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Terex truck facility tour showcases new engines

Terex Construction has opened the doors of its truck manufacturing facility in Motherwell, Scotland, to distributors and customers from around the world.

Terex has taken visitors on a full tour of its truck manufacturing facility, where they saw each stage of the manufacturing process in action. They also had the chance to operate the TA300 and TA400 articulated trucks, with walk-around presentations given for all the other trucks on display.

Event presents model for the future

Facility general manager Paul Douglas says that the event was a success and that it will be repeated in future.

“This is the second time we’ve held an event like this, after doing one in November last year, and I think there will definitely be more going forward,” he said. “We go to trade shows and industry events, but there is nothing like putting on our own.”

The company aims to host at least one of its own events like this every year.

“It allows us to listen to our customers and find out what it is they want,” he says. “It gives us the chance to talk to them face to face and get our arms around them.”

New engines on show

While there were no major new developments in the articulated truck range on show, the TR60 rigid dump truck was on display with its new Scania engine. This engine meets Stage IIIB emissions requirements.

“Currently, no-one else has a Scania engine in a rigid truck – this is something unique that sets us apart”

Paul Douglas, Terex Construction

“We went through a very intense selection process on the engines,” explains Mr Douglas. “We talked to the existing supplier and a number of alternatives before we decided that Scania offered us the best package.”

“Currently, no-one else has a Scania engine in a rigid truck – this is something unique that sets us apart.”

Mr Douglas went on to explain that it was not just the engine that had changed in the TR60 and Terex’s other rigid trucks.

“We have enhanced other areas of the trucks, too, including the cab and the dashboard. This was the first chance our customers have had to look at it in a live, working environment – at Bauma, for example, it was only a static display.”

There have been no major changes to the articulated range as engineers have been concentrating on the engines, says Mr Douglas.

“The engineering effort has really been focused on getting the engines to meet Tier 4 final [stage 4] standards, which is why there have been no other alterations. These will have to go live by January 2014 so it has been the priority.

“After that we will look at the range and see if there are any other improvements to be made – at the moment, the 250, 300 and 400 articulated trucks have been bedding in well.”

Investing in production

Terex has invested around $7m (£4.7m) into its Motherwell production facility in the past 12 months. Of this, $5m (£3.3m) was capital investment spent on installing three new CNC metal-cutting machines.

“Metal-cutting has historically been something that we outsourced, but it has become more expensive to do so,” says Mr Douglas. “As we look to improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency, we identified this process as something we could bring in-house.

“It allows us to better control both costs and quality, and allows us further vertical integration within the business.”

The machines are in the process of being installed, with the third and final one due to be up and running by the end of August.

“It was really good to be able to show customers that we have been investing in the company and the factory,” says Mr Douglas. “It’s a 60-year-old factory, so it needs some TLC.”

Terex has also introduced a new digital system for work standard, with Mr Douglas saying that investment is “exactly at the level we need it to be”.

Looking abroad for growth

Terex is now looking to overseas markets for further growth in the coming months and years. The firm has joint ventures in Russia and China.

Mr Douglas says that the market is still very tough, but there are still opportunities to be taken.

“The planned High Speed 2 project, though, has generated a lot of promising inquiries”

Paul Douglas, Terex Construction

“Our rigid trucks are mainly used for mining and quarrying, and the coal price dropping by 40-50 per cent has had a major effect on this industry. Until that picks up, the mining and quarrying sector won’t pick up either.

“As for our articulated trucks, they are mainly used in heavy construction which is very, very competitive. It is an extremely aggressive market, and although there are signs of it picking up, we are still a long way off pre-recession levels.

“The planned High Speed 2 project, though, has generated a lot of promising inquiries.”

The general manager says that 2012 saw an upturn in fortunes globally, with articulated truck volumes up in the US and Canada in particular, but that the first quarter of this year has been challenging once again.

“Everyone is watching China,” he says. “It was China’s slowdown that caused the coal price to drop, which affected the global quarrying sector by causing metal prices to drop.

“We’ve invested in our business to make sure we are best placed to take advantage of whatever opportunities present themselves globally.”

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