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Trading up for even greater productivity

Supplier: Caterpillar of Australia
01 June, 2008

New levels of performance and higher productivity has convinced Victorian based civil construction company, Mawson Constructions, to choose a new backhoe loader from Caterpillar's next generation E-Series range.

Located in the rapidly growing regional city of Shepparton, Mawson Constructions recently traded a Cat 432D model on a new 432E backhoe loader and placed an order for a larger 444E equal size tyre model at the same time.

Mawson Constructions' service manager, Chris Cornall, said the new E-Series had clear improvements on the previous model.

"The operators instantly noticed the performance increase - there's more horsepower to use and getting to and from job sites, the road speed is up as well which is good for us," Chris said.

"The new cabin does have more leg room which is noticeable in the changeover from loader to backhoe and the tilt down steering wheel is a great thing."

Also evident to Chris is the value of the load sensing/flow sharing hydraulics. "The operators will see the benefit of that as you can work two or three implements or functions at the same time and have good constant implement speed," he said.

"For us the digging capability is the most important characteristic on a backhoe loader - that and its speed in getting to and from the job site," Chris explained.

For the operators, the backhoe loader's ergonomic design and comfort features on the E-Series will allow them to do a full day's work without getting tired, according to Chris.

"Entry and exit is also important to us for health and safety reasons - you need to be able to get in and out of the cab without twisting your back," he said.

However, the company's main focus is on productivity. According to Chris, "the features are all important issues, but the key one is how much dirt it will dig in a day."  

Working on housing sub-divisions and commercial development sites the backhoe is essential in trenching and backfilling work, Chris said.

"The machine does a lot of trenching for services such as Telstra, power, gas and water as well as storm water on sites and supports our excavators by bringing in rock, gravels and sand for trench backfilling works.

"It's also very useful for getting into tight places where the excavator can't work," he explained.

The company traded their D-Series machine with just 4500 hours on the clock, having found the opportunity to trade up to the E-Series compelling. "It was really an opportune time to change out and update to the new model, " Chris said.

"We've got three backhoes and have a 444E ordered because we need a machine that is larger than a normal backhoe but still has the versatility, and (company director) Peter Mawson thought the 444E was the logical choice," Chris said.

While servicing is taken care of in the company's workshop by Chris' team, dealer support from William Adams, is crucial to Mawson's. "From time to time we've looked at other models, but we've found the Cat product works very well and at this point in time we've found that the service and support and spare parts availability plays a big part in our choice," he said.

"We have got to have machines operating because they don't make any money for you sitting in the workshop," Chris said.

Although Mawson Construction's 432E has little more than 200 hours on the meter, the company has noted the improvement between the D and E-Series machines.

"It is an improvement over the other model with more cabin room and better vision and the road speed is a benefit," Chris said. "The hydraulics are easy to use as far as function and feel goes - you can notice the benefits over the old model for sure."

For further information about Caterpillar’s E Series machines, contact your local Cat Dealer or visit http://www.cat.com/