A massive 205-tonne dumper truck made in India turned to be a super-hit at the recently concluded “Make in India Week” held at the Bandra-Kurla Complex here. The crowds thronged to get photographed near the giant wheels of the truck, which towered almost twice above their heads. People couldn’t resist touching the truck. “This is so huge. I wonder if there are any roads in our country which are wide enough for this huge truck,” said a college student.
At the width of eight metres, which is almost four times that of a regular car, the truck, whose cost is pegged at around Rs 15 crore, is so wide that it had to be assembled at the venue after all its parts were transported separately there. “Before we assembled the parts, nobody here knew BEML. Everybody thought we were just some other company. But within a day of the exhibition, everybody recognises our uniforms now. We are the ones with the huge truck,” said BEML employee K.K.A. Aravindhan.
“The Prime Minister has given a call for ‘Make in India’. When that increases, we are going to need more power, more energy. The energy sector is also driven by coal mining. Till now we have had routine dump trucks with capacities of up to 100 tonnes. So we decided to design and make this electric dump truck which has the capacity of carrying 205 tonnes,” said S.L. Budihal, regional manager, BEML, Mumbai.
It is the first time that a dump truck with such a massive carrying capacity has been built indigenously. It is designed and manufactured by “mini-ratna” BEML (earlier known as Bharat Earth Movers Limited). The weight of the bare truck is 156 tonnes. Its payload is 205 tonnes. It was launched last year. It is specially designed for mining operations. The company has eyed coal and mining giants as customers for these trucks.
The cost of a single tyre of the truck is Rs 20 lakh. Its width is 40 inches. To give a perspective, this is around six times the width of a normal car tyre. The diameter of a tyre is 57 inches. The weight of a single tyre is a whopping five tonnes and lasts for 5,000 operating hours. “The cabin, with complete air conditioning and cameras, sound signals and mirrors, is a very comfortable place,” said Chidanan, senior technician who has test-driven the truck for 200 hours.
“Considering that a truck of such dimensions too can roll over, we have made the cabin rollover-protected. Its frame is sturdy, and in case of an accident, the driver will stay safe inside the cabin,” said Budihal. The company has said that it is in talks with a few coal giants for the sale of the dump truck.