Waste management gives impetus to truck sales in Abu Dhabi
Al Masaood Commercial Vehicles and Equipment secured a major share of the market in 2019 with large orders for Renault and UD Trucks.
The Abu Dhabi market for commercial vehicles is recovering and the outlook for 2020 is positive, according to Mohamed Al Zeftawi, general manager, Al Masaood Commercial Vehicles and Equipment, a division of Al Masaood Group which is the sole distributor in Abu Dhabi for UD-Trucks, Renault Trucks and Unicarriers Forklifts, and in the UAE for Oshkosh Fire Trucks and Shangrao Buses.
Mohamed’s outlook comes off the back of an increase in market share for medium- heavy-duty trucks in Abu Dhabi, particularly in the waste management sector, which has made up for lagging demand from the construction and long-haul transport sector.
“We’ve seen significant growth in the sales of waste management trucks in Abu Dhabi. Last year, we secured 40% of the waste management market in Abu Dhabi with Renault and UD Trucks. Our biggest deliveries was 122 units of UD Trucks to waste management service company Lavajet. We’ve also had the advantage of being able to upsell and cross-sell our offerings from all our automotive divisions,” says Mohamed.
Historically, Renault Trucks has dominated the waste management sector in Abu Dhabi, particularly with their 4x4 and 6x6 configurations. However, customer demand has been shifting toward the Japanese alternative, UD Trucks, for its ‘value for money’ proposition.
“Customers have responded well to UD Trucks customised for the Middle East markets. The Lavajet deal demonstrated that UD Trucks could be a major player in the waste management sector. The introduction of the 8x4 configuration by UD trucks has gained the attention of the construction sector, for mixer trucks,” says Mohamed.
New truck sales mark the beginning of repeat businesses from the waste management companies in Abu Dhabi because they replace trucks every five years, securing future business for Al Masaood. Currently, there are six major fleet operators in the waste management sector in Abu Dhabi and two operators in Al Ain. Each operator has a fleet of 100–160 vehicles that are up for replacement every five years.
“Waste management is a sustainable business for us because we sign contracts with our customers to replace their trucks every five years. This year, we’re preparing for tenders from four operators, two each in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, which are preparing for replacement of their fleet after five years. We’ve confident about winning them as we have positioned ourselves as a solutions provider for the waste management sector by providing 5-year (unlimited kilometres) bumper-to-bumper warranty and financial solutions on a case-by-case basis,” says Mohamed.
Mohamed explains why waste management trucks have a lifespan of only five years in Abu Dhabi when trucks used in other sectors are comfortably in operation for over 15 years.
“Trucks used for waste management are subjected to harsh environments, having to operate an average of 16 hours daily with a large number of ‘stop and move’ operations. This places heavy load on all components of the powertrain and brakes leading to rapid wear and tear. We are able to offer a five-year service contracts for all our trucks because the routes in waste management are mostly pre-planned and consistent,” he says.
After five years of operation, the waste management trucks from Abu Dhabi are either shipped to Africa or utilised for less intensive applications such as waste collection in small compounds and medical waste disposal.
“The majority of our customers have business in other markets, mainly Africa, where they can send their used trucks. For customers that have business only in Abu Dhabi, we facilitate the sale of used trucks to other markets in coordination with the local dealers of UD Trucks and Renault Trucks. We ensure that the trucks are well-maintained and that they have a good resale value after five years,” says Mohamed, who attributes it to Al Masaood’s after-sales services.
“It’s crucial that the customisations of the trucks are suited to waste management applications and that the superstructure and chassis are fully compatible. We help mitigate wear and tear of parts and driving errors by tracking driver behaviour, fuel consumption and idling with fleet management solutions for both UD and Renault Trucks. Driver training is another crucial aspect because it will have a major impact on the operating costs. We see increasing demand for fleet maintenance outsourcing, as fleet operators become willing to willing to enter into service contracts to manage their operating costs. Therefore, we are investing more in our after-sales offering with staff training, mobile services, workshop enhancements and 24/7 support to be closer to our customers,” says Mohamed.