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Cat, Trimble Form Joint Venture

Tue October 07, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Caterpillar Inc. and Trimble, which develops technology for mobile and work applications, created Oct. 6 a new joint venture company and a new distribution agreement.

The new company, VirtualSite Solutions, will integrate the deep expertise of both parent companies in the areas of product design and software development to transform the way contractors manage their businesses. The joint venture will create information rich worksites allowing customers to more efficiently and safely manage their equipment fleets, reduce operating costs and improve productivity in the area of fuel consumption, maintenance, worksite productivity and fleet logistics, the company said.

“Caterpillar products already feature a high level of advanced technology, which enhances customer productivity and sustains our environment,” said Gwenne Henricks, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Electronics & Connected Worksite Division. “With an increasing need to improve customer job site productivity, reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs while maximizing equipment health and utilization, there has never been a better time to integrate machine monitoring with site management to create a market-leading connected worksite for our customers.”

The joint venture will be located in Westminster, Colo., home of Trimble’s Engineering and Construction product development and marketing organization. An office will also be established in Peoria, Ill., where the joint venture staff will work closely with Caterpillar’s Electronics & Connected Worksite Division, which has enterprise responsibility for product-related hardware and software technology and Caterpillar’s global electronics strategy. The joint venture will initially focus on applications for road construction, paving, heavy construction and quarry/aggregates worksites.

Additionally, a new distribution channel will be established to bring these technologies to customers and other users. The new dealer distribution channel will be branded SITECH, and it will be the outlet for products and services for the aftermarket. Trimble will have primary responsibility for managing the SITECH dealer relationship.

“These new relationships will accelerate the introduction of solutions that will enable contractors to better manage the worksite and all the machines in their fleet,” said Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble vice president with responsibility for Trimble’s Connected Site. “The continued convergence of positioning, wireless and information technologies on the worksite create a data rich environment that provides maintenance, production and site-related intelligence to allow organizations to make decisions in real time.”

Caterpillar dealers will continue to be the channel for technologies integrated into new Caterpillar machines while forming strategic relationships with SITECH dealers to provide total site solutions for customers.

The new joint venture will build upon the already successful relationship between Caterpillar and Trimble, which includes another joint venture — Caterpillar Trimble Control Technologies (CTCT), that was created in 2002 to develop machine control products such as Caterpillar’s AccuGrade system and the Trimble Grade Control System product lines.

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