The Automobile industry is continuously evolving and if you think its a lie then go see the Tesla’s new Model 3. Not just light vehicles but there is a great evolution in the heavy vehicles segment too. I am talking about the latest New Mahindra Blazo series trucks. But remember that these are smart trucks and not just any normal ones. What is the smart feature in them I will tell you shortly. First thing to discuss is where is this all truck thing coming from. Well I got a chance to visit Mahindra Blazo smart truck manufacturing unit and see everything LIVE.
The first view of the manufacturing unit and I am like everything is just huge. It is very different experience from T.V. and trust me everyone should visit automobile manufacturing plant once in their lifetime. As it is a factory, we were first told to follow the guidelines during our visit. They have some safe markings made for the visitors so that they can see everything from a proper distance without getting themselves in any danger. The first thing to encounter was a Press Line machine where metal sheets were applied tons of pressure to give them a shape of a door, or some part of the cabin. Various slots and holes were also made during this process. All the process was automated using robotic arms and various other equipment. It was like the transformer movie suddenly coming all alive. I could see huge cranes transporting various things all across the factory. After the sheets were moulded in proper shape time for some assembly. All the parts were welded together using the robotic arms and this whole process was quite fascinating as the arms worked altogether with great accuracy. They also had a proper crossing made with all the alarms and stuff. I heard the music playing in the factory which was quite surprising for me but a good thing for the workers to keep them entertained. On the roof, you could see some white window panes which were made in such a way that they would intake as much light as possible. At first glance, you cannot make out if it is the sunlight or artificial lighting. It is a great way to go green and save as much electricity as possible. Next after the assembly, the trucks were taken to the body shop or the paint shop you could say. The painting process was done by dipping the whole chassis into the solution and then galvanizing it with the paint. This is the best way to paint so that no nook and corner is left. After that engine and other parts are fitted onto the truck. Finally after all this, it’s time for some rigorous testing to make sure everything just works fine.
What is ‘Smart’ in the Mahindra Blazo Trucks?
Coming to the main part that is the m-Power Fuel Smart engines which consumes the fuel efficiently by analyzing inputs from various sensors. The engine is based on the new Common Rail Direct Fuel Injection technology which helps in complete combustion of diesel to give a maximum output. Just to explain how it all works, diesel is stored at a high pressure so that when it is sprayed into the cylinders for combustion, it will burn easily. The complete combustion of the diesel makes it fuel efficient and the noise is also reduced to a great extent. Plus the fuel consumption is controlled by ECU(Electronic Control Unit) which analyzes the various sensors readings. Different sensors used are Engine speed sensor, rail pressure sensor, coolant temperature sensor, oil pressure sensor and Accelerator pedal sensor. Now after reading the sensor value, ECU controls the fuel injection processing using actuators.
Next comes the Fuel Smart switches which will decide the power of the Engine at any given time. There are basically three modes viz. Turbo, Heavy and Light. These modes represent the condition of the terrain and if the truck is loaded or not. So the turbo mode will be used when the truck is heavily loaded or may be riding on a steep slope that will require more power. Next is the heavy mode which will give bit less power when the truck is not loaded to the full capacity. And the last is the light mode which will be used in the case of no load or straight roads where we don’t require much power to run the truck. You will only get better mileage if you use these features smartly. Keeping the light mode on in order to save the fuel will do you no good as the truck will exert more pressure on the engine which will cause wear and tear of the internal parts. Instead of switching to lower gears in heavy slope terrain you can switch it to turbo mode. The switching of modes can be done while driving and there is no need to stop. If in some case the battery is removed then the truck will run in heavy mode by default. In some models, you may get only two modes depending on the type of truck and the load it is supposed to carry. The last feature is the Driver Information System(DIS) which will show various indicators to check engine oil, parking lights, doors etc. There is an LCD screen present to show information like air pressure, trip km, per km fuel consumption, average speed, and battery voltage. Apart from that service reminders are also displayed on the LCD screen.
Apart from these features, the chassis is light which in turn gives more payload facility, plus the comfort of the driver is also kept in mind. The seats are very comfortable and the leg space is also great. Air conditioning facility is also provided in the cabin, but that is all up to the customers requirement and is an add-on feature.
There are various models of Trucks launched in this series viz. ‘Blazo 25, Blazo 31 , Blazo 37’ haulage truck, ‘Blazo 35, Blazo 40, Blazo 49’ tractor trailer, Blazo 25 tipper. Mahindra also guarantees that the Blazo smart truck will give greater mileage than any other similar truck of different company or else you can return the truck and get your money back. Plus they also guarantee to repair your truck within 48 hours no matter the location of breakdown or else they will give you Rs.1000 per day.
So basically Trucks are not at all left behind in this technological advancement era, but are now much more fuel efficient than ever. This was a great experience visiting the Mahindra Trucks and Buses manufacturing unit. We also got a chance to ride in this new Smart Mahindra Blazo truck which was again a first time experience.