JCB India claims the CE industry is reviving on increased government spending on rural projects, infrastructure development in border areas.
JCB India Limited, the leading earthmoving and construction equipment manufacturer has introduced the industry’s first dual-fuel CNG backhoe loader, dubbed as JCB 3DX DFi.
According to JCB India, the backhoe loader can operate on both CNG and diesel fuels simultaneously, using the Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) technology. This dual-fuel CNG backhoe loader is based on the same 3DX model that is already available in the Indian market. With its dual-fuel technology, the 3DX DFi offers flexible fuelling option to the customers.
As the JCB India further claims, the utilisation of alternative fuels is a significant step-change in the construction equipment vehicle sector. As the new JCB 3DX DFi backhoe loader operates on a mixture of both CNG and diesel, the technology helps to substantially drop particulate emission resulting in lesser pollution. This technology also leads to a reduction of proportionate CO2 emissions.
JCB India 3DX DFi specification & dimensions
|Engine||Naturally aspirated JCB448|
|Power output||77 PS|
|Maximum road speed||36 kmph|
|Maximum dig depth||4.77 metre|
|Dump height||2.74 metre|
Besides ensuring lesser pollutant emission, CNG comes as more economical fuel solution as compared to petrol or diesel. CNG also helps in lowering the operating costs for the end customer. The Indian government has been advocating for the use of greener fuel technology, including CNG to reduce pollutant emission. Hence, JCB India’s new backhoe loader comes in the line with that strategy.
JCB India claims that the new dual-fuel CNG backhoe loader has been developed in India and has been tested in various operating conditions before its launch. The construction equipment and earthmover manufacturer will produce this backhoe loader at its Delhi-NCR factory at Ballabgarh.
Speaking about the launch of the 3DX DFi dual-fuel CNG backhoe loader, Deepak Shetty, CEO and MD, JCB India, said, “Throughout our four decades of operations in India, we have continued to invest in Innovation. It is one of the cornerstones of our operations. This dual-fuel machine can substitute diesel with CNG and has been developed to cater to the evolving needs of our customers. It will further contribute to the creation of Infrastructure in the country and will also be exported to countries around the world.”
Green shoots in the construction equipment sector
While launching the dual-fuel CNG backhoe loader, JCB India has claimed that it is witnessing green shoots in the construction equipment sector majorly driven by the rural market, after the devastating Coronavirus pandemic that led to the lockdown halting all the economic activities and impacting the industry heavily.
Deepak Shetty said that increased government spending on infrastructure development would help sustain demand for the construction equipment and help the industry to return to the growth path in FY22. “We saw green shoots in June-July 2020. August, September and October were good and we expect the momentum to continue,” said Shetty. He also added that in FY21, the overall market will contract. The company is being cautiously optimistic because of the pandemic and its impact.
Meanwhile, JCB India is readying its sixth factory in India at Vadodara, Gujarat. With that operational, JCB India aims to enhance its local production and export to overseas countries, complying with the Indian government’s Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat campaigns. Currently, the company exports its made-in-India machines to more than 110 countries across the world. JCB India claims that capacity utilisation at its manufacturing plants is currently 10% higher than the same period in 2019.
What CE industry data says?
According to the Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (ICEMA), construction equipment sales declined by 60% in the first quarter of FY21. The second quarter witnessed a recovery in sales reducing the slump to 35% for the first half of FY21. The festive season witnessed added demand further reducing the fall to 10% till October 2020.
Between April-October 2020 period, Indian construction equipment industry registered 30,747 units of sales, down 10% as compared to the same period in 2019, when the industry sold 34,026 units.
The recovery in the July-September quarter of 2020, was the first in four quarters. Due to the impact of the first quarter sales slump led by the lockdown, the net sales volume of the construction equipment slumped by 8-10% to 65,000-70,000 units in FY21. However, the growth momentum that started in the second quarter of the current financial year is likely to continue, which would help the CE industry to regain its peak sales of 95,000 units, recorded in FY19.
India is presently among the top five global markets for construction equipment in the world, while the Chinese CE market is the largest at around 300,000 units, and the North American market is at around 200,000 units. The ICEMA hopes that with the enhanced government focus on infrastructure investment and right policies in place, enabling scaled-up local manufacturing under the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign, Indian CE industry could grow exponentially and become the second-largest market in the world by 2030.
Rural India fuelling revival path
In rural India, there are several small projects being executed. These include the construction of ponds, rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). These projects are helping in the revival of the construction equipment industry in India, as JCB India claims.
Earlier this year, in late June 2020, during a meeting with the 15th Finance Commission, the rural development ministry projected a requirement of Rs 82,946 crore for six years through FY26 under the PMGSY. It also proposed another Rs 1.3 lakh crore fund for the maintenance of the PMGSY roads during this period. As per the Indian government, the rural roads are recognised as catalysts to rural development and also a significant element of poverty alleviation initiatives.
Besides that, the increased demand for construction equipment in border areas due to the infrastructure development projects by DGBR and BRO too helping the industry to revive after the Covid-19 shock. The projects have increased orders for backhoe loaders, excavator and wheeled loaders. The Indian government has accelerated the pace of infrastructure development like border road construction in the light of the recent geopolitical tension with China, started in May 2020.