Construction Services

New Cat attachments give carrier machines multi-dimensional functionality

Given the versatility of attachments, you might say you can never have too many. To meet that need, the engineers at Caterpillar spent a good portion of the past year developing new and improved versions of their work tools. The media got their first look at the new designs in Peoria, Illinois, recently and here’s what we found:

Selectable frequency and power settings on Cat’s new hammers match the attack to the hardness of the material.CaterpillarHigh-performance, low-maintenance hammers

Two new Caterpillar Performance Series hammers, the H190 S and H215 S are designed for high production and low maintenance. The piston and tool mass on these hammers have been closely matched in diameter and weight to pack more punch. Operators have a choice of running in the high-frequency/low-power mode or low-frequency/high power to best suit the hardness of the material being broken.

Cat says a proprietary buffering material dampens vibration feedback. The automatic shut-off that prevents blank firing can be turned off for horizontal and overhead operation, but otherwise instantly stops the hammer motion when the tool breaks through the material, preventing damage to the carrier and hammer. Depending on your preference, these hammers can be configured for joystick or pedal control.

The new H190 S hammer is sized for operation on Cat 349 through 374 excavator models, while the larger H215 S is designed for the 374 and 395 excavators. The dimensions for both hammers are programmed into Cat’s E-Fence technology which will stop the carrier from positioning the tool outside of digital “fences” on the job.

All daily and routine maintenance on these hammers can be performed without removing them from the carrier. A field-serviceable and rotatable lower bushing increases service life and reduces parts costs. Standard auto-lube ensures that these hammers get continual doses of grease during operation. The operating weight of the H190 S is 11,440 to 12,430 pounds. The H215 S weighs 16,280 to 16,830 pounds. The H190 S hits with 13,000 foot-pounds of force and the H215 S pounds out 18,000 foot-pounds.

Six new, fast-cycling pulverizers

Cat has an interesting metric for its new line of pulverizers. With 52% faster cycle times these concrete demolition tools produce more tons of rubble per liter of fuel. And that matters when you have a lot of concrete to reduce.

The new line includes three rotatable primary models—the P318, P324 and P332–with 360- degree rotation, and three new fixed secondary models—P218, P224 and P232. Both series fit 18- to 50-ton machines.  Bidirectional 360-degree rotation for the P300 series models positions the jaw to grab material from any angle for producing material properly sized for further processing.

Wide jaw openings allow operators to grab more material from any angle, increasing processing speed and improving overall material throughput. Bolt-on wear components can be quickly replaced in the field with no hard-face welding required for maintenance. All hydraulic components are protected inside a housing with a bolt-on removable panel that provides complete access for servicing

Cat designed its new pulverizers around the SpeedBooster technology found in the company’s Multi-Processors. The SpeedBooster design quickly closes the jaws when there is no load. As soon as the jaw taps the material the hydraulic valve switches to power mode to crush the concrete. Integral rebar knives chop up pipes, rebar and other embedded metal debris for more efficient processing.

The new pulverizers also have integrated asset tracking to help you quickly locate these attachments and deter theft and unauthorized use when subscribed through Cat VisionLink with Product Link. Cat Next Gen excavators include pulverizer settings in the controls, allowing the excavator to quickly recognize the attachment and automatically establish the proper operating settings.

Cat excavator with tiltrotator attachment.
New tiltrotators from Cat feature an optional grapple module that lets you move debris out of the way before getting back to the main task.CaterpillarTiltrotators attack any job from any angle

American contractors have finally caught on to versatility of tiltrotators (long popular in Europe) and Cat has obliged with a full series of these multi-dimensional work tools. Sized for carrier machines from 11 to 30 metric tons, these tiltrotators have 360-degree bi-directional rotation and 40-degree left and right tilt. This allows you to attack the work from an almost unlimited number of angles without having to reposition your excavator.

The TRS10, 14, 18, and 23 models come with pin-on or S-type coupler top interfaces and S-type coupler bottom interfaces. Using a tiltrotator with a coupler top allows the operator to maximize the versatility of attachments by switching them out for application and task appropriate purposes. An optional grapple module allows the operator to move materials out of the way, such as large rocks or pipe, without switching attachments.

