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The Global UD Trucks Customer Magazine

#03 2013

LOOKING SHARP:

VOGUE LAUNDRY IN HONG KONG P04

Driver training in South Africa

P10

UD Trucks’ fuel-saving “rolling laboratory”

P19

Customized truck painting in Japan


Go out for a run. With tons of cargo on your back.

Discover a truck with endurance like a long-distance runner. The new heavy-duty hero Quester gets the job done efficiently and reliably. With versatility and carrying capacity for any type of mission, it cuts your costs and maximises your uptime. Get ready, set and go at udtrucks.com Quester. Made to go the extra mile.


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Feature Story

On the road with a UD driver trainer Derick Moima shows up-and-coming drivers how to save fuel in South Africa.

06 Putting customers first

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s customer and technical support director, I am very pleased to be able to introduce this issue of Roads. My team and I are chiefly responsible for solving technical issues on our customers’ trucks through troubleshooting. We travel often, which puts us where we most want to be: in touch with our customers. Every day on the job presents different challenges, and we often do not know what issues will be waiting for us when we arrive at the office. On the other hand, we get a close-up view of the needs of our customers in different markets, which is invaluable. Being directly involved with solving problems and ensuring uptime and customer satisfaction is what makes my job rewarding. Based on my knowledge of UD customers, I think I can say there is something for everyone in this issue of Roads. You’ll find a story detailing the ever-busy laundry business in Hong Kong, and another about the unique challenges of vehicle transportation in Indonesia. You can also ride along with a UD driver trainer in South Africa! A four-page special on Quester will supply everything you need to know about its launch, Fuel Coaching System, and all-important aftermarket support. And for people with an interest in Japan, there is a look at the Japanese entrepreneurial spirit, a story about precision custom truck painting and news about the Tokyo Motor Show. I hope you enjoy!

Marielle Edgren Director for Technical and Customer Support Asia Pacific Region

Cover Story

Looking sharp in Hong Kong: Vogue Laundry A look at the logistics of the laundry business in one of the world’s busiest cities.

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Event

The Tokyo Motor Show and The Dream Machine Under the theme of “Going the Extra Mile,” UD Trucks aims to impress at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, which will include the Quon Fuel Demonstrator, UD’s cutting-edge testing ground for fuel-saving technology.

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Innovation

Quester special Analysis of Quester’s global and Indonesian launch, the power of its Fuel Coaching System, and the significance of its aftermarket offer.

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Feature Story

Island hopping in Indonesia Join Parani, a freight-forwarding business, as it moves vehicles around Indonesia’s many islands.

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Production

Custom coats: Life in 2900 colors A visit to the UD Trucks’ Japanese paint shop in Ageo, Saitama Prefecture, reveals how highquality painting is achieved.

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Tradition

Shokon – The Japanese entrepreneurial spirit

Roads is published three times per year by UD Trucks Corporation udtrucks.com Publisher Per Sundström Per.Sundstrom@volvo.com Tel: +81-48-726-7601 Editorial Production Next Inc. roads@nextinc.com www.nextinc.com Tel: +81-3-6436-4270 Editor-in-Chief Kjell Fornander Executive Editor Tyler Rothmar Art Director Koichi Asano Production Manager Kazumi Umezawa Printed in Japan

An examination of the forces behind some of Japan’s greatest entrepreneurs, including UD Trucks founder Kenzo Adachi.

Contributors to this issue: Rob Gilhooly Rob Gilhooly is a Tokyo-based writer and photographer with 19 years experience in journalism and an MA in the subject. His photos and stories have appeared in publications around the globe.

Cover photograph: Gerhard Jörén

Gerhard Jörén

Jette Kristiansen

Swedish photographer Gerhard Jörén has spent the last 25 years in Asia covering news and features across the region. He currently lives in Bangkok.

Originally from Denmark, Jette Kristiansen is a freelance writer based in Cape Town covering African affairs for a range of Scandinavian magazines.


UD Trucks Southern Africa’s Derick Moima discusses how better driving can save large sums in fuel.

On the road with a

UD

driver trainer Text: Jette Kristiansen Photos: Toby Selander

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ne of my clients used to use 75 litres of diesel per 100 kilometers. After their drivers went on a training programme, their fuel consumption went down to 45 litres per 100 kilometers,” says driving instructor Derick Moima. Moima is one of UD Trucks Southern Africa’s trump cards. For 25 years, the last 13 with UD, he has taught generations of professional drivers how to drive trucks safely and economically. “I have my own local driving instructors, but when it comes to my most important clients, I turn to Derick,” says Willie Linde, dealer principal at BB Trucks in Middelburg, Mpumalanga. “I’ve known Derick for five years. Our friendship goes back to my days as National Sales Manager at UD Trucks. I know he’s very good at communicating with the drivers as well as with the drivers’ managers, our clients,” says Linde. Moima’s training sessions usually start with a few hours of theoretical training in the classroom followed by individual driving lessons that last between 30 minutes to four hours, depending on the driver’s needs. This is followed up by an individual report and a feedback meeting with the company managers. Occasionally, Moima has been known to follow some of his students in his own car in traffic, to see if they remember what he taught them.

