A ‘Rok’ solid future: Rokbak shares sustainability plan, latest technologies, and opportunities in Asia

The Scottish manufacturer of articulated haulers, Rokbak (formerly Terex Trucks), unveiled its new branding in September last year. The company talks to Southeast Asia Construction (SEAC) about the inspiration behind this new name, sustainability plan, latest technologies and growth prospects in the Asian market.

The ‘rock trucks’

“The Rokbak name embodies rock-solid strength, robustness and reliability – and our brand’s promise to always have the backs of customers,” explained Paul Douglas, managing director of Rokbak.

“Our customers were already referring to our haulers as ‘rock trucks’ so it made perfect sense. We consulted fully with our dealers and customers, and our team found the Rokbak name worked really well across all markets.”

Rokbak became a member of the Volvo Group in 2014, which allowed the company to make major improvements in every part of its business. “It has been a process of continual evolution. That’s why we felt it was right to recognise this evolution with a new brand name and to launch an exciting new chapter in our history,” said Mr Douglas.

“Whilst both haulers have a new colour scheme and Rokbak branding, they are still immediately familiar to our customers and retain all of their renowned tough design and level of performance.”

The two machines include the RA30, featuring a payload of 28 t (30.9 USt), and the RA40 with a payload of 38 t (41.9 USt). They are designed for the global market, manufactured at Rokbak’s factory in Motherwell, Scotland.

As part of the Volvo Group, Rokbak also puts emphasis on improving its environmental performance to achieve greater sustainability. “All electricity at our Motherwell factory now comes from renewable sources and we are currently switching over from gas heating and cooling to electric systems, and swapping diesel-powered forklift trucks to electric ones to decrease our carbon footprint even further,“ revealed Mr Douglas.

“In addition, the site is now practically landfill-free and we are actively working with suppliers to reduce the number of materials consumed in the first place.”

Mr Douglas highlighted that Rokbak is already starting to address future product roadmaps around its commitments to Science Based Targets (SBT). “This means a minimum 30% emissions reduction for our company’s operations by 2030 and zero emissions by 2040. The targets we have set ourselves at Rokbak are tough, but I believe they are achievable.”

Indonesia is a ‘key’ market

According to Lee Irving, regional business manager for Asia Pacific/Oceania at Rokbak, the company has made its first delivery to Asia Pacific and expects to ship more haulers to the region this year.

The RA30 and RA40 are capable of working on various projects, such as wind farms, tunnelling, mining and other infrastructure developments. “Rokbak’s network of dealers in Asia are confident in our rock-solid haulers,” said Mr Irving.

“Asia is definitely an important marketplace for Rokbak and is no different to our other target territories around the world – they are all equally important to us.

“We have built and developed strong working relationships within Indonesia, which historically has been a key market for Rokbak’s haulers. Many of these Indonesian-based trucks are working around the clock in tough conditions.”

More recently, prior to its rebrand, Rokbak was involved in a large tunnelling project in Hong Kong, which resulted in an order of a new fleet comprising 12 x 40-t units. “So that is another region offering real opportunities for our company,” noted Mr Irving. “Alongside that, we have a long-standing presence in Australia and New Zealand, and with the right partner, we are certainly open to expanding our current regional dealerships.” 

Speaking of challenges in the region, Mr Irving mentioned that Rokbak also experienced disruption caused by the Covid pandemic. “However, initial issues arising out of the pandemic were quickly and expertly mitigated.

“It was certainly frustrating not being able to hold face-to-face meetings in Asia at the height of the pandemic, but that is all hopefully set to change. Overall, we have experienced less disturbance than many other companies in the industry and demand for our rock-solid haulers remains very high – that’s a pretty good position to be in I would say.” 

Rokbak will continue to supply machines globally from its Motherwell facility, according to Mr Douglas. “Our haulers have been made in Motherwell for some eight decades and we intend to continue operating from there for a long time yet.

“With the backing of the Volvo Group, we have invested substantially in our factory to ensure it runs efficiently and effectively, while also providing our dealer network and customers with an excellent level of support and service.”

New hauler technologies

Mr Douglas further pointed out that over the past few years, Rokbak has introduced several new technologies with the aim of delivering new benchmarks in terms of hauler power, performance and reliability. These include the driveline and hydraulic control systems that extend oil maintenance intervals, a transmission retardation system, as well as exhaust brakes and multi-plate sealed brakes to support operator safety and wellbeing.

“The new transmission for the new RA30 provides extended oil maintenance intervals and improves shift quality via eight forward gears, whilst the complete drive train calibration reduces fuel consumption by up to 5% compared to the previous model,” explained Mr Douglas. “The RA40 has increased productivity and stability, minimising operator fatigue. Both haulers have also benefitted from a clever telematics system, Haul Track, which is available globally and as an option in the Asia Pacific region.”

On autonomous technology, Mr Douglas said, “Our parent company Volvo Group is a world leader in autonomous transportation, so there is no doubt in my mind that Rokbak will examine all such developments relevant to our business.

“Presently, as many customers demand higher levels of connectivity and automated functionalities, Rokbak’s Haul Track telematics system delivers these benefits. Connectivity improvements now extend to the latest on-board weigh systems and Haul Track transmits important production data.”

Mr Douglas stressed that there will be more innovative technologies and design improvements to the machines in the future. “This is key to our mission of building the industry’s most robust and reliable haulers offering high uptime and productivity.

“Our current range of haulers have proven to be a big hit with our customers, and we are focused on ensuring that our machines are the best in the business. However, we are always working and crafting to further improve, and when the time is right, I’m sure there will be a new generation of Rokbak articulated haulers - so continue to watch this space!”