Traditionally, exhibitions have always afforded the ultimate platform to introduce new products and solutions to the market. For Handax Machinery, Electra Mining Africa 2022 proved to be the ideal launchpad for the new Shantui DH13-B2 dozer. Suited for agricultural and small-scale quarrying applications, the new dozer has already generated significant attention from the local market, with at least six customers interested in taking the very first unit locally, confirms Du Toit.
The 130 HP class Shantui DH13-B2 dozer is a radical upgrade of the previous SD13 model. A major differentiator is the new hydrostatic transmission, which is a major upgrade to the previous model’s mechanical transmission. In addition, the new dozer employs a flexible and versatile Power-Angle-Tilt (PAT) blade, moving away from the traditional U-blade found on the previous model.
While hydrostatic transmissions are not necessarily new to the market, it is only in the last ten years that the migration to this type of transmission has taken root, and the reasons are simple: hydrostatic transmissions provide greater operational efficiency and make machine operation so much easier and smoother than the conventional mechanical counterparts.
One of the greatest benefits of the hydrostatic transmission, says Du Toit, is that it is extremely efficient. Hydraulic servo pressure and flow are based on demand, while the electronic control of the system adjusts travel speed and drawbar pull to match load conditions. If full flow and pressure are not required, the load-sensing system automatically dials back hydraulic output and conserves energy. Likewise, in low power demand situations, the pump can increase output and let the dozer move at high speed without increasing engine speed, resulting in greater fuel efficiency.
With the hydrostatic transmission, explains Du Toit, the engine generally operates at its most efficient power output, while the hydraulic pumps and motors constantly adjust to vehicle power and load requirements, thus ensuring optimal fuel consumption at all times.
“Shantui’s innovative hydrostatic drive optimisation technology achieves higher efficiency and energy saving. Customers can expect 10-15% fuel savings compared with the previous model and other mechanical transmission dozers of the same horsepower range,” explains Du Toit.
Another big benefit of the hydrostatic transmission, he adds, is smooth operations resulting from the absence of gears. Smooth machine operation means improved control of loads during straight-line dozing and especially during power turns, where the machines automatically increase throttle to maintain the dozer’s ground speed. Consequently, hydrostatic dozers have been proven to be significantly more productive in most applications compared with their powershift counterparts.
Because it is easier to operate, the hydrostatic transmission also helps novice operators become productive faster, and makes experienced operators even more productive, adds Du Toit. The transmission also comes with fewer components, translating into reduced cost of maintenance.
More value propositions
Another major talking point on the new Shantui DH13-B2 dozer is the innovative PAT blade, said to be the most versatile dozer blade on the market. It can angle and tilt in six directions. The versatility in movement makes it ideal for spreading soil and clearing debris. “Unlike the normal U-blade, which has limited movement, the PAT blade can swivel in nearly all directions, offering 25% better angling of the blade in the process,” says Du Toit.
Apart from new machine features, Du Toit tells Quarrying Africa that another value proposition is the favourable price point, which bodes well for emerging contractors in both construction and quarrying markets.
“Our price point is one of our key competitive edges in the market. Pricewise, we are 40% competitive than some of the so-called ‘premium’ offerings, yet we offer the same quality and features. Testimony to our confidence in the quality of the product is the two-year/4 000-hour warranty,” says Du Toit.
WATCH: Marcus du Toit, Equipment sales manager at Handax Machinery, explaining the key features and benefits of the new dozer.
More market share
With the arrival of the new DH13-B2, Du Toit is confident that Shantui will further gain more market share in the local dozer market. Since its arrival in the southern African market back in 2007, the Chinese maker has proved its mettle in this competitive market which has traditionally been dominated by premium OEMs.
In fact, Shantui is a force to be reckoned with in the global dozer market. With a whopping 60% share of its domestic Chinese dozer market, the company holds a 15-20% share of the global dozer market, confirms Du Toit.
In 2010, Shantui went on to become the largest producer by volume of bulldozers globally, making over 10 000 units that year, thus representing two in five crawler-type dozers produced in the world. Currently, the company produces in excess of 15 000 units a year.
“Locally, our market share continues to grow at a rapid pace. With the arrival of the new hydrostatic dozer, coupled with the competitiveness of our pricing, quality of machinery and aftermarket support, we expect to substantially increase our local market share in the next two to three years,” says Du Toit.
To further boost its aftermarket regime, Handax Machinery will embark on an aggressive rollout of service dealerships in the next 24 months. These will be established across South Africa and neighbouring countries, including Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, as well as Zambia and the DRC.