Driving skills and fuel bills Moima’s main aim is to give his students an understanding of the most economical way of driving in

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terms of speed and load. “You must always use automatic [gears]. The manual gearbox is only for driving up and down a hill. To save fuel, you must stay at 80 kilometers per hour,” he cautions. Moima is an experienced man. He knows the trucking 02 business inside out. Not only does he know most roads in South Africa, but he also teaches in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola, Mauritius and Botswana. Being able to speak 12 languages doesn’t hurt either. “In places like Zambia and Zimbabwe, where the speed limit is higher than 80 kilometers per hour, it’s hard to convince them to drive slower. Also when they drive with a light load they want to go fast,” says Moima. At soft drinks manufacturer Twizza, they are discussing different methods to improve driving skills and achieve better economic fuel consumption. “The legal speed limit for trucks in South Africa is 80, so anything faster than that would be illegal anyway,” says Twizza Logistics Manager Wilhelm Lategan. “We have tracking devices installed in the trucks so we can follow every vehicle and monitor speed compliance. Since September 1 this year we’ve implemented driver briefing & debriefing for every trip, where we follow up on driver behaviour. We don’t accept any speeding. We’ve already seen improvement in driving patterns and I’m looking forward to seeing the savings on our fuel bill,” says Lategan. A lot has changed since Moima first started out as a driving instructor 25 years ago. The roads are better, but there is also much more traffic. The trucks are better, easier to drive and much more comfortable, but business is tough in many places, which means more pressure on the drivers. “This job keeps changing. It’s a new situation every year: new trucks, new rules, new people,” says Derick. And 01 that’s the way he likes it.

01. UD Driver Trainer Derick Moima explains fuel-efficient driving. 02. BB Trucks Dealer Principal Willie Linde with Derick Moima. 03. Derick Moima demonstrates the finer points of shifting.


Feature Story

“This job keeps changing. It’s a new situation every year: new trucks, new rules, new people.” Derick Moima

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Looking sharp in Hong Kong:

Roads checks in with Vogue Laundry to hear how they keep Hong Kong looking good on a commercial scale.

Text: Tyler Rothmar Photos: Gerhard Jörén

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Vogue Laundry


Cover Story

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ouching down into the heart of Hong Kong’s exuberant bustle, energy is everywhere. The pulse of commerce can be felt on the street and in the city’s restaurants and shops. Sixteen years after its return to China, however, Hong Kong is still getting used to the influx of new people, policy and business from the mainland. The city is perennially busy, and evidence of its constant growth and change is everywhere. As the famous skyline recedes in the mirror on the way to Tuen Mun in the New Territories, many of the trucks on the road are showing their age. Earlier this year, the government announced HK$10 billion (about $1.3 billion) in subsidies to encourage owners of some 80,000 outdated commercial vehicles to update to more fuel-efficient and lowemission models. Despite air quality and other challenges that come with growth, there is a palpable optimism, an upbeat feeling that it will all come out in the wash.

Enter Vogue Located in Tuen Mun, Vogue began as a small retail shop doing laundry and dry cleaning. Next year, it will celebrate its 50th anniversary. From humble beginnings, Vogue has grown into one of the largest commercial laundry companies in Hong Kong, and counts major hotels, clubs and airlines, including parent company Cathay Pacific, among its customers. As with any large city, laundry is big

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business. “Some old-style hotels still maintain in-house laundry facilities,” says Manager Marketing & Sales Emily Kam. “But as space is at a premium in Hong Kong, most of them outsource their laundry services.” To keep customers happy, Vogue concentrates on the quality of its cleaning services and the efficiency of its network of pickup and delivery teams. Keeping the hotels, restaurants and airlines of Hong Kong looking good is an important job that keeps everyone on their toes.

Challenges “Manpower is very expensive here,” says Logistics Manager Alan Yiu. A statutory minimum wage of HK$30 (about $3.80) has been in place since May 2013, intensifying already fierce competition for skilled, licensed drivers. In classic Hong Kong style, workers often “shop around” for the best employment conditions, and turnover is high. Vogue’s fleet is comprised primarily of UD trucks. “I enjoy driving them,” says Chak Hung, a 10-year veteran Vogue driver whose routes change from day to day according to customers’ needs. “The trucks are very stable, regardless of whether they’re empty or full, and the cab is quiet and comfortable.” Vogue observes a strict environmental policy; it was among the first companies in Hong Kong to have a 10-ton Euro 5 emission standard-compliant truck, and drivers like Chak Hung are careful never to let the engine idle. Another challenge comes in the form of route planning. “Each customer has their own unique scheduling needs that we need to meet for collection and delivery, and this means very careful planning to make sure we’re running efficiently,” says

Yiu. “Sometimes those details change, and when they do, everything needs to be juggled and reorganized. Our organization never stops. It runs 24 hours.” Each truck’s daily route takes it over about 200 kilometers of Hong Kong’s roads. Add to this other variables such as traffic jams and typhoons, and the magnitude of Yiu’s task starts to become clear.

