Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Respect is everything – Life of a trucker in India

Some of us have a fixed perception that truck drivers are reckless and are solely answerable for the numerous misfortunes each year.

But very few people know how much courage it takes to be a truck driver in our country. The deplorable work conditions of drivers in our country increases their stress.

Truck drivers in our country are never treated with the respect they deserve. Compared to other developed countries, truckers in India are poorly paid and truck drivers are often portrayed in a negative light in the media as well.

Rules and regulations have been set up by the Government but improper implementation of laws has led to the unfortunate condition of truck drivers. Laws have been set under the Motor Vehicles Employees Act of 1961. 

According to these laws, a truck driver is eligible to a minimum salary of Rs. 5,000 and protection and some benefits in case of accidents. But in reality drivers are paid anything between Rs 1000 and Rs 3000. Truck drivers have to work for particularly long hours with only single night breaks in the middle of trips that can stretch over days.

It is a common exercise amongst transport enterprises to over-load trucks which again creates risks of overturning trucks. They are often forced to work by imposing political pressure and threat of violence. Drivers who try to associate with the union are fired, threatened and beaten up.

Truck driver's are the most significant part of this country's transport industry. Due to all the organizational problems they face, they turn to reckless driving and this in turn leads to unfortunate mishaps. 
We can avert the loss of innocent lives by improving the working conditions of these drivers.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fuel prices – No longer Ok!

The Indian trucking industry has seen some development in the last few years. This sector however will soon face driver scarcity due to its rapid growth. The major concern that this sector faces today is the hike in fuel prices.

The latest hike in fuel prices is posing a threat to the trucking industry. While corporations in this business are providing for an increase in loads and volumes, the fuel hike is affecting them immensely. Small trucking establishments are shutting down on the primary reason of increased fuel costs. For these firms higher fuel prices translate to an increase in their charges, which in turn pushes trades away. Many corporations have specified that the rise in fuel prices have caused them to decrease their vehicles in the fleet as well.

Another consequence of the rise in fuel charges is the cutting down on drivers. The proprietors also are expected to suffer with the fuel hike as it will reduce the earnings of those who work on a percentage basis. The price hike will eventually lead to a domino reaction, negatively impacting other trades in the commerce chain as well.

If this administrative calamity keeps on growing in the country, it will upset the chain of demand and supply and the fuel costs may rise even higher. The working of many trucking corporations will be disturbed and their expenses are likely to be adjusted with a reduction in trucks. For an economy already in the midst of a tough period, handling this issue will prove to be extremely challenging.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mahindra Navistar – Driven By Excellence

The revolutionary Mahindra Navistar trucks, manufactured by the Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd. (MNAL) are now on the roads. At Navistar, it is of paramount importance to provide remarkable performance resolutions to all our consumers through Mahindra’s expertise and finesse.
Mahindra Navistar users give testimony to these claims. Hear it straight from them:
  • “I have been using MN31 for past 3 months now and it has covered 17000 kms. The performance of MN31 is extremely good and gives me one and a half month additional earning. We are getting excellent output & mileage and also happy with the service provided by Mahindra Navistar. We are proud to own the MN31 and have already started recommending it to fellow transporters” - Rakesh Kumar Raushan, Ajeet Bricks, Muzaffarpur.
  • “I have been using MN31 for the last 3 months now covering 22000 kms. My MN31 is giving me a better fuel average compared to other vehicles in my fleet. The maintenance cost is also less as the Mahindra Navistar Service team takes good care of my vehicle. Drivers feel it easy to maintain the cabin since it is spacious, easy to clean and easy to do daily checks. On account of all this, I earn more profits on my MN31 compared to other vehicles in my fleet. I am happy with the performance and would surely recommend it to truck owners who want to get more profits out of their trucking business” – Anjani Roadways, Jaipur.
  • I have more Peace of mind with my MN31 vehicles as the trucks do not trouble me on Maintenance and mileage. My truck drivers are happy to drive them as Mahindra Navistar trucks have a spacious and comfortable cabin. The trucks are easy to maintain and more Safe in terms of braking compared to other vehicles in my fleet.” – Vinay Pratap Singh, Jai Maa Transport.
  • “My MN25 has covered a total of 15000 kms. I am very happy with the performance of the truck and now planning to purchase 3 more MN25 trucks. I am pleased by the support of the Mahindra Navistar service team. The vehicle is easy to maneuver and hence my drivers can travel long distance without much physical fatigue. I am very proud of the results produced by the vehicle and will definitely recommend this to fleet owners who are ready for a change.” –Manager, Vanitha Transport, Chennai.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Safety Regulations Puzzle School Authorities

Schools in Maharashtra are uneasy executing the Regulations Act for School Buses issued by the Government under the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles (Regulations for School Buses) Act 2011. School authorities are apprehensive about facing several obstacles like finding the right bus operatives, listing information about pupils and above all convincing the parents.
Although several school authorities have discussed the school bus safety policy, they are still confused about its implementation, as the additional fee is of concern to most of the parents. 
They have tried to persuade parents to opt for the school bus, a safer option as compared to overcrowded BEST buses and autos. A lot of money is spent on private vans as well, the safety of which is often questionable. 
Parents must pay closer attention to these problems. Issues of safety and security concerning their children must be given paramount importance.
The Government’s decision to issue the school bus safety policy has certainly been a positive step ahead. Some schools, however, are criticizing the Government for the burdensome process of gathering data and completing the student documents prior to the start of the academic year. 
Schools are finding it time-consuming and taxing to accumulate all information about the students, especially since getting in touch with them is tough during vacations. 
Nonetheless they are finding proper bus operators that obey to all the rules prescribed by the Government.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Indian Truck Drivers: Do they drive in Peace?

Road Transportation is one of the major channels that accelerates the productivity and economic development of our country. It also plays a vital role in bringing about the progress of isolated districts by introducing them to trade and incorporating them into the mainstream economy. In spite of its major significance to the transport division in the country, it has received negligible consideration. The absence of a favorable transportation infrastructure and the shortage of finance from the administration has been the root problem challenging the road cargo sector.

There are about 5 million truck drivers in the country who contribute to keep the economy moving but have to put up with tragic living conditions. They do not have access to proper places to rest and have to submit to long queues at checkpoints.
Some of the major problems faced by these drivers that need the attention, not only of the trucking industry but also of the Government which promises development and progress in Road Transportation are:

Overloading – The truck managers overload the trucks to save capital as transportation costs increase if the trucks carry only the permissible load. However the Government has recently issued a ban on overloading and this problem will soon be solved.

Absence of Rest Rooms and Toilets for Drivers – Basic facilities of rest rooms and toilets are not provided by the authorities for these drivers. They wait for days to get loaded or unloaded at factory gates, yet simple amenities like these are not made available to them. They resort to bathing on the road and eat unhealthy roadside food which takes a toll on their health.

Timely Checks on Trucks - Trucks should be checked for the proper functioning of headlights, brake-lights, indicators and reflective triangles. Only trucks with equipment in sound working order should be made permissible for use by the authorities to prevent accidents on the highway.

Training for Drivers - Training institutes have been set up to train drivers for safe and cautious driving habits. Mahindra Navistar has set up various training points to train the drivers for effective driving in order to conserve fuel.

The problems faced by this division are diverse and the issues require multiple solutions. The Government is taking steps to restructure the road transport sector. Mahindra Navistar has already initiated the development project by introducing efficient trucks and training institutes which provide proper training to the truck drivers. The Government too is taking an initiative towards the better development of the highways for hassle-free transportation.