What does it take to run a successful skid steer or mini excavator hire business? Well, a skid steer or mini excavator would be a good start. But in order to be truly versatile and in turn keep yourself busy, you need to have the right attachments. Once you work out what is compatible with your host machine, you need to establish whether or not the ‘Work Tools’ represents good value for money and if the supplier offers the level of support you require. All of this takes time and effort, ultimately resulting in a gamble being taken on what return you are going to get on your investment. Of course you could take the guesswork out of this decision by simply going with an attachment that is not only designed to fi t your machine, but is manufactured and backed by the same reputable manufacturer. Well the good news for Cat equipment owners is that this is not only a very real option, but also a very cost effective one. It really does make sense to be able to source your ground engaging tools in the same place you buy the engine oil fi lter. In the unlikely event that a problem occurs in a hydraulic component within the warranty period, there is no chance of a dispute over whose “iron” failed first as the manufacturers are one and the same.
That’s all well and good if you have Cat equipment, but what if you are running a Bobcat, Case or Deere? No problem. Cat attachments use the universal coupler so they can fit up to other host machines with no trouble at all. With Cat dealers everywhere, you may find that there is a more convenient ‘Work Tool’option right in your own backyard.
In order to benefi t from somebody experienced with Cat ‘Work Tools’, we caught up with Craig Ryan, a self employed earthmover from Northern New South Wales. Craig runs a Cat 247B2 Multi Terrain Loader and a Cat 304C Mini Hydraulic Excavator, and he also runs genuine Cat attachments. We gave Craig the opportunity to test and demonstrate some of Cat’s latest offerings in the ‘Work Tool’ department, and he was more than obliging. Being no stranger to the Cat dealer network and their diverse product range, there was nothing left for Craig to do but get ‘em dirty. Craig was happy with the way the Cat line-up performed as well as the competitive edge his own equipment gives him. WesTrac co-ordinated the demonstration, providing us with an A19B Auger equipped with single reduction drive, a T6B Trencher with 419mm of hydraulic sideshift and a LT13B Landscape Tiller with a working depth of 25 – 152 mm. As expected, these ‘Work Tools’ performed to the same standard as anything with the Cat logo on it. As you would also expect, the end user benefits from intelligent design features incorporating easy adjustment, operation and tool changes.
We also tested a BU115 Utility Broom on a new 232B2 Skid Steer Loader back at the WesTrac branch. The Utility Broom is primarily designed for tough applications such as sweeping out course material from cold planer cuts. With its 1510 mm sweeping width and options such as a bolt-on cutting edge and water sprinkler kit available, it is easy to see this thing is both effective and versatile. The evolution of genuine
Cat ‘Work Tools’ really seems to have gained momentum over the last couple of years or so. If you had a chance to watch any of the V8 racing action at Bathurst in October you would have noticed how prominent their advertising was, both on the track and in the commercial breaks. If nothing else, the wide array of options and the obvious benefits of owning a Cat machine running Cat ‘Work Tools’, result in a more consumer focused industry. The aggressive marketing strategy should also see the Cat name become more recognised within the industry as a ‘Work Tool’ supplier, in turn keeping their competitors honest. That is not to say that there aren’t other products equally as good out there in the marketplace, but as far as back up service and peace of mind go, it is hard to go past the Cat dealer network, especially if you plan on hanging your ‘Work Tool’ off a Cat machine.
Courtesy of Landscape Contractor November/December 2009 issue, page 44.