Not uniforms, “Collections” The Chinese government’s recent relaxation of visa regulations for people from the mainland has led to a sharp increase in hotel occupancy. “There used to be a ‘summer peak’ when the numbers of tourists were

Vogue Laundry Service Limited Total employees: About 600 Pickup & Delivery Staff: 57 drivers, 100 delivery staff Number of trucks: 27 Relationship with UD: Vogue Laundry has used UD trucks for 20 years. Currently, 80% of its fleet is UD, primarily the GVW 10.4-ton MKB. Volume: About 75 tons, or 270,000 individual items, each day Retail shops: 9 on Hong Kong Island, one each in Kowloon and the New Territories

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Cover Story

highest,” says Kam. “After that, we had two months to rest a bit before gearing up for Chinese New Years. Now, there’s no time to rest. Our customers’ hotels are constantly full and we work around the clock.” This spike in tourism has meant more money for the major hotels, many of which have since undergone renovation and other overhauls, including uniforms. Kam explains: “In some cases, it’s not even called a uniform. Real designers are hired for the staff’s clothing. Rather than a uniform, they refer to it as a ‘collection.’” Such ‘collections’ are often made from unique fabrics and have special cleaning

requirements, especially for kitchen staff, whose uniforms are white and thus most vulnerable to the kind of staining that can only happen during food preparation. Specialization at such delicate cleaning is one of the reasons Vogue has been able to thrive.

01. Veteran Vogue Laundry Driver Chak Hung on his daily rounds. 02. Left: Emily Kam, Manager, Marketing & Sales; Right: Logistics Manager Alan Yiu. 03. A Vogue Laundry vehicle makes its rounds.

On the up and up With plans to move to a new facility in 2016, including investments in new cleaning technology and the capacity to process a larger volume on a daily basis, everyone at Vogue is excited about the future. “Hong Kong is growing, and we aim to grow along with it,” says Yiu.

“ Each customer has their own unique scheduling needs that we need to meet for collection and delivery.” Alan Yiu, Logistics Manager

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The

Dream Machine Text: Tyler Rothmar

In November, 2013, an exciting project made a dramatic debut at the Tokyo Motor Show: the Quon Fuel Demonstrator, an experimental truck at the forefront of the fight to keep fuel costs low.

A

aerodynamics data, reducing the need for an expensive wind tunnel—“which helps to improve the aerodynamics of the lower part of the truck. Now we have a much better idea of how to optimize this area.” The project was undertaken two years ago with the stipulation that the changes had to be practical, which is to say, realizable, on a normal truck. The Quon Demo is a 12-meter, 6x2 CD, a segment that is central to UD Trucks. “If it was so long that it exceeded the 12-meter regulation, the shape of the cab would have to change. There would be a nose, for example. But we didn’t take this approach because we wanted to stay within the frame of the current regulations, and because of the limited scope of the project in terms of budget and time. So we focused on what real differences we could make within that frame.” Yet there is more to the innovation of the Quon Demo than meets the eye. While the long skirts serve aerodynamic considerations,

t a glance it’s clear that this is no ordinary truck. The shapes of the wind deflector and front spoiler have been optimized, and low-hanging skirts flank the wheels. “The basic idea is to make the truck more fuel efficient, and one of the methods is to reduce aerodynamic drag, hence these changes,” says Vehicle Productivity Manager Elie Garcia. The Quon Demo is a dream machine of sorts, what Garcia and his team call a “rolling laboratory.” On it, the most ambitious ideas at the vanguard of the pursuit of optimal fuel efficiency are tested. Those that are proven get tempered by real-world conditions in various segments and incorporated into the trucks we see each day. Garcia, an engineer, started his career working for the Volvo “ When you work with fuel consumption, if Group in Lyon, France, in 1999. The cutting edge is always moving you want to reach over 10 percent reduction, forward, he says, and he has seen it come a long way. “A long time you have to work on everything.” ago, we didn’t use extensively what we call Computational Fluid Dynamics,”—a computer simulation that can measure and compare Elie Garcia, Vehicle Productivity Manager

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Event

Tokyo Motor Show: Pulling out the stops Since 1954, the Tokyo Motor Show has been a worldwide draw for customers, makers and journalists, making it an excellent opportunity for UD Trucks to showcase its products, vision, attitude and efforts to past and potential customers alike. Text: Kjell Fornander

“O 02 01. The Quon Fuel Demonstrator, ready for action.

