Press Release | January, 2023

Heros of Highway: Empowering Drivers for Win-Win

  • Eicher Trucks and Buses launches new Non Stop Series of Heavy Duty Trucks in Mumbai
  • Fosters insightful discussions with leaders in the commercial vehicle industry on empowering drivers and enhancing their capabilities
  • The discussion is built on Eicher’s legacy of pioneering ‘Nayi Soch’

17th January 2023, Mumbai: Eicher Trucks & Buses, a business unit of VE Commercial Vehicles, launched its Non-Stop Series of Heavy Duty Trucks in Mumbai. The event brought together leaders of the commercial vehicles industry to discuss the best ways to empower commercial vehicle drivers and ensure their safety and wellness. The series continues Eicher's tradition of championing 'Nayi Soch' (innovative perspectives) and promoting novel concepts within the Indian Truck Industry.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Vinod Aggarwal MD and CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles noted “Eicher's fully connected ecosystem significantly elevates the driver's experience. Our My Eicher app, powered by the industry-first Uptime Centre, brings real-time tracking, predictive maintenance, and driver assistance to the forefront. This not only enhances fuel efficiency and safety but also fosters improved communication between drivers and fleet managers. The Non-Stop Series of Heavy-Duty Trucks from Eicher, crafted for this evolving environment, ensures connectivity through telematics, all managed by our dedicated Uptime Centre.”

At the session on Heros of Highway: Empowering Drivers for Win-Win, attended by leaders in logistics such as Amit Potdar, Director, Royal Translines, Reema Jogani, Director, Reema Trasport Pvt Ltd., Sumedh Mane, CEO, HamSafer, Ashish Bhatia, Editor, Auto Components India and Commercial Vehicle Magazine and Mr. Ramesh Rajagopalan, EVP- Aftermarket and Dealer Development, VECV, discussed approaches to proactively address the issue of making working conditions better for drivers and empowering them. The panel was moderated by Mr. Bhagwan K Bindiganavile, EVP, Strategic Planning, Brand and Communications, VECV..

During the discussion, the panellists discussed the various challenges faced by truck drivers, the role of OEMs and transport companies in empowering drivers, technology advancements that can ensure better driver safety as well as regulatory challenges that impact drivers and the commercial vehicle industry.

Setting the context for the panel discussion, Mr. Bhagwan K Bindiganavile, EVP, Strategic Initiatives, Brand and Communication, said, “As we navigate the Amrit Kaal in India's commercial vehicle sector, the government's focus on logistics efficiency, safety, and net-zero goals is reshaping the industry. Joining this paradigm shift, the panel delves into the pivotal role of drivers, exploring a win-win approach to elevate this crucial resource in the evolving landscape.”

ECommenting on the challenges and areas that the business owners and industry, commented, Mr. Amit Potdar, Director, Royal Translines, said “We must acknowledge and appreciate the challenges drivers face, and express gratitude towards this profession. Advocating for improved working conditions, promoting driver welfare programs, and fostering a sense of respect within the industry are vital steps to attract and retain talent in this critical profession”

Presenting her views on the drivers and their importance in the industry, Ms. Reema Jogani, Director, Reema Transport Pvt Ltd., said, “As a second-gen transporter, I've witnessed technology evolve driving, but we must recognize drivers. It's time that the industry must acknowledge the drivers. During COVID, they were our unsung heroes, facing challenges and leaving families behind. Lack of motivation and recognition are pressing issues. Let's treat our drivers as the industry's true heroes, deserving respect and acknowledgment.”

Speaking on lack of attraction in a driver’s job, Ashish Bhatia, Editor Auto Components India and Commercial Vehicle Magazine, said, “Many drivers still drive without AC cabins, enduring tough conditions. While companies work on improvements, the driver's career remains unattractive. Recognizing the skill and technical knowledge required, we commend companies for their efforts, who are working towards comprehensive solutions to drive a sustainable change.”

Elaborating on driver welfare, Sumedh Mane, CEO, HamSafer said, “Drivers feel a lack of respect and fleet owners are facing shortages. Improved roads and vehicles haven't translated into better conditions for them. However, there's a positive shift as businesses are realizing the importance of addressing driver welfare and empowerment, seeking solutions for a better future.”

Mr. Ramesh Rajagopalan, EVP – Aftermarket and Dealer Development, VECV, added, “We focus on driver-centric technology, from enhanced cabin features for comfort and safety to intelligent driving information. Our trucks since 2020 offer 100% connectivity, providing real-time insights through telematics. The Uptime Center supports drivers in eight languages, ensuring their safety and efficiency. Our crash alert system adds an extra layer of protection, contributing to a safer and more comfortable driving experience, ultimately boosting efficiency, vehicle performance, and productivity.”

The seminar experienced active participation from the panellists, accompanied by a vibrant audience consisting of fleet operators, transportation experts, entrepreneurs, and logistics leaders from Mumbai and its neighbouring regions.

Eicher Trucks & Buses was the first to recognize the increasing importance of maximizing fleet uptime through its 100% connected fleet and India’s first Uptime Centre in 2020, with 24X7 service support and remote diagnostics capabilities linked to its widely dispersed service network.

About VE Commercial Vehicles Limited (VECV):

VE Commercial Vehicles Limited (VECV) is a joint venture between the Volvo Group and Eicher Motors Limited. In operation since July 2008, the company includes the complete range of Eicher branded trucks and buses, exclusive distribution of Volvo Trucks in India, engine manufacturing and exports for Volvo Group, nonautomotive engines and Eicher component business. A multi-brand, multi-division company, backed by innovative products & services, VECV today, is recognised as an industry leader for modernizing commercial transportation in India and developing world.

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For further information, please contact:
Samanvay Sinha
DGM, Brand & Corporate Communications, VECV
Laveena Vohra