Supplier: Caterpillar of Australia
01 June, 2008
The performance and versatility of Caterpillar's new E-Series range of backhoe loaders' has been widely embraced as owners realise productivity gains in applications across Australia.
"We used to hire machines for our contracts and were paying a lot of money every month so we had economic reasons to look at buying our own backhoe," Grant said.
"And now it is quickly paying for itself and we've got full access to the machine when we need it."
In the Pilbara, parts and service support is essential as the harsh conditions can take a toll on equipment.
"We'd hired Caterpillar machines in the past and we looked at other brands and while some of them might have been cheaper, our experience coming from other contractors was that they were on their own if something went wrong."
Grant said he chose Caterpillar because so he could rely on the strong dealer support from WesTrac. "Caterpillar has got the service and support advantage," he said. "A lot of contractors and mine sites use Cat equipment so it is easier to get the parts and service we need. We're not that mechanical ourselves so we need the support," he said.
"At the end of the day we need the machine to be operating - you'd soon burn a hole in your pocket if they're not and we've got wages to pay and contracts to finish so we need the reliability."
The Cat 432E features a new load sensing, flow sharing hydraulic system to deliver full implement force regardless of the engine speed.
Standard in the all-wheel drive configuration, the 432E's travel speed of up to 40 kmh allows quick movement between sites.
After hiring machines since establishing his two year old concrete and civil contracting company, Grant said the new E-Series performance and features were very evident compared to the older models on the hire fleet.
"There's a noticeable difference in breakout force on the new model and the cabin is much roomier. There's a range of improvements all round.
"It has good vision for the operators and the air conditioning is very good - it'll be the place to be in summer up here," Grant said.
Operators will benefit from the new excavator style joystick controls fitted as standard requiring only low effort to reduce fatigue and allow day-long productivity.
Operator visibility has been enhanced with the pod style control panels and no rear console while comfort levels are elevated with increased interior space, air suspended seat, tinted windows and adjustable air-conditioning and improved venting.
Because of the remote locations of Kustom Concrete's work and the need for operational independence, Grant added a range of attachments and buckets to his 432E.
"We've got a set of forks, a hydraulic rock breaker and a post hole auger as well as five buckets," he said explaining the level of attachment versatility.
"Up here we do everything on mine sites from earthworks to civil construction jobs- whatever they need, and we plan to keep the machine for a while to get a fair run out of it," Grant explained.
"With the daily service checks, regular servicing and the dealer support, it should be all right," he said.
"The support we get from our dealer WesTrac, has been very good - I've rung them at all sorts of hours and weekends and there have been no worries every time we've needed something."
Currently constructing conveyor belt footings for Pilbara Iron's Yandi mine, located between Newman and Port Hedland, the 432E has been a wise investment and central to Kustom Concrete being able to take advantage of the mining boom, Grant said.
"The machine has been great and it is paying off for us," Grant said. "We're getting plenty of work out of it and while it was a bit of a risk for me buying our own machine, it is going very well."
For further information about the Caterpillar 432E Backhoe Loader, contact your local Cat Dealer or visit http://www.cat.com/