01

02. Vehicle Productivity Manager Elie Garcia

they are quite heavy, which decreases the truck’s overall payload. To offset this drawback, the 11-liter GH11 engine, which would normally power a truck of this size, is replaced by a smaller 11-liter displacement engine. Drivability remains high due to sequenced dual turbo chargers that supply the engine with enough air to make up for the power difference between the models. “In other words,” explains Garcia, “the engine has less weight, nearly the same power, optimized fuel economy, and of course less cost.” The overall aim is to achieve over 10 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, a daunting goal to say the least. The team’s ambitions are driven in part by anticipation of the next wave of Japanese emission regulations, which will arrive in 2017. “When you work with fuel consumption, if you want to reach over 10 percent reduction, you have to work on everything. Some items are only worth 0.1 percent – but we still work on them. Put them together, and the effect is significant,” Garcia explains. “We’re testing and learning, and this truck will actually run on the open road. Some of the features are excellent, really profitable. Others are more expensive and don’t pay off so well, and we let them pass. This is true research and development, so it’s very exciting.”

ur theme for the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show was “Going the Extra Mile.” We wanted to deliver two important messages: First, our new vision and customer approach. Second is our focus on helping the customer in their quest for profitability,” says Nobuhiko Kishi, Vice President of Product Strategy at UD Trucks. For customers in mature markets, a Quon truck was on hand to represent UD’s commitment to keeping operation costs low. “Quon is a very precise tool made for mature markets,” explains Kishi. “It was designed for very specific efficiency requirements in targeted markets such as Japan.” Interactive stations allowed visitors to experience how Quon’s celebrated ESCOT-V (automated manual transmission) works and the benefits of Nenpio, a guidance system that helps drivers to operate in the engine’s optimum revolution range. “With Nenpio, it’s easily possible to improve fuel consumption by up to 20 percent,” says Kishi.

Meet Quester A Quester truck was present for customers from UD’s growth markets. “Quester is developed and optimized for growth markets and the various road conditions and applications that occur there,” notes Kishi. Available in seven configurations from 4x2 to 8x4 with a variety of engine and gearbox options, the new truck’s high level of customizability makes it a game-changer in Asia. “The traditional view is that UD is fuel efficient and reliable, and this is true. But at this Tokyo Motor Show, we wanted to let people know about our longstanding commitment to innovation and to giving customers the most up-to-date tools with which to be profitable,” says Kishi.

Nobuhiko Kishi, Vice President of Product Strategy

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Quester:

The first impression Text: Kjell Fornander

01. UD Global Brand head Loic Mellinand (in white) discusses Quester at the global launch in Bangkok, Thailand. 02. Top management unveils Quester at the Indonesia Mining Expo 2013.

Years of hard work and planning culminated in the week of August 26, 2013, at Quester’s global launch. Roads was there for an exciting program of presentations to journalists, customers and partners to record the new truck’s reception.

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fter more than three years of overall planning, what has been perhaps the most ambitious project in UD’s history was finally ready to be unveiled. A team of 400 people from 12 countries worked fulltime for more than three years on it; 1.5 million engineering hours and 65,000 testing hours were spent. Quester—the new heavy-duty truck range for growth markets, beginning in Asia—had arrived. The global launch in Bangkok, Thailand, kicked off with a high-tempo multimedia presentation for about 100 journalists from Asia, including Japan, Thailand, China, Malaysia and Laos, followed by

01 presentations for partners and customers. By week’s end, Quester had been introduced to more than 1000 key people through 11 stations grouped under four themes: Fuel Efficiency, Uptime, Modern and Efficient, and Quest for Quester, which covered the history and development of the project. So, what did customers really think? Did

Indonesian mining gets a boost After 30 years of history in Indonesia, on September 4, UD Trucks launched Quester at the Indonesia Mining Expo 2013 in Jakarta. UD Trucks turned a significant corner with the official Indonesian release of Quester’s 6x4 rigid and 6x4 tractor variants for mining and heavy haulage applications. With its driveline designed for mining and heavy applications, including a powerful 11-liter engine, the all-new truck is expected to replace the aging Legacy range over time in Indonesia’s robust mining sector. Quester will be distributed through United Tractors network across Indonesia. UD Trucks’ customers will be supported by an extensive network from United Tractors, which has been the distribution partner of UD Trucks in Indonesia since 1982. A wide variety of services and UD Aftermarket support will be available

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02 to customers to ensure an effective transport work. Strategically located authorized United Tractors branches have since been preparing to support Quester with an offer based on minimal operational costs, maximum fuel efficiency and uptime. To watch a video about Quester for mining, search YouTube for “UD Trucks proudly presents: Quester for mining.”

the message of fuel efficiency, durability and strong aftermarket support hit home? “For me, this is something that UD has never offered before, a real heavy-duty platform that offers various solutions to various customers,” said dealer Tan Keng Meng, executive director at Tan Chong Industrial Equipment Sdn. Bhd, Malaysia. John Benseman, head of Transport & Workshop at New Britain Palm Oil Limited, had come all the way from Papua New Guinea: “We don’t have any UDs today, but I’m considering it. It’s no secret that European trucks are getting more and more sophisticated, but all this technology increases the cost and adds problems with training and maintenance. “We have really bad roads in PNG, as bad as you can imagine. We have a lot of damage to our trucks. What we’re looking for is really a truck with the least amount of sophistication, still very durable and with good aftermarket support and backup.” Khamphone Sihalath, president of Pattana Construction, Laos, has been a UD customer for 18 years. He likes UD and finds it to be stronger than other brands. “Fuel consumption is number one for us, as fuel is a very big part of our total cost. Second is durability and aftermarket support. I must say I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Quester seems to be a real performance truck.”


