Friday, October 29, 2010

Horn OK Please: A History

One theory says that 'Horn OK Please' resembles three modes in which a vehicle following another vehicle should interact. The first mode is HORN, if the following vehicle wants to overtake a vehicle ahead of it from the left side then horn should be blown. This way the leading vehicle gets knowledge about the speeding vehicle and does not make a sudden left turn. The second mode is that of OK, if the following vehicle is exactly behind a vehicle, OK denotes that the vehicle which is leading has no problem about the following vehicle and thus middle name is OK. The third and final mode is that of PLEASE, in which the vehicle leading notifies the following vehicle that if it intends to overtake from the right side then it can with no objections.

Another theory goes, that The Tata Oil Mills Co. Ltd. (TOMCO), unveiled an economy detergent powder called OK. This brand had a symbol in a shape of a lotus flower. To market this detergent better, it is believed that the symbols were painted on trucks and Lorries. Since the trucks had ‘Horn Please’ already painted on the left and right edges of the back flap, the lotus flower symbol and OK was painted in the center of the flap. That's what got OK in between Horn Please, making it 'Horn Ok Please'. Moving with time, it became a tradition for truck drivers and owners to paint their trucks in such a fashion.
The most verifiable theory that we have explored is that the phrase wasn’t always a mere decorative whim of indulgent truck drivers. It originated as a serious cautionary indication during the World War II. Kerosene fueled trucks were used then for movement of troops. Highly unstable in nature, the kerosene would cause trucks to explode at the slightest accident. Hence, it was painted on, ‘Horn Please.On Kerosene’.
Do you have any other exciting theory about the origin of this term? Please share it with us here on our blog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mahindra Youth Football Challenge launched Inaugural intra-city leg in Delhi

Its kickoff time at the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge (MYFC) and the playing field is the capital city of New Delhi. The first round of this unique Under-14 Schools Football Tournament-cum-Talent Hunt will see 32 leading soccer playing schools from Delhi competing amongst themselves to bag the honour of the “Champion School’ of Delhi. These schools will then lock horns with five other champion schools from Mumbai, Kolkatta, Goa, Bangalore and Kerala to decide the winner of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge.

MYFC is the Mahindra Group’s commitment to promote football at the grassroots level. The company has partnered with Scottish football giants, Celtics Football Club, who will take on the responsibility of training and grooming young talent identified through the initiative.
In its first season, MYFC will play out in six cities including popular football destinations - Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Goa, Bangalore and Kerala, casting a wide net to identify the most talented junior football players in the country.  The MYFC initiative is being promoted and executed by leading sports management company, Procam International.

Speaking at the launch of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge earlier in Mumbai, Anand Mahindra Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group said, “We are delighted to be back as promised with a grassroots level football programme, a sport we have long been associated with. The Mahindra Youth Football Challenge aims to cultivate young talent and provide a competitive framework to hone their skills.”

Backing Mahindra’s commitment to the sport was Peter Lawell, Chief Executive, Celtics FC, who said, ‘We are delighted to partner with Mahindra, who like us have a long and cherished history with football. It is the perfect platform to bring our rich coaching and community experience to India.  Youngsters will now have the opportunity to play in an organized league and further develop their skills through world-class coaching.”

Speaking about the top-class event that will commence in the six cities, Vivek B Singh, Joint Managing Director, Procam International, said, "It is indeed a pleasure to be associated with a project that involves such reputed entities as Mahindra and Celtics FC. Procam International is committed to giving India's junior footballers a professional playing experience, enabling them to focus completely on the task on hand, which is to play good football."

The Delhi leg of the MYFC is being held in association with the Delhi Soccer Association and matches will be played at the Ganga International ground, CRPF ground and the Bal Bhawan ground at Dwarka.
Among the top 32 schools invited to participate in the championships are fancied names that include CRPF School, Ganga International, Bal Bhavan, Modern Barakhamba, Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, St. Xavier’s,  Dipiksha Public School and DPS, to name a few.

