Do fleet op­er­a­tors have a com­pre­hen­sive un­der­stand­ing of all the costs that ap­pear dur­ing the up­time and down­time of their ve­hi­cles?


Why do we need to keep talk­ing about to­tal cost of own­er­ship (TCO)? Be­cause, this fi­nan­cial es­ti­mate con­tin­ues to keep fleet op­er­a­tors awake at night. The best man­aged com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle fleets are fac­ing the pres­sures of in­crease in costs be­yond their con­trol, such as fuel prices, taxes, emis­sion reg­u­la­tions, road bans, and fees for per­mits and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions for ac­cess to sites. Fleet op­er­a­tors will be able to cal­cu­late TCO ac­cu­rately only if they have a com­pre­hen­sive view of all the costs that ap­pear and ac­cu­mu­late dur­ing the up­time and down­time of their ve­hi­cles. This is eas­ier said than done. Hid­den costs tend to creep in due to down­time or driver be­hav­iour, both of which can­not be pro­jected ac­cu­rately. What has changed dur­ing the past few years is that the fac­tors af­fect­ing TCO have in­creased, and only the most ex­pe­ri­enced fleet op­er­a­tors ac­count for costs such as NRT and un­der­stand that their biggest loss is an op­por­tu­nity cost of not be­ing able to earn money dur­ing ve­hi­cle down­time.

This month’s cover story fea­tures a round­table or­gan­ised by PMV Mid­dle East to ex­plore the pain points of fleet op­er­a­tors in the Mid­dle East and find out how man­u­fac­tur­ers and deal­ers in the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle busi­ness are ad­dress­ing their con­cerns. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Goodyear Mid­dle East, Swaidan Trad­ing Com­pany and Tris­tar Group shared their views on how to counter the in­creas­ing costs through fleet op­ti­mi­sa­tion, choice of ve­hi­cles, tyres and other parts, and driver train­ing. We want to keep this dis­cus­sion go­ing with more stake­hold­ers in this in­dus­try.

The spe­cial re­port in this is­sue ex­plores the mar­kets for aerial work plat­forms (AWPS) or mo­bile el­e­vat­ing work plat­forms (MEWPS). AWPS are recog­nised as the safest means of work­ing at height. With in­crease in the ap­pli­ca­tions of AWPS, the safety as­pects and ef­fi­ciency of AWPS over al­ter­na­tive work­ing at height so­lu­tions are be­ing widely recog­nised across in­dus­try sec­tors. How­ever, or­gan­i­sa­tions in­volved in work­ing at height face huge safety and skill gaps all over the world in­clud­ing the Mid­dle East. Erect­ing scaf­fold­ing or hir­ing AWPS are not so­lu­tions by them­selves to work­ing at height. Op­er­a­tor com­pe­tency is re­quired not only for safe use and oper­a­tion of equip­ment but also to de­ter­mine the risks as­so­ci­ated with work­place en­vi­ron­ments and their im­pact on the equip­ment and find ways to min­imise such risks. Talk­ing to in­dus­try ex­perts, we find that the most com­mon safety process ig­nored by con­trac­tors is the in­vest­ment in con­tin­u­ous ed­u­ca­tion. Knowl­edge about best prac­tices or ap­pre­ci­a­tion of work­ing at height should not be lim­ited to peo­ple work­ing on sites. They must be ini­ti­ated and driven from the top down.

PMV Mid­dle East got an ex­clu­sive tour of the new Dubai branch of Mid­dle East Crane Equip­ment Trad­ing (MECET), the of­fi­cial dis­trib­u­tor of Hi­tachi Con­struc­tion Ma­chin­ery in the UAE and HSC Cranes in the Mid­dle

East. The 10,000m2 fa­cil­ity which opens on 1 Novem­ber 2018 in Dubai In­dus­trial Park has been com­pleted with an in­vest­ment of $3 mil­lion and in­cludes a yard, of­fice, ware­house and work­shop. The new fa­cil­ity pro­vides the space and op­por­tu­ni­ties for MECET to ex­pand its af­ter-sales ser­vices, in­clud­ing ma­chine assem­bly, re­pair and main­te­nance.

This is­sue also fea­tures a pre­view of the big in­dus­try trends to be pre­sented at the The Big 5 2018 expo in Dubai (26-29 Novem­ber). They in­clude road safety and the ac­count­abil­ity of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle trans­porters, novel tech­nolo­gies that could change com­mer­cial land trans­porta­tion and the case for au­to­mated driv­ing to tackle ur­ban sprawl.

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