Special Report

Ride Control

August 2012
Case India is riding high on its new skid-steer loaders. Shriyal Sethumadhavan visits its plant near Indore to find out why…

Skid-steer loaders are not new to India or even to Case Construction Equipment, for that matter. ‘Bullet proof’ sums it up, as the company expands its product offerings with the launch of new-generation skid-steer loaders. Catering to the need of customers in the industrial, infrastructure and agricultural segments, this new line-up delivers industry-leading bucket breakout force and hinge-pin height, best-in-class horsepower – aimed towards boosting performance and productivity. Now available for the Indian market with two models – Case SR 130 and SR 150 – these radial lift (SR) models are engineered for digging, prying and pushing.

Market stance

The market size of skid-steer loaders in India is still at a nascent stage. The current industry size is 600 units, which is likely to grow to 1,000-1,100 units by 2015, which will result in a compounded growth of about 25 per cent. “India is a key market for us,” says Piero Arrivabeni, Marketing Director-Construction Equipment, International Region, Case Construction. “And, with more than 250,000 units delivered in over 42 years in this segment the world over, we are pleased to introduce this new state-of-the-art machinery in India.” According to DK Narang, Managing Director, Case New Holland Construction Equipment (India) Pvt Ltd, “We make our products as per the Indian requirement and ensure that we provide the design strength, that the machines are ready for the Indian duty cycles and provide the back-up support required. The aim is to strengthen our range and in future offer much more to the market.”

It’s automated!

Get into the cab and feel the difference! It is now 25 per cent larger, which the company claims to be the widest in the industry. The loader features a revolutionary, ultra-narrow wire, side-screen design with more glass surface area to provide 360 degree visibility. The exclusive side lighting is an add-on that makes the loader productive day and night. As DV Junnarkar, Head-Marketing, Case New Holland Construction Equipment (India) Pvt Ltd, says, “We have a safety bar that the operator has to put before he starts the machine; if he doesn’t, the machine will not start.”

While Narang emphasises that the company caters to the basic needs of the infrastructure industry, Case is also set to outdo itself and its competition as it fulfils the customer’s most challenging requirements. As Junnarkar expounds, “We customised the vibratory compactors required by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation to accommodate a monitor inside. Today, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation also has a similar stipulation. And, we are totally geared for automation.”

Break-through engineering

With the Case skid steer line-up, the operator can choose from standard mechanical drives and match control patterns. Case engineers have also developed a new power stance chassis with up to 21 per cent longer wheel base and 30/70 front/rear weight distribution to enable the loader to lift and haul more material. Along with ride control, the loaders provide superior stability and operating speed, regardless of jobsite conditions. One more unique feature is that the loader will run all day without the need to refuel.

Demand speak!

Following the acquisition of the full ownership of its previous Indian JV last year, Case Construction has its wholly-owned manufacturing operation in Pithampur, near Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The new company, Case New Holland Construction Equipment India Pvt Ltd is recognised by Indian customers for its proven product reliability, as well as for its extensive parts and service support network available.

With the introduction of the skid-steer loaders, the company expects demand from municipal works, which generally get affected due to non-availability of labour in cities and towns. Being a small machine, it can work in small and narrow by-lanes where backhoe loaders can’t enter. At present, since imported, it incurs a considerable cost. As Junnarkar highlights, “The biggest cost today is the whopping the 28 per cent import duty. So, we might just localise our next slot of machines!”

Hence, while the company aims at increasing and consolidating its brand presence in India, here is a contributing strategy. The results…we shall wait and watch!

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