AWARDS AND ACCOLADES: There is plenty to play for in the Intra-City stage, with the winners from each city gaining Rs. 30,000, the runners-up team Rs. 20,000 and the 3rd placed winner Rs. 15,000. The teams that reach the last eight stages will be provided with kitting, while the winners and runners-up teams will be awarded trophies with each player from these teams getting a kit bag. Similarly, there will be a ‘Star Performer of the Game’ trophy for each match from the quarter-final stage and ‘Best Player of the Tournament’ Trophy to be won.
Going ahead, the champion school of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge will receive a cash prize of Rs 50,000, along with the winner’s trophy, while the runner-up team will win a cash prize of Rs 30,000 and a trophy. There will also be awards such as ‘Star Performer of the Game’ and individual appreciation trophies for the ‘Best Striker’, ‘Best Mid-fielder’, ‘Best Defender’ and ‘Best Goalkeeper.’
Each player from the six teams in the Inter-City League will be given two pairs of kitting (Jersey, Shorts & Stockings), while travel, out of pocket expenses during the travel, and lodging & boarding of all the six schools will be taken care of by MYFC.

A CHANCE TO LEARN FROM THE BEST: The winning schools from the six cities and their coaches will benefit from a four-day coaching camp to be conducted by a panel of visiting coaches from the Celtics Football Club before the Inter-City Challenge. This same panel will then shortlist 16 players from the Inter-City Challenge who will further undergo an intensive five-day long coaching clinic where two to four of the best players will be picked to travel to Scotland and the Celtics Football Club for further intensive training.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mahindra Navistar Automotive Ltd. inaugurates Nashik Dealership

Mahindra Navistar Automotive Ltd. has successfully inaugurated a state-of-the-art dealership in Nashik on October 11th, 2010. This is in keeping with the MNAL’s promise of establishing 100 dealerships in 24 months. The dealership sports a splendid look, highly trained staff, a well-equipped workshop, prompt spare parts availability and mobile service vans. It is the first of its kind in India and has a modern look and feel. This dealership is being managed by M/S Jitendra,  Autoworld.
Inaugurating the state of the art dealership earlier in the day, Dr. Pawan Goenka, President – Automotive & Farm Equipment Sector, said, “This is a moment of pride for us as we look at changing the skyline of the India trucking industry. We have created a world class manufacturing plant in Chakan and are creating a modern distribution network in the country as the one here in Nashik to cater to the growing needs of the customers. Highly trained staffs, a well-equipped workshop, prompt spare parts availability and mobile service vans have been ensured to enable our customers to get a hassle free and delightful experience of owning our trucks”.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Nalin Mehta, Chief Operating Officer, Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd., said “During the unveiling, we had promised that ‘OK will no longer be OK’ and we will revolutionize Indian trucking by challenging the norms. Further, our Corporate Identity Program to create a uniform dealership identity and experience will ensure that our dealerships remain benchmarks for commercial vehicle industry. The dealership will start selling and servicing the existing range of LCVs and Busses. In addition, it will also start providing the ‘touch & feel’ and demonstration of the new range of HCVs, starting with the MN25 truck, that was launched recently.”

Also speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sanjay Shah, Director, Jitendra’s AutoWorld, said, “We are very excited and feel honoured to be a part of the new chapter in the trucking industry that we are about to unveil together with Mahindra Navistar for the customers of Nashik. Jitendra’s AutoWorld has earned a name for itself through superior customer service in its various businesses and the dealership of Mahindra Navistar provides us a great opportunity of replicating the same high standards by leveraging our deep understanding of Nashik market. Together we will help our customers outperform.”
With the inauguration of the Nashik dealership, Mahindra Navistar has rolled out the process of creating the exclusive network of dealerships on a massive scale - a unique step for the trucking industry in India. Moreover, Mahindra’s already existing network will be deployed for the after-sales support. Over the next two years, Mahindra Navistar plans to commission over 100 dealerships across the country thus rapidly expanding their pan India presence.

