Pressurized room with climate control houses pristine powertrain test bench.
Cashman Equipment is one of the first of 200 Caterpillar dealerships worldwide to receive Cat’s prestigious 5-Star Contamination Control Certification.
Achieving it required approximately 15 months of preparation, including the creation of a formal employee training program, an overhaul of every area of the rebuild center, development of multiple standard operating procedures (SOPs), and acute attention to cleanliness and organization.
One of the most basic selling points of Caterpillar equipment is that the machines are “built to be rebuilt,” according to the company. Customers are told they will get a second and even third life out of their machines at approximately 60 percent of the cost of buying a new piece of equipment.
These statements are qualified through the Cat Certified Rebuild Program, wherein the entire machine is disassembled down to the bare frame and each component (engine, transmission, powertrain, etc.) is examined and repaired or replaced. When finished, all Cat Certified Rebuild machines receive a new serial number and warranty -— something highly valued by customers. Not only is it virtually a brand new machine ready to work 100,000 or more hours, it also enhances the future resale value as compared to other machines of the same age.
Rebuilds are a fundamental part of a Cashman Equipment representative’s promise to the customer. However, Caterpillar studies show that 70 percent of all hydraulic component failures can be traced to some type of contamination. Even the tiniest amount of dirt, dust or other contaminants can wear down a component, potentially causing costly catastrophic failures on the job site.
This makes component contamination control in Cashman’s component rebuild center (CRC) one of the most crucial aspects of a rebuild. Caterpillar’s Contamination Control Compliance Program was created in September 2000, implementing a rigorous set of requirements and guidelines, complete with a Caterpillar audit, in order to ensure that the highest standards of cleanliness are met.
“Our Reno CRC is nearly 20 years old, and some of the surrounding facilities are over 30,” said Thomas Shrecengost, Cashman Equipment’s assistant general manager of service. “To say that it was challenging would be an understatement. Some employees didn’t even think it could be done. However, our Reno CRC team, with the support of nearly every other department at Cashman, was able to create processes and procedures that changed our culture. Because our expectations rose to Cat’s 5-Star level, so did our shop.”
During Caterpillar’s rigorous contamination control audit, 18 areas with five to 10 subsections were inspected, including the equipment wash facility, shop attributes, shop practices, hydraulic cylinder rebuild area, engine dynamometer testing, and more. Cashman Equipment was extremely proud to attain 97.3 percent on this evaluation. One auditor said, “Incredible change from 7/2013 and achieving [bulk fluids] cleanliness without kidney looping.”
“The heavy equipment industry landscape is changing,” said Mike Pack, president and COO of Cashman Equipment. “The service and support of a customer makes more of a difference today than it ever has in the past. Achievements like Cat 5-Star Contamination Control show our customers that we will keep changing and evolving to better suit their needs.”