.
Lehtiö says there has been a big uptake of the products. “The growth has been there. To give an idea, we are now financing 60% of all our new vehicle sales. Initially we didn’t finance much of the used vehicle deals, but we have also recently seen an uptick in that area as well, and we now finance about 40% of our used vehicle sales. Our financing portfolio currently stands at over R5-billion,” he says.
“Meanwhile, our insurance portfolio now stands at about R70-million. We currently insure approximately 10% of what we sell, with the aim to double it in 2019. We have set the ball rolling to be able to achieve this through tying in all the necessary networks including insurers, aftersales, brokers and repairers. Our own brokerage licence now allows us, together with insurers, to build unique Scania products that are not currently available on the market,” adds Lehtiö.
Apart from Financing and Insurance, Scania has been developing other Scania services that form part of its total solutions approach. “We have seen remarkable growth of our Repair and Maintenance (R&M) contracts. Most of our vehicle sales now include R&M contracts. We have also been pushing our Fleet Management and Driver Services (Driver Training and Driver Coaching). These are important services to our customers’ businesses,” says Lehtiö.
Driver Training ensures a well-trained professional reduces fuel consumption, improves operational safety, and above all maximises the vehicle’s availability, preserving and improving the performance of all components, making a significant positive to the business.
Scania also offers its field workshops, bringing an operational base to sites. Scania understands the business needs of the off-road sector. “That’s why we have created several Service Packages that include specialised parts and labour at different price points, seeking to reduce maintenance costs for customers,” says Naude.
This is complemented by Scania’s flexible maintenance programmes. The high productivity offering is strengthened by Scania R&M programmes, which guarantee the best return on investment by providing greater economy and control of cash flow, with fixed-price monthly premiums. These programmes seek to keep the fleet available and profitable at all times. “Sufficient maintenance is essential to maintain the high productivity and low fuel consumption of Scania vehicles,” concludes Lehtiö.