As a continuation of its series of 50th anniversary open house events, Thompson Tractor Company hosted more than 450 customers, guests and dignitaries in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Sept. 18.
Caterpillar representatives turned out to show their support for Thompson Tractor and all of its valued customers. The crowd was treated to a steak dinner with all the fixings, while listening to some great music. All the newest Cat construction machines, engines and lift trucks were on display.
One of the many Cat machines on display was the new Cat 140M motorgrader, which drew a lot of attention from attendees who had not seen one yet. It was the first of its kind sold in Alabama. Bibb County purchased the machine and its workers said they were thrilled with the purchase and were spreading the word at the open house about just how impressive their new “work horse” is.
Steven Avery, county engineer, had nothing but good things to say about the machine: “There’s no steering wheel or levers, it’s all stick steering [two joysticks. It’s subconscious after a day or two, whatever your right hand is doing on the control, that’s what the blade is going to do. There’s nothing out front to obstruct your vision — you can look right down on 90 percent of the blade. The machine practically has an automatic transmission in it. It puts itself in the proper gear regardless of where you’re going.”
Avery said he saw the prototype at Cat’s manufacturing facility in Peoria, Ill., and “was sold in the first five minutes.”
Bibb County equipment operator Rob Bamberg, the man who will be running this new machine, kept his remarks short and to the point.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s real simple to operate.”
Bamberg said it did took some classroom time to learn everything about the machine, but the time spent will pay off through higher productivity.