Innovation

Quester:

Keeping drivers in touch Text: Tyler Rothmar

01. Volvo Group Driver Development Manager Per Bruun Hansen 02. The Fuel Coaching System’s paired indicator icons from left: In the sweet spot and near the sweet spot; increase throttle and decrease throttle, increase RPM and decrease RPM.

Thanks to technology, truck cabs are much quieter places than they used to be. Veteran driver trainer Per Bruun Hansen explains why Quester’s Fuel Coaching System replaces engine noise as the truck’s way of talking to the driver.

“I

n the old days,” says Asia Oceania region Driver Development Manager Per Bruun Hansen, “if there was a new truck, they just handed the driver the key, and 100 kilometers later, he would have it all figured out.” From training heavy-duty truck drivers for more than 15 years, Hansen has learned that many rely on their ears as well as their eyes when operating a vehicle. “Their productivity in terms of fuel economy is linked to noise. When the truck is noisy, productivity is high, because noise is feedback from the truck. The trouble

is that modern technology has made quieter trucks that have lower revolutions, in addition to good stereo systems,” says Hansen.

Life in the “sweet spot” To interface with modern trucks for optimal use, drivers need to be put back in touch with them. Quester’s Fuel Coaching System does just that. A computer analyzes factors such as speed, engine revolution and gear to calculate what’s called the “sweet spot,” or the optimum balancing point between engine productivity and fuel consumption. It then provides simple visual and audio cues to help drivers spend as much time in the sweet spot as possible. “Most transport applications are conducted in urban areas. If you’re driving from Sydney to Perth in Australia, staying in the sweet spot is not so difficult. But if you’re in a challenging, dynamic environment, whether it’s a mine in the mountains or in heavy traffic in a big city, this is where the Fuel Coaching System can be of most assistance to the driver,” says Hansen.

Data trail

01

In addition to providing real-time guidance for drivers, the Fuel Coaching System

02 records a variety of data including trip time, distance, fuel consumed and time spent in the sweet spot. The owner can download this data from Quester’s computers to analyze driver performance and track improvements over multiple trips. “The system is ultimately a tool for getting the driver in tune with the truck,” says Hansen. “After a while, they’ll learn where the sweet spot is, and the system will become a sort of backup.” Dedicated use of the Fuel Coaching System can result in anywhere from a 5 percent to a 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption, depending on the skill set of the driver. During a weeklong “trainer training” seminar in Thailand in early September, an informal contest was held on the first and last day. “I was really amazed at the difference this system made over just three days,” says Hansen.

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Quester:

Aftermarket

matters

Text: Tyler Rothmar Photos: Gerhard Jörén

“A truck is a tool,” says François Bottinelli, “and you need to go to professionals if you wanted to keep it sharp.” He sat down with Roads to explain his thoughts on Quester’s unique aftermarket offer, the benefits of Volvo Group Trucks technology and improving service through investing in people.

“W

henever there is a new truck like Quester, people are always eager to see it, so the look of the truck is of course very important,” says Bottinelli, who is UD Trucks’ senior vice president of Aftermarket & Soft Products. “It is only later that the thought occurs, ‘Wait a moment, I need to buy parts, I need to pay for maintenance!’ This is aftermarket, and this is what will make the difference in the long run.” The value of aftermarket packages is well established in Europe, and although countries such as England and France differ somewhat in their levels of aftermarket use, it is generally understood among truck owners that buying into aftermarket support is worth their while. “Growth markets in Asia have traditionally been a bit different,” says Bottinelli. “There has been more of a do-it-yourself attitude. What we really want

to communicate is that Quester’s aftermarket offer is affordable and will save the customer money in the long run through better fuel consumption and significantly extended service intervals.” With a base assumption of 120,000 kilometers per year, where a legacy truck needed maintenance every 10,000 – 15,000 kilometers, a properly serviced Quester will only need it every 40,000 kilometers. Put another way, service intervals can be reduced from six to eight times per year to three or four, depending on the application. This translates to a real increase in uptime for customers. How is this kind of increase possible? The difference lies in Volvo Group technology, logistics and processes.

