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Last Mile Connectivity: How Three-Wheeler Cargo Trucks Score the Most

Published On May 06, 2016By Lisa Pradhan

As Indian economy grows and urbanization slowly creeps in to every nook and corner of the country, fast-moving consumer goods and essential commodities are booming in demand with each passing day. This increases the need for effective transportation solutions that have the capability to connect far-flung locations with the mainstream regions.

The growing dependency on last mile connectivity options is evident through the rising sales of three-wheeler cargo trucks. Sales in the segment grew by 5.27 percent in April-March 2015 over the same period the previous year. Let’s take a look at the reasons for the growing popularity of these agile, three-legged wonders.

1. Better reach at remote areas

Due to the improving road infrastructure, transporters have shifted to the hub-and-spoke model of conveying goods. Thus, heavier trucks now cater to the inter-city goods movement whereas intra-city, last mile connectivity to the innermost and narrowest bylanes is done by three-wheeler cargo trucks.

The compact size and easy maneuverability of these vehicles have made them the first choice of consumers in order to move goods on congested and narrow interior roads. Similarly, these smaller, yet powerful vehicles, are also favoured in rural areas due to the lack of adequate infrastructure facilities for bigger, heavier vehicles.

As three-wheeler trucks require more power for driving in rough road conditions and for loading more cargo, vehicles such as Bajaj Maxima C (447.3 cc), Piaggio Ape (395 cc), Lohia Humsafar Cargo (400 cc), and Atul Gem (435 cc) boast of rugged and powerful engines that guarantee maximum performance in the worst road conditions.

2. Easy navigation on inclined or narrow roads

Oftentimes, inclined or uphill trips require the driver to navigate off road conditions, especially in rural areas. In such cases, three-wheeler trucks come to the rescue. However, these trucks have the tendency to be overloaded and can topple over, thus for transporting goods under such conditions, vehicles require higher torque, more gradeability and larger wheelbase to prevent them from toppling over. With best in class specifications and high torque numbers, Bajaj Maxima C (23 Nm) and Piaggio Ape (22.2 Nm), are best suited to address transportation issues on inclined roads.

3. Higher turnaround time

For connecting remote areas and for the timely delivery of commodities, it is imperative that the vehicles clock in a better turnaround time (the total time consumed in the round trip of a vehicle). Engine power plays an important role in recording higher trips and thus add to the profit. In order to address this requirement, major brands are also increasingly improvising, hence, some of the three-wheeler cargo trucks in this segment such as Piaggio Ape, Bajaj Maxima C, Atul Gem and Lohia Humsafar Cargo come with power outputs of 9 bhp, 8.88 bhp, 7.5 bhp and 10 bhp, respectively.

4. Safer goods

Not only should vehicles reach the destination on time, they should also ensure the safe delivery of goods while promising a comfortable ride. Access to remote locations/villages is mostly through bumpy and uneven roads, and supension plays a major role in ensuring the safety of all kinds of goods ranging from consumer goods and construction materials to LPG cylinders and fragile items like egg crates.

Recognizing the importance of suspension in three-wheelers for last mile transportation, manufacturers such as Bajaj are bringing in innovations such as hydraulic rear shock absorbers instead of the standard rubber compression spring.

5. Easy ownership

Priced at much less than INR 2 lakh, three-wheeler cargo vehicles in India provide the cheapest means of effective and timely transportation. This, coupled with a higher engine life, good turnaround time and lesser maintenance costs make these vehicls an easy and preferred choice for customers in rural and semi urban areas.

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