South African materials handling equipment supplier Bell Equipment has entered the Southern Africa tipper truck market through a partnership with Russian heavy-duty truck manufacturer Kamaz.
The new partnership was celebrated at bauma CONEXPO AFRICA 2018, held in March, in Johannesburg, where the Kamaz range of tipper trucks was formally introduced to clients to mark the first phase of introduction.
The initial range of Kamaz trucks, available from the first quarter of 2018, comprises two 6 × 4 trucks with payload capacities of 15 t and 20 t, an 8 × 4 model with a 25.5 t payload, and a 6 × 6 truck with a 19.5 t payload. Bell is “particularly excited” about the 6 × 6 truck, says Bell Equipment product marketing manager Brad Castle.
The 6 × 6 Kamaz tipper truck bridges the gap between an articulated dump truck and a conventional tipper, he says. It has a ground clearance of 396 mm, and inter-axle and centre differential locks that enable the truck to operate optimally on harsh and uneven work sites. “This makes it suitable for work all year,” he enthuses. While the tipper trucks are not as well suited as articulated dump trucks to tricky muddy conditions, the bin capacity is better suited to support mining applications where smaller tonnages are moved, he adds.
However, Bell Equipment sees significant potential for the 8 × 4 truck in the local mining and quarrying industry. This model has two rear axles and two front steering axles that provide optimised weight distribution, allowing for the truck to carry heavier payloads for increased productivity, claims Castle.
The larger 6 × 4, 6 × 6 and 8 × 4 trucks are equipped with 294 kW Kamaz-built engines that supply power through German-manufactured ZF Friedrichshafen (ZF) transmissions. The power is then transferred onto the ground by hub and differential reductions, therefore, these models are suitable for a combination of on- and off-road duties.
The smaller 6 × 4 truck, meanwhile, is a traditional tipper powered by the 207 kW Cummins engine and also uses a ZF transmission. Owing to the lower power, only differential reduction is required, thus suiting small engineering contractors and municipalities with a bias towards on-road duties.
All the models have traction control for difficult ground conditions, maintains Castle.
Further, the air-suspended cabs and seats are designed for operator safety and comfort, and Bell Equipment can tailor the Kamaz trucks to different industries, from forestry and agriculture to quarries and mines, as they offer personalised configurations of the cab chassis, he adds.
Right-hand models will be stocked to supply the majority of their clients in Southern Africa, with left-hand-drive vehicles shipped in specially for direct orders from customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All trucks will be shipped on roll-on, roll-off vessels for the initial phase of supply.
“There was great interest in the Kamaz range [at bauma] specifically owing to the simplicity and ruggedness of the trucks,” Castle points out. However, out of all the models, the 6 × 6 tipper truck attracted the most interest at bauma owing to its off-road capability and versatility.
Bell Equipment has invested significantly in training staff and stocking parts for the Kamaz trucks at the company’s logistics warehouse, Bell Equipment’s Global Logistics Centre, in Jet Park, South Africa.
Further investments include the investment to commission a complete knock-down (CKD) assembly line at Bell Equipment’s Richards Bay factory, in KwaZulu-Natal, for the local assembly of the trucks, as part of the second phase. The
roll-out of the first trucks from the CKD assembly plant is projected for 2019.
“The investment in local manufacture is geared towards achieving shorter truck lead times for clients and creating employment opportunities that will significantly contribute towards local economic growth,” he concludes.