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Control, Guidance Allow Contractors to Remain Competitive

Smart business owners keep their eyes open around the clock for the tool, technology or system that can put them ahead.

Tue August 11, 2015 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Depending on the event, breakfast or dinner was offered to give customers a chance to network and catch up with each other.
Depending on the event, breakfast or dinner was offered to give customers a chance to network and catch up with each other.
Depending on the event, breakfast or dinner was offered to give customers a chance to network and catch up with each other. Dave Perry, vice president of machine sales, welcomes the crowd. Caterpillar’s Sam Meeker presented an overview of the technology before the machine demonstration portion of the event. The use of real-time GoPro cameras inside the cabs provided an opportunity for attendees to see the technology from the operator’s point of view. Unveiled at the events, the D6T XW dozer with factory-installed GPS is the newest machine with Caterpillar Integrated Technology Systems. Attendees look on as the D6T XW dozer is put through its paces. A first time operator selected from the group demonstrates the ease of operation of the D5K2 dozer with slope assist. A demonstration of the Cat 323F L excavator with 2D grade control in a simulated pipe-laying application. At the conclusion of the demonstrations, attendees were invited to ask questions and to try out the technology themselves.

Becoming more competitive is a goal shared by companies across the board, and smart business owners keep their eyes open around the clock for the tool, technology or system that can put them ahead.

Milton CAT recently held three “Getting the Edge” demonstrations where it introduced the latest integrated technology systems built into the new line-up of Cat equipment. The machines showcased at the events were:

• 323F L excavator with Cat 2D grade control (measures depth and slope)

• D5K2 dozer with slope assist (2D blade control)

• CS56B compactor with machine drive power (intelligent compaction)

• 140M3 grader with cross slope (2D blade control)

Attendees also were able to witness the unveiling of the new Cat D6T XW dozer with factory-installed GPS — the first machine of its kind shown in the United States.

Depending on the time of day, the events were kicked-off with either a breakfast or a dinner, followed by a short PowerPoint presentation on the technology. Next came the main part, a demonstration of the machines at work. GoPro cameras were placed inside the cabs of the machines and live-streamed to two flat-screen monitors.

Attendees sitting under a tent could watch the machines performing different tasks and see the operators inside the cab choosing the commands on the machine dash display; narration was provided by SITECH Northeast’s Mike Jouben and Sam Meeker, of Caterpillar in Peoria.

“The on-board cameras really took the customer experience to a new level,” said Jouben. “Seeing how the operator used the technology from within the cab connected the dots for the customers watching the machines work.”

“This event helped us reach an elite group of customers with a strong message in a tech rich environment that said it all…the demo environment created with in-cab live cameras and operators wearing microphones was key to making sure our message got out to the customers who attended,” added SITECH Northeast’s Tom Hogan.

Once the demonstrations were complete, attendees were invited to stick around to ask questions and try out the integrated systems for themselves.

Cat 323F L Excavator With 2D Grade Control

The embedded control technology allows the operator to dig directly to grade and to apply the correct amount of material; with a conventional machine, the operator has to stop and wait for the grade checker who’s constantly in and out of the dig area, with the resulting safety concerns, Jouben explained. As with all the latest integrated technology systems, you get the 2D grade control whether you buy or just rent this machine from Milton CAT.

“Cat’s a great piece of equipment as is, but the technology is an added bonus,” said Gary Lorden of Benjamin Builders. “As the owner, I look for all the benefits of the purchase of the equipment and the investment and the asset that I’m purchasing. So, for me, this is a great piece to the puzzle.”

Cat D5K Dozer With Slope Assist

The slope assist feature is a skill-replicating feature making the business end of a dozer that much easier to use, Jouben said. Seen first on the small Tier IV Final K2 tractors coming out of Athens, Ga., it is due to be integrated into the D6N Tier IV Final tractor next.

This system uses an inertial sensor to provide extremely smooth surfaces without operator input to the grading lever. The operator can build flat or sloped surfaces, with inclines or declines, all from the factory dash display, without GPS or lasers. Simple surfaces can be built on the fly and the operator will be proud of how smooth that surface is, no matter his skill level, Jouben added.

Cat CS56B Compactor With Machine Drive Power

Cat compaction control is a measurement solution that allows the operator to determine when compaction has been achieved. Its use eliminates guesswork, reduces the risk of rework and allows the operator to quickly move on to the next job. Cat compaction control is factory integrated with the machine, providing greater protection for components.

Two separate compaction measurement technologies are available: compaction meter value (CMV) and machine drive power (MDP). The MDP option is an exclusive Caterpillar technology that indicates soil stiffness by measuring rolling resistance. MDP is more flexible than CMV because it can be used on all soil types, and because it measures shallower than CMV. It can function when the drum is static or vibrating, and it measures closer to the depth of the lifts of materials being placed, according to Jouben.

“Most of our downtime on our technology-enabled equipment is from frayed cables, damaged sensors — all the external stuff on the machine. To basically put that into the machine, that’s what we’re looking for to keep us running,” said Sheamus Kelleher, Emerald Excavating.

140M3 Cat Grader With Cross Slope

The Cat grade control cross slope is an optional fully-integrated, factory installed system that helps operators improve grading efficiency and more easily maintain accurate cross slopes. Three machine-mounted sensors calculate the cross-slope of the blade in this Cat motorgrader.

The system reduces manual operator inputs by as much as 50 percent, according to Jouben. Experienced operators can maintain peak efficiency levels throughout more of the work day, while less experienced operators can be more productive faster. The system is job-ready from day one, and scalable for the future with AccuGrade upgrade kits that provide additional 2D and/or 3D control.

D6T XW With Cat Grade Control Using Integrated 3D GPS

The D6T XW is a fuel-efficient, right-sized dozer that can fit the needs of companies large and not-so-large. Technology indicates machine orientation and tilt as well as grade, slope and angle. It senses and corrects load and slip, increasing productivity and minimizing track wear, as well as lowering fuel use. Two grade modes add versatility; choose full automated or bulk earthmoving when large cuts are needed to get to the finish grade indicated by GPS. No cables or masts facilitate transport, hidden antennas are protected. An AccuGrade ready option (ARO) is included when blade mount GPS or robotics are desired.

“Without the technology, you won’t get things done as fast and you’ll have to rely on other people, pay for those people and wait for them to show up, while this machine is always ready to go,” said Thomas Calcagni, Calcagni Development.

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