An oil-filled gear box and single point lubrication simplify your tiltrotator’s maintenance. A heavy-duty bolted joint secures the housing, rotator and coupler as a single unit. Wide bearing surfaces distribute excavation force in all directions. Pins, shafts and bushings feature heavy duty construction, and the hydraulic rotator motor is protected inside the cast housing.

Cat tiltrotator safety features include double-acting tilt cylinders that have built-in load holding valves to keep the attachment secure to the unit in the event of a pressure loss. Additionally, operators can remain inside the cab while switching to the optional grapple module to move heavy objects. 

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Construction Services

Dealers, Take Note: 89% of Customers Prefer Texting

During the pandemic, we have seen an uptick in equipment purchases, and with that comes an increased demand in service departments.

This can be a good thing, especially during slower months, but many dealers are now complaining about slower response times from customers, and a backlog in equipment being worked on.

According to a recent study, more than 88% of dealers said that they need to save time and be more efficient in their service department. Around 61% of dealers said that saving time in parts and service was their big focus on 2022.

One of the main issues we are seeing so far is centered around communication between customer and dealer.

New data shows that 89% of customers prefer to have businesses send a text rather than call. This is a trend that has been growing through the pandemic. Customers want simple and direct responses to get what they want.

We also found that 98% of all text messages sent to customers are opened, and customers are seven times more likely to text you back after getting a text, than call back after getting a voicemail. This means dealers don’t need to play phone tag with customers anymore, they can text and get a response within minutes.

Make sure you don’t wait for the customer to reach out to you. Send customers a quick text with updates even if they aren’t asking for it. Tell them what you are working on, and maybe tell them what they can do to improve their equipment.

This will significantly cut down on time in service departments. If you need approval to fix something, send the customer a text with an update. You will get a quick response, rather than waiting for the customer to call you back or return a voicemail.

In recent months, we found 95% percent of all text messages are responded to within 3 minutes. No waiting around. You can get approval, get to work, and get the customer out the door.

In addition to getting approval for fixes, dealers need to have a quick and easy plan in place to allow customers to pre-pay or set up a time to come get their equipment. During the pandemic, we saw that customers do not want to wait around in-person. They want to stay distant, get updates, and limit interactions.

In the data we collected from dealers, we have seen a four-fold increase in text-to-pay in just the past year. We are also seeing some dealers running 80% of their parts and service payments through text-to-pay.

One of the key things to remember is to make the customer feel like they are part of the team. Anyone in the service department can send reminders, pictures, and videos showing what’s being worked on to let the customer experience what is being done first-hand.

If you somehow get into a lull and are looking to increase traffic in your service department, there are some simple things you can do to get things moving, and it doesn’t need to center around cold calling.

Text everyone who has bought from you in the last three years. You can set up automated reminders through any texting platform, so you don’t have to call. You can also space out these reminders to keep things flowing at a good pace in your service department during slower months.

Have a plan in place to ensure things keep moving. Make sure you keep track of who has come through your service department in recent weeks, who you have sold to, and who you are trying to target to the work flowing.

KenectKeep in mind, customers want to be texted. Phone calls just won’t cut it anymore. The pandemic has changed the way service departments operate, not just in-house, but for customers as well. Make sure you are meeting the customers in the platforms they are getting used to so you can keep communication clear, and service departments operating fully.

Ben Leighton is a Content Marketing Specialist with Kenect, a provider of simple texting tools to connect businesses with their customers. 

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Construction Management

10th Day of Construction Gifts: A Portable Cleaning Station for Dirty Jobsites

Editor’s note: From now until Christmas, Equipment World is featuring a new gift idea each day for the construction enthusiast in your life. Check back daily to our Gear section or subscribe to our Equipment World Daily newsletter to see each day’s new idea.

Moving dirt can get messy and water isn’t always readily available on the jobsite. For easy cleaning on the go, RinseKit offers a high-capacity, battery pressurized portable shower.

Its use isn’t limited to just showering though.

The manufacturer says the water station can be used to cool down on a hot day, spray off your boots, or hose down your equipment or truck.

The tank features a top-fill cap and can hold water ranging in temperature from 33 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. (A heater for the pro model is slated for release in 2022.)

The hose offers five spray settings at up to 50 psi to match the output for the task at hand. A 12-volt battery plug also allows for charging of external devices.

The RinseKit comes in a variety of sizes and can be purchased on the company’s website. 

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