Bill Griffett and his son, Bill Jr., put their Cat 966F and 966G wheel loaders through tough paces everyday in their quarry near Oxford, N.J.
The company sells select fill, decorative nursery stone, top soil and mason sand to building and landscape contractors throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The Griffetts operate a 106-acre (42.9 ha) quarry site, of which 40 acres (16.2 ha) are mined. Approximately 300,000 tons (272,155 t) of material is quarried annually to fill contractors’ orders.
Constantly hauling sand, gravel and stone and loading out trucks all day long adds up to a lot of hard machine hours. To help keep things running smoothly, Bill Griffett Sand & Gravel LLC adheres to a strict preventative maintenance (PM) program for the operation’s fleet of the two Cat wheel loaders, as well as its Cat 416C backhoe loader and 315B and 345B hydraulic excavators.
Strict Preventative Maintenance
To achieve peak productivity from all their company’s machines, the Griffetts, with help from Foley Inc., are vigilant about machine maintenance. That means keeping up with 250-hour oil changes and regular filter changes, among other recommended maintenance measures. Without a solid PM program, said Griffett Jr., it’s likely that the wheel loaders would not hold up 15,000 hours in these conditions without a major problem.
“Not only do they run hard every day, but they’re running in dusty conditions,” he added.
The Griffetts rely on timely S.O.S. fluids analysis from Foley Inc.’s lab in Piscataway, N.J., and they change their Cat Ground Engaging Tools (GET) at the recommended intervals to maintain optimum productivity.
When their 1999 model 966F hit 15,000 hours, the Griffetts talked it over with the Foley Inc. staff, including their customer support representative, Eric Cliff, who suggested trying a Certified Powertrain Plus rebuild, rather than trading in their machine.
“We had no major problems with that loader in 15,000 hours,” said Griffett Sr. “If I can get another 15,000 hours with only blowing a hose or replacing a valve, I’ll be tickled pink.”
Focusing the rebuild on the powertrain, rather than an overall complete rebuild (see Certified Powertrain Plus), was an economical way to extend the life of the machine.
“Ours was a short rebuild,” Griffett Jr. recalled. “We were impressed that it could be accomplished without any considerable downtime. We had a great chance to be in the shop and see how the Foley technicians tore down and rebuilt our machine.”
Reliability and relationships are important to the Griffetts.
“I still have the first customer I ever had 14 years ago,” said Griffett Sr., and he attributes the reliability of the Cat equipment in his operation and the support he’s received over the years to his company’s long association with Foley Inc., as well. “It’s the durability and reliability of the equipment,” concluded Griffett Sr., succinctly.
(Reprinted with permission from PayDirt magazine, Spring 2008 issue.)