By Luis Marques, Sales and Marketing Manager, Meritor Brazil
If you had a chance to travel with a truck driver across Brazil’s vast landscape, you’d quickly realize you’re far removed from the ride on an American-style interstate highway or Germany’s Autobahn. Truckers here face difficulties that drivers in the United States or Europe likely would never encounter. But Meritor Brazil is smoothing the road ahead for them.
Only 12 percent of highways in Brazil are paved, which impacts suspension systems, axles and other parts. Not only are the roads tough to navigate, but also many of the trucks themselves are ancient by normal standards. In Brazil, 55 percent of all commercial trucks are operated by individual owners, rather than fleets. The average age of all trucks in the country is 16 years, but autonomously owned vehicles average 21 years old. Fleet vehicles average 9 years old, compared with 7 years in the United States.
All this makes the trucker’s job challenging, and it means Brazil offers a huge potential for fleet renewal. Economic conditions in the country have deteriorated, however, and autonomous drivers simply can’t afford to buy new trucks. Over time, their trucks guzzle ever more fuel and emit more pollutants.
But Meritor, working with other suppliers in the Brazilian Association of Automotive Components Manufacturers (Sindipeças), has proposed to the government a national program to renew the fleets. Most autonomous drivers don’t have enough credit to purchase a new vehicle, but the proposed program would help them buy used trucks from fleets and grant a credit for the sale to fleet owners. We at Meritor are convinced that this type of program is essential to keeping Brazil’s truck transport system up-to-date and competitive.
Today we’re helping truckers manage Brazil’s rugged road conditions by providing a range of systems across the country. Meritor has been an important presence here for 58 years, and now we supply axles for half the trucks and buses produced in Brazil.
Recently, Meritor introduced its 17X and 18X axles in Brazil. These latest rear-drive, laser-welded axles are 30 percent more durable than earlier systems, and they can carry heavier loads with greater efficiency. Meritor products will go a long way toward helping the Brazilian trucking industry manage the challenges down the road.
For more information about Meritor Brazil, please visit our website.