India faces critical shortage of truck-drivers

The Indian Logistics Sector has been facing a critical shortage of experienced and trained drivers. A study done in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry says India's road freight segment would need nearly 51 million truck drivers by 2015. That’s a very steep figure. The study paper 'Skills Gaps in the Indian Logistics Sector' has estimated that currently India has only 3 million truck drivers for medium and heavy commercial vehicles. The logistic sector will not be able to handle this shortage as this sector is very crucial to business. This should give you a perspective on how serious this problem is. Suppose that if 50 per cent of all drivers in India are to be trained, almost 125 institutes of the size and scale of the existing one in Namakkal will be required in the next 7-8 years, says the paper.
There are some areas where skills are lacking. They include familiarity with warehousing formats (like WA and VNA compared to the prevalent ground storage), with modern equipment, with IT systems (WMS, handhelds, RFID), industry-specific stocking and handling practices, and practices around safety and security of stock, the paper notes.
Better skills will decrease India's spending on logistics, which at 13 per cent of GDP, is higher than the developed nations. The reason for this has to be relatively higher level of inefficiencies in the system, with lower average trucking speeds, higher turnaround time at ports and high cost of administrative delays. The shortage of drivers is a big problem and remedial measures should be taken so that driving long haul trucks can be looked at as a career option. These measures include better pay, health insurance, employee facility and good treatment of drivers. Compared to the west, trucking as a career, has not really taken off in India. For that to happen, a radical overhaul in thought and prevalent customs is required.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Rise of Indian Infrastructure

India has a vast network of National Highways (NHs) totaling to 34,298 km connecting important towns cities, ports and industrial centres of the country. Industrialization of the country has induced a traffic
growth of 8-12 percent per year on many sections of National Highways and this growth trend is expected to continue. While the traffic on National Highways has been growing at a rapid pace, it has not been possible for the Government to provide matching funds due to competing demand from other priority sectors. This has led to a large number of deficiencies in the network. Many sections of the NHs are in need of capacity augmentation by way of widening grade separation construction of bypasses, bridges and expressways etc. Many bridges are in need of replacement. The traffic movement on NHs is also hindered due to a large number of Rail-Road crossings where road traffic has to per force stop due to the frequent closures. The overall scenario on the highways has led to economic losses by way of longer turnaround time for the vehicle fleeting rising vehicle operating costs and dissipation of human energy in the driving. This calls for urgent remedial measures.

Road transport and road transportation are essential for rapid growth of an economy and is an important input in an economy which depends on the transport of people and goods. Transport costs reduction promotes specialization and extension of markets. Global competition has made the existence of efficient transport and logistics systems in delivery chain an absolute necessity. Easy accessibility, flexibility of operations, door-to-door service and reliability has earned road transport an increasingly higher share of both passenger and freight traffic compared to other transport modes. Road transport has emerged as the dominant segment in India’s transportation sector with a share of 4.5 per cent in India’s GDP in recent years (NRTP, 2008). However, the road infrastructure industry has become inadequate and is increasingly unable to meet emerging requirements on Indian industry and people. This is mainly due to the shortcoming of the road network in terms of mileage as well as quality. Overhaul of the infrastructure will go a long way in promoting efficiency of vehicles’ operations. Part of the problem also lies in the inability of service organizations, especially in the public sector driven mechanism, to deliver outcomes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Safety Precautions on the Highway

Highways are the most used mediums of Logistics and transport in India. Indian Highways are well connected but woefully wanting in quality. This poses a lot of problems to truck drivers and transport in general. Another important fall-out of the quality of Indian roads is the safety risk they pose to human life and businesses.  Global Status Report on Road Safety has reported that more people die in road accidents in India than anywhere else in the world. The report calls road fatalities an "epidemic" that will become the world's fifth biggest killer by 2030.

Accidents and highways have been synonymous for a long time now. This has a lot to do with the nature of safety precautions that are in place for trucks and drivers. Enumerated below are some of the precautions that truck drivers and any other motorist on the highway should observe.

Speed is one of the most critical factors that lead to accidents. The speed limits on the highways and other roads have to be strictly adhered to. These limits are for the driver's good, because excess speed and one other mistake may result in a pile-up on the highway which may claim many fatalities.