Group tech, Group service “The fact is, the Group has invested heavily in the Asia-Pacific region,” Bottinelli explains. “We have

François Bottinelli: Investing in people

François Bottinelli’s career in the truck business began in 1991 in Austria. After graduating from business school, he struck out with the hope of becoming involved in marketing and sales. Upon arrival in Austria, his boss instructed him to remove his tie in favor of a pair of blue overalls and tasked him with his first

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duty: a full transfer and overhaul of a parts warehouse. With this baptism by fire, he became a salesman at the age of 22. “You have to do this kind of thing to be consistent when you talk to customers, to be respected. You have to know the business from the ground up and know that you can have all the best marketing surveys and platforms, but in the end, you have to convince somebody with your guts, with sincerity,” he says. “From this I learned that the truck business is a very interpersonal one.” Bottinelli worked for Renault Trucks in the export and sales business in what were then emerging and growth markets in Eastern Europe for seven years. Next he spent some years in business consulting,

which gave him a chance to explore how other industries address the all-important question of service. He then returned to the truck industry in 2002 and ran the biggest Renault Trucks private retail group with 25 dealerships in both France and Poland. “Those were the good years, 2004 through 2007—the market just kept growing. But then came the other part of my story, which was managing and minimizing the damage of the downturn that began in 2008. It was not easy.” From his experiences, Bottinelli says he has extracted a key lesson: “Always invest in people, and in the future. Because when it becomes difficult, where you have good people, you can hold out much better. This is especially true in aftermarket. It is crucial.”


Innovation

“ What we really want to communicate is that Quester’s aftermarket offer is affordable, will provide extra uptime to the customer and will save money in the long run.” François Bottinelli

increased the network density, either directly or with the support of our partners, and we will deliver our parts quicker with the support of our regional distribution centers. All of this will enable us to deliver better uptime to our customers, no matter where they happen to be.” UD’s commitment is evident in its decision to offer a full year of free maintenance with the purchase of a new Quester, which Bottinelli hopes will help customers in Asia’s growth markets to appreciate the importance of aftermarket and its money-saving potential for their

businesses. At the end of the first year, a flat-rate service contract including regular maintenance and repairs is proposed. The strength of Quester and UD’s aftermarket hinges on one key factor: the genuine parts for which the technology was designed. As Bottinelli explains: “Quester’s 11-liter GH11E engine uses Group technology, and it has the best fuel consumption in Europe. The statistics are very clear—but they depend on the uninterrupted use of genuine parts and service from genuine authorized dealers.”

One of the many aftermarket teams that form the backbone of the support network: Service Manager Pathomporn Phaefuen, center, and his team at the Saraburi multi-brand dealership located two hours outside of Bangkok, Thailand.

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Island hoppin in Indonesia

Text: Chris Taylor Photos: Gerhard Jörén

Among the fast-growing emergent economies, the world’s largest archipelago nation presents some unique logistics challenges in keeping up with the ever-expanding appetite for vehicles of Indonesia’s middle class.

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n a country as crowded and vast as Indonesia, Arief Rachman’s freight-forwarding business faces a host of obstacles, but none so formidable as what he and other locals call the “jumping badgers” of Sumatra, the equatorial island directly north of Java. “Thieves,” says Arief, with a rueful shake of his head and a quiet laugh. “They hide in the trees and jump down onto freight trucks to hijack them.” When asked if his company, Parani, has ever been a victim, he replies in the affirmative.

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“They took everything: the truck, the shipment of cars and the driver’s life.” Fortunately, it is a tragedy that has only occurred once—five years ago—in all Parani’s 50 years of business, but it is a reminder of the sheer size and “exotic” wildness of Indonesia, a necklace of some 17,500 islands that stretch 5,000 kilometers on either side of the equator. About 6,000 of those islands are inhabited, together comprising the world’s most populous Islamic nation, with around 240 million people. Even in Jakarta, the traffic-choked capital, the transport


Feature Story

g

PHILIPPINES

MALAYSIA

Jakarta

Surabaya

Mataram

INDONESIA A Pirani truck transports a shipment of new cars through the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia.

infrastructure is stretched to its limits, but in other parts of the country, while “jumping badgers” are rare, other unusual holdups for long-haul trucks are not: among them are marriage ceremonies and makeshift village markets, both of which can involve commandeering a remote stretch of road for hours at a time because the villagers regard the roads as part of their land. “We need to allocate time,” says Arief of the business he inherited from his father, which transports automobiles and motorcycles by truck from point of manufacturer, or port of arrival, to point of sales. “Drivers need two

days to reach Surabaya, 780 kilometers to the south [on Java, home of the capital, Jakarta], and four days to reach Mataram [on Lombok, 1,055 kilometers to the southeast].” At 45, married with one son, Arief lives close to his office. He is dressed in Indonesia’s national men’s attire—a casual, open-neck batik shirt and slacks. He gives the impression of a man completely in control of his business—a business that has grown in scope to encompass Indonesia’s rapidly growing automobile industry, with distribution networks stretching north and

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Feature Story

Pirani’s drivers spend long hours on the road and enjoy the comforts of UD trucks.

