TRUCKS, TYRES & TCO
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.