CHENNAI: The Hinduja Group flagship firm, Ashok Leyland Limited, has announced sale of vehicles on the new U-Truck platform with the rolling out of the first set of 10 models of tippers and tractor trailers in the 16 – 49-tonne segment. Starting with Chennai, the vehicles will be available for sale pan-India in a phased manner over the next 6 weeks. Further, another 15 models are set to enter the market in the next 12 months. The U-Truck platform is backed by innovative service care packages, a number of which are industry ‘firsts’.
Synchronised service intervals for tractors at every 40,000 km, being offered for the first time in the commercial vehicle industry, enables the U-Truck to stay around 20 pc more time on the roads, the ideal way to derive the best from the vehicles. Setting a benchmark is the 4-year driveline warranty being offered on tractors whereas the warranty on tippers is for 2 years/5,000 hours/200,000 km. Yet another unique offering is Allcover Insurance, which if opted for, covers customers for cashless repair against accidents under which minor restorations are carried out in 3 days and major ones in 7 days. The company’s increased focus on customer centricity is reflected in the huge success of the Tatkaal scheme that promises attention to distress calls within 4 hours and restoration within 48, with assured response time for breakdowns on the Golden Quadrilateral. The Tatkaal promise is now also being extended to cover the North-South and East-West corridors.
“The U-Truck platform comes with the definitive promise of a holistically superior product, superior driving and superior service experience,” said R. Seshasayee, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland. “More significantly, this future-ready platform has the unique ability to continuously morph itself to meet ever-evolving consumer needs. After all, the ‘U’ in the ‘U-Truck’ stands for the customer and the platform is a sublimation of our insightful understanding of customers’ needs and their pain points. Hence, we have gone to great lengths to have a product with excellent fuel efficiency, superior drivability and higher reliability all leading to better operating economics,” he explained.
“The commercial vehicle driver community has for long been a neglected one and we are taking a number of significant steps to play a meaningful role in their lives not only through driver training but by introducing features that enhance driver comfort and safety,” said Vinod K. Dasari, Whole-time Director and Chief Operating Officer, Ashok Leyland. Some of these features are superior suspended long-haul sleeper cabs in tractors and day cabs in tippers having sleeper provision, better NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) characteristics, optional air-conditioning and music systems. Ride quality is further enhanced from a choice of parabolic front suspensions with longer span and up-rated multi-leaf front suspensions. Safety is taken care of through high performance braking systems with larger sized brakes, ABS and exhaust brakes in select models.
As part of this comprehensive driver care programme, every driver of a U-Truck will be given a ‘Driver kit’ worth Rs. 15,000 to meet some of his requirements when on the road. The kit will include a mobile phone with a lifetime incoming connection, a blanket, a windcheater, two T-shirts, a torch and a document holder. Further, every U-Truck driver is covered by an insurance of Rs. 1 lakh against accidents and injuries.
The fully-built U-Trucks are available with optional features like Telematics for real time track and trace and driver management.
“The modularity gives us the agility to respond to customer needs quickly and control our inventories while on the manufacturing side we will see a transition from a stock-and-sell to a make-to-order system. Everything considered, we are on the threshold of some very exciting times,” concluded Seshasayee