“ Parani has been the right company at the right time.“ south of the equator. “We have 650 trucks, and about the same number of drivers,” Arief says, adding that about 200 trucks in the fleet are UD trucks. “UD is an easy choice,” he says. “They make the drivers happy because servicing them is easy, and there are plenty of service points.” Parani has been the right company at the right time. Currently, it freights some 15,000 automobiles and 75,000 motorcycles per month. But with the Indonesian auto industry on the cusp of exponential growth, Daihatsu and Toyota are both offering near-identical five-door hatchbacks aimed at the economy automobile

market and perfectly suited to a populous, crowded market with a budding middle class. But growth means reaching east, to the remote but teeming and huge islands of Borneo (Kalimantan is the Indonesian Pirani head Arief Rachman in his office in Jakarta. sector) and Sulawesi. “We have a ship, and we have trucks waiting for the ship,” says Arief of this next frontier: populous islands, almost forgotten by the West, but still carrying a hint of the spice trade that set ships to sail from Europe, launching globalization, some four or five centuries ago.

Life on the road Driver Slamet Riyadi hails from Pemalang, East Java. He has a craggy smile and has driven the Jakarta-Surabaya route by truck more times than he can count. He’s also quick to sing the praises of UD trucks, the brakes, the seating, the comfort, how the truck performs on the road, the fuel efficiency—“And it has a radio!” The only thing he wouldn’t mind a bit more of, he says, is

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horsepower. At one point, on a hill on the road out of Jakarta, his truck, which is carrying eight Daihatsu Ayla hatchbacks, slows down to a 20-kilometer-per-hour crawl. He travels alone, two to three days to Surabaya with a full truck and two days back with an empty one. For as long as anyone can remember, it has been against the rules for Parani trucks to travel by night. Sometimes the slings and hooks that hold the cars in place develop problems, but he’s trained to fix them. Does he have a complaint? The roads: too many potholes—oh, and the horsepower, a little more would be good, but he’s mentioned that already, and he’s got a truck and eight cars to get to Surabaya.


Production

Custom coats:

Life in

2900 colors Roads visits the UD Trucks facility north of Tokyo for an in-depth view of UD’s famous truck paint jobs and the meticulous work behind it.

Text: Rob Gilhooly Photos: Jun Takagi A worker at the UD Trucks plant in Ageo, Saitama Prefecture, checks the accuracy of a paint design.

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T

here’s a look of satisfaction on the face of Tatsuo Saitou as he pulls open the doors of a grey cabinet and points to three shelves choca-bloc with green and blue files. He removes one and thumbs through the contents, which show printed diagrams of a variety of truck paint designs. There are, he says, 1900 and counting, each one unique. “There’s nothing we can’t do,” says Saitou, general foreman of the Body Section at UD Trucks’ facility in Ageo, Saitama Prefecture, as he casts an expert eye over the documents. “We have never once turned a customer away.” Right on cue, a buzzer sounds and Saitou gestures toward workers wearing grey caps and mint green jackets on the production line who are taping precision masking stencils on two Quon cabs. On the wall above them, monitors display computer-generated images of the designs they will produce during the penultimate phase of UD’s Genuine Custom Paint system. UD introduced its GCP in 2002 in an attempt to accurately and speedily replicate clients’ design requests. To date, the painting line at the company’s manufacturing facility in Ageo has furnished over 30,000 cabs, averaging at around 240 per month. According to Body Section Manager Kenji Odaguchi, the seeds of the GCP idea were sown when it was discovered that clients were taking their newly delivered UD trucks to be graphically embellished at independent body spray facilities. “The information coming in from clients was that the luster and quality offered by these places was

02

01

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somewhat lacking,” says Odaguchi, a 36-year UD employee. “What’s more, those factories would only paint the exterior of the cab, which convinced us we could offer a far superior level of quality.” This was demonstrated in the system’s ability to paint both the cab’s exterior and interior and by the vast range of colors available, which totals some 2,900 varieties. UD is also the only truckmaker to accept single unit orders, meaning clients, including a government ministry and a large express delivery outfit, don’t have to delay new truck requests to comply with the multiple order requirements of other companies, Odaguchi says. “There are companies who want to keep their truck designs constant,” he says, explaining why each design is documented for future reference. “This system allows us to respond to their expectations.” The system, says Odaguchi, was the outcome of

01. Moving right along: Truck cabs on the assembly line await quality inspections. 02. Precision taping done by hand accommodates a wide variety of highquality designs.


Production

04

“There’s nothing we can’t do. We have never once turned a customer away.” Tatsuo Saitou, Body Section General Foreman

05 04. A worker sprays a truck component by hand. 05. A worker looks for flaws under special lighting conditions approximating daylight.

