‘Beat us if you can’
New Eicher trucks issue open challenge on fuel consumption
EICHER is a new truck brand in South Africa that was launched at TruckX Expo at Kyalami last week by VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV), a 2008 joint venture by Volvo Group and Eicher Motors.
Vice president and head of VECV in South Africa, Surender Singh Rajpurohit, said Eicher trucks already operated in 30 countries, and they are known everywhere as “the king of mileage”.
“Our campaign is based on the challenge, ‘beat me if you can’ — this is an open challenge — that is how confident we are,” said Rajpurohit. He said South Africa is the 31st country in which Eicher will sell, adding that it is a strategic market for VECV.
“The company plans to continuously invest in the introduction of country specific products and aftermarket infrastructure,” Rajpurohit said.
Commenting on aftersales support, he said Eicher trucks have joined hands with Bidvest Panalpina Logistics (BPL) as their 3PL partner.
“A huge investment has already been made to ensure parts availability. Currently the warehouse has a parts availability of over 2 600 line items.”
Rajpurohit said Eicher trucks will initially be sold and serviced at 14 dealers of well-established dealership groups such as AAD Group, BB Motor group, Billson Trucks, CMH Group, Fleet Dynamics, Imperial Group & Premier Truck and Bus.
He said VECV brings together, the Volvo Group’s global expertise and world-class technology along with the innovative engineering and proven DNA of fuel efficiency from Eicher.
In the first phase of its introduction, Eicher is introducing the Pro Series of haulage trucks, which will be followed by construction tippers. The haulage trucks have been tested for more than 500 000 kilometres across Africa and Asia, and subjected to rigorous endurance and performance testing for over 200 000 km in South Africa.
“This truck has been put into actual usage across various applications of a few well renowned fleet operators.
“Testing results have turned out extremely positive especially in terms of fuel efficiency and uptime of the trucks,” he said.
The Eicher Pro is powered with a next-generation engine with common rail technology and Volvo Group Engine Management System (EMS 3.0).
Speaking to a few of the diesel mechanics who have been testing the trucks, Wheels learned Eicher’s boasts of world-class technology that delivers the best balance between load and fuel efficiencies are well founded.
And having poked and prodded the cabins of the Eicher Pro series trucks as well as the tipper, I can vouch for their comfortable design.
All have air conditioning and heaters and reportedly meet AIS 029 safety standards, thanks to airbrakes, ABS and exhaust brakes.
The Eicher trucks will be assembled at the Nissan UD plant in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria.
MD of UD Trucks Gert Swanepoel told Wheels the Eicher trucks from India will not be competing in the same niche as the new Croner from UD in Japan.
The Croner replaces the robust but diesel-heavy UD 60 to UD 100 models that have been in service for over two decades in southern Africa.
The writer in the new Eicher Pro Series medium-duty truck that sources say gives over 7 km/l while delivering sand in Gauteng.