TI Truck Body Works: Leveraging on Strengths, Building Trust

Shaifuddin S,Business Head

Shaifuddin S

Business Head

Tube Investments of India Limited (TII) has been the industry leader in mobility solutions right from 1949. Apart from well-known cycles brands like BSA and Hercules, TII is also the leading supplier of precision steel tubes and strips, metal formed products and chains to the automotive industry. It is the preferred tier-1 supplier of safety critical precision parts to major OEM's. Today, 50 percent of the two-wheelers in India run on tubes and chains supplied by TII. Backed by this formidable experience in manufacturing for the automotive industry, TII recently entered the truck body building market with TI Truck Body Works (TI TBW).

The truck body work industry is predominantly an unorganized sector with no major player commanding a sizeable share of the market. Today, transporters and fleet operators depend on third party body builders who are unable to offer purpose-defined body solutions both from a design and manufacturing perspective. Most of these small-time players operate on a `Best Known Knowledge' gathered by experience or ideas simply copied from the other smaller players. Customers are often misled by a `sturdy' design which comes with an extremely heavy body construction that leads to lesser payload causing significant efficiency losses for transporters and fleet operators.

"There is a lack of structural architecture in design of the body and engineering solutions for various performance failures and customer pain points. The use of non-standard raw materials which are not meant for carrying corrosive or definitive loads leads to premature failures of the truck body. We also noticed that financiers were hesitant
to offer loans based on invoices from these unorganized players. Identifying these opportunities, we entered the retail truck body building market along with support from Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company, another Murugappa Group company, an already well-established name in the commercial vehicle industry", says Shaifuddin S, Business Head, TI Truck Body Works.

It is estimated that over 9 lakh commercial vehicles are being sold every year in India and the total size of truck body building industry is about 10,000 Crore Indian rupees. With gaps in customer expectation and OEMs not being able to customise truck body to the different buyer requirements, this figure is bound to increase. TI TBW aims to leverage TII's strength in design and fabrication know ­ how to bring about transformative changes in the entire life cycle of the truck body.

TI - TBW aims to leverage TII’s strength in design and their fabrication know – how to bring about transformative changes in the entire life cycle of the truck body

Innovation begins right from design, TI TBW offers a fully CAD modelled and mathematically proven design. The use of optimal stiffness and strength parameters in design enables 10 to 20 percent reduction in weight of the body thus allowing for increased haulage and more earning potential for the fleet operators. The use of tubular sections and formed C-sections while maintaining a zero-wood approach promises greater structural rigidity and a longer life for truck bodies.

"Through our parent company's long-standing partnerships with leading steel manufacturers, we can leverage on quality, supply chain and economies of scale. From kitting to improving turnaround time, to using an upper deck lifting mechanism to reduce the height of bike carriers by 2 feet, we have already begun revolutionising truck body offerings. In the case of reefers, we would be deploying materials other than PUF to enhance efficiencies and to make it noise free. We have also launched semi-automatic tarpaulins to our range of products for different applications. Our truck bodies fully compliant with Code of Practice for Construction and Approval of Truck Cabs, Truck Bodies' developed by ARAI (AIS 093) and other regulatory norms removing another hassle for fleet operators", adds Shaifuddin.

"TBW has already established operations in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, UP, Rajasthan, NCR, and Maharashtra with aggressive plans to expand further by launching a whole new range of offerings for Tippers, Tankers, Trailers, Cargo and special editions such as Garbage Trucks, Fire Tenders and Ambulance in 2020. Our Mission is to become the largest truck body manufacturer capable of designing and fabricating any type of haulage structures all across India", concludes Shaifuddin.