03 03. Body Section General Foreman Tatsuo Saitou (left) and Body Section Manager Kenji Odaguchi (right)

UD’s carefully orchestrated integration of six companies dealing with domestic operations, production administration, painting technology, production control, order process control and that all-important place in Japanese manufacturing known as gemba, or “on site” -- in this instance, the factory floor. They worked together to create a total environment that could effectively respond to even the smallest orders. An important factor for gemba operators was the computer-generated design cut-outs that facilitated a drastic reduction in lead time – imperative when complying to single-unit orders. While some designs

can take as long as 18 hours to complete, other less complex ones can take as little as 30 minutes, Saitou says. “I don’t think it’s possible for other companies to replicate our setup,” he added. Part of the process is a meticulous inspection for flaws in the finish, mostly brought about by dust particles. Using lighting set at 1800 lux – which approximates daylight – gloved workers move around the cab and literally feel for flaws. What they don’t find through touch is uncovered using handy lights that further illuminate the contoured areas of a vehicle. The blemishes uncovered during this check, which is undertaken by staff who are tested monthly to monitor their flaw-detecting capabilities – are indicated by pieces of masking tape and subsequently erased by a hand-held polishing device. It comes as little surprise to hear that the monthly defect rate is a staggering 0.5 percent. Customer feedback has been extremely positive, and 80 percent of clients become repeat customers. “I think this system is a huge source of pride for the company,” said Odaguchi. “We demand the same paint quality as passenger vehicles, and we want our customers to understand that we work hard to maintain the high quality standards for which UD Trucks is known.”

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Shokon The Japanese entrepreneurial spirit In an ongoing series that looks into elements of Japanese culture, Roads examines a key Japanese leadership quality, shokon, the enterprising drive behind many of the nation’s most celebrated entrepreneurs, including UD Trucks founder Kenzo Adachi. Text: Mark Schreiber

A

ccording to the unwritten rules that govern major Japanese companies, presidents usually come from within an organization’s ranks. The Western practice of bringing in a leader from outside remains relatively rare. In Japan, presidents are typically a product of the particular corporate culture in which they have nurtured their careers for decades. Generally speaking, those who reach the top tend to get there via one of two paths: the engineering and technical side, or the somu or administrative side, including general affairs, personnel and accounting, which is thought to have an understanding of the organization’s human resources and financial strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of background however, such leaders tend to be endowed with the attribute known as shokon. The word is written with two characters: 商 (sho), meaning “commerce,” and 魂(kon), which means “spirit.” This crucial phrase is usually rendered in English as “entrepreneurial spirit.” The concept of shokon is inextricably linked to the Japanese economy in the postwar era, and gave rise to some of the largest companies of the last 60 years. Shokon is not limited to age, educational background or social class. It was present in Soichiro Honda, a bicycle repairman who went on to manufacturer motorcycles and cars. A navy engineer named Akio Morita, who set up a radio business that became a worldwide brand, had it as well. And it was shokon that drove Momofuku Ando to experiment in his home kitchen until he developed the edible and tasty instant noodles that are sold by the billions today. So it was, too, with Kenzo Adachi, the founder of

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UD Trucks. A former military pilot, he was convinced that Japan needed tough, reliable diesel trucks, and licensed the Krupp-Junkers engine patent from the German manufacturer. Within three years of his founding Nihon Diesel Industries Ltd., Adachi produced the 60-horsepower ND1, which powered the first-generation 3.5-ton capacity model LD1 truck he launched in 1939. At that time, Mr. Adachi personally joined other employees on a punishing 13-day test drive on some of Japan’s worst roads. When word spread of his hands-on efforts to prove his trucks’ durability, reliability and efficiency, customers took notice. Konosuke Matsushita, founder of the electric industrial group known today as Panasonic, was also a prolific writer and thinker who embodied shokon in his management style. In a book titled “Open the Way to Chart Your Destiny,” published in English in 2009, he wrote: “In our work there are various qualities that we try to cultivate, but surely the foremost is a sincere enthusiasm for what we do. Knowledge is important. Talent is important, but even without either of them, you could get the job done. With but minimal knowledge and little talent, if you were determined to complete the task, and filled with the determination to do so, you would ultimately be able to make the work come out well. . . Know-how and talent would be next to nothing without passion for work.” In short, shokon is much more than a campaign slogan. It is a view of business conduct that encompasses enthusiasm, pride in good work and making the customer feel good about doing business together.

Former pilot and UD Trucks founder Kenzo Adachi


Tradition

[Shokon]

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Run further with genuine oil

UD Trucks genuine lubricants are formulated for UD engines to ensure maximum protection for your truck. Their superior lubricating and cooling performance reduces your fuel costs thanks to lower friction and power losses. UD Trucks genuine oil filters deliver better protection against wear, corrosion and deposits. That means longer intervals between oil changes and, best of all, costs savings in the long run. UD Trucks. Going the extra mile.

Profile for UD Trucks Corporation

Roads #3, 2013 (Quester)  

This issue of Roads is a continuation of the previous one that focused on Quester. Don’t miss our four-page focus, from the first impression...

Roads #3, 2013 (Quester)  

This issue of Roads is a continuation of the previous one that focused on Quester. Don’t miss our four-page focus, from the first impression...

Profile for ud-trucks