The attention of the driver is the key to a safe trip on the highway. The driver should get a good night’s sleep and shouldn't let his attention waver throughout the journey. There should be two drivers in the truck. Double-shift can be very dangerous as you can imagine a heavy truck with a dozing driver will definitely cause mayhem on the highway. Make sure that the drivers are free from any intoxicants. Alcohol increases the probability of accidents occurring to a large degree.

Poor infrastructure:
Bad infrastructure can also play a major role in causing accidents. Sub-standard roads, potholes, cracks and un-maintained roads increase the risk if an accident occurring. If the driver has to travel a badly maintained highway, he should pay attention to nature of the road always and drive as carefully as possible.

These are the problems that affect truck-drivers and fleet-owners and logistics companies from meeting their business targets. In the next article you will see how the infrastructure is actually improving and how in the coming years we will be at par with global standards.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Trucking Series

Challenges of Trucking

Driving a truck is both a dangerous and exhilarating job. It requires unwavering attention and warrants that the driver be a trained professional.  Driving a truck in India is a very challenging affair due to various factors like traffic, bad road conditions and anomalous weather conditions.  The average truck driver in India makes very less money compared to his counterparts in other countries like USA, Canada etc.
A truck is nothing less than a powerful vehicle built to negotiate the toughest road conditions and do this while carrying its load. The actual purpose of a truck is the transport of goods and every other use is basically just a by-product. It is imperative that the driver use his mental faculties to the fullest when negotiating a particular terrain. It is a very stressful life to be always on the road. Due to obsolete features in nearly decade old trucks, the safety of the driver is never guaranteed. This is why we hear about accidents on the highway involving trucks. Modern trucks like the MN 25 and the MN 31 give much needed relief for the driver due to the advanced tech that these trucks have. They have sophisticated design and are a breath of fresh air in the Indian trucking scene. 
It takes brave men to face such harsh conditions in order to transport their consignments. Their lives will be much easier if their trucks improve. This will ensure that they and their consignments are secure from accidents due to faulty design and obsolete features. The need for this is critical as we, as a nation progress ahead technologically. There should be no more dependence on the old. Even though they might work it is never okay to put a human life at risk. Every truck driver should have access to the better vehicles and a secure future. This is your decision.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Trucking Series

The History Of Trucks

Trucks have always played a major role in the economic progress of any region. They are the backbone of the supply and demand ecosystem. Heavy trucks are not only used for transport, but are also used in intensive operations like mining and construction. We can only fathom how challenging it might have been for industries before the advent of trucks and railroads. While we ponder this, we will now go over the history of trucks and see what innovations and progress has changed the way we perceive these machines.

After the advent of the internal combustion engine, pioneering efforts were put into the development of an automobile that could transport people. A natural by-product of these developments was the transport of goods. But for the transport of goods by automobiles to be practical, many changes had to be done to the design and technical aspects of the combustion engine. The specifications for the engine had to be scaled up, while keeping in mind the optimization of fuel consumption. The body of the automobile had to be designed in a way that it could sustain the transport of heavy goods to the desired places. Early models were very crude and could not transport much, but in these models you can see how the foundation was laid for modern trucks and their capabilities. Over the years, the sophistication of the engine increased along with optimization of the fuel consumption and steadily the trucks were able to transport more goods. The continuous innovation and technological advancements helped paved the way to the future. During the World Wars, supply and demand for almost everything increased many fold. This was the impetus that the truck manufacturing companies needed to create trucks that could handle much more storage material and could handle any terrain that was thrown at them.

Modern trucks are at the zenith of perfection that our advanced technology can provide. The performance is stellar and awe-inducing especially in retrospect, when you think of trucks in the past. One more important factor is the level of safety that has been achieved in modern times. Early trucks weren't safe at all. After a lot of careful research into this field, modern trucks now are safer than ever. Our trucks here at Mahindra Navistar are the result of this hundred year old collaborative effort and hard work by many pioneers in the field. This truck can now be yours. A hundred years in the making so that your needs will be taken care of efficiently.