Some Folks Have All the Fun
Who doesn’t dig the cool cats at Caterpillar – these are the kind of guys who drive, chip and sink golf balls using a five-ton compact hydraulic excavator. Top that, Tiger Woods. And getting to check out everything the Caterpillar folks have to offer the world of construction… well, we can’t say that doesn’t get us just a little fired up.
It’s dozerpaloosa when the Global Operator Challenge gets underway. It pits world champion heavy equipment operators against each other to show off control, flexibility, strength and, yes, even cab-operated putting skills. Over 10,000 hopefuls enter the qualifying rounds throughout the year, but it comes down to only a handful of first-class finalists who compete in the huge outdoor arena.
It’s all part of the fun of the highly-anticipated CONEXPO-CON/AGG Experience which takes place every three years when the world’s leader in heavy equipment manufacturing gathers construction industry visitors from around the world to ogle over new models and modern automation.
This year, we kicked back with a cold one and took in everything Caterpillar had to offer, and boy, they did not disappoint – not that we expected them to. But they surpassed even our wildest expectations with some of the innovations they brought to the table. Let’s check out some of the things Caterpillar put on display and just what it means for the construction biz.
Operating with Groundbreaking Technology
This year’s rollout of Cat heavy equipment demonstrated the company’s committed investment in the future. This put on full display the strides the company has made in safety, fuel efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. Spectators were able to see plenty of updates, especially in the dozers, excavators, articulated trucks and backhoe loaders.
Some of the things that really stood out included:
Picture a world in which multiple pieces of equipment can be controlled from a single remote station. Sound improbable? A portable console is designed for line-of-sight use with wireless connectivity for safe operating from close range or a distance. Not only does this keep your operators out of harm’s way, but it opens up possibilities for dozing, hauling, loading or drilling autonomously and safely around other equipment, vehicles, and workers.
This system greatly improves job site safety. Cameras and other sensors heighten operators’ awareness of the work environment, reduce the chance of accidents and prevent unauthorized use of equipment. Basically, it keeps everyone on their best behavior.
In an earlier news update, we talked about using a mobile app with the safety sign-off feature to ensure workers are wearing regulation protective gear. Cat uses its own Driver Safety System (DSS) to manage fatigue and distraction in real-time. When these conditions are detected by a tiny camera, the seat vibrates and an alarm sounds. The incident is also recorded and reviewed by a team of safety specialists to determine if an intervention is required.
Another detection program is called Proximity Awareness. This technology allows machines to automatically communicate trouble signs, alerting operators of imminent danger without the need for site-wide wi-fi.
This crucial system wirelessly connects you to your Cat machine, providing valuable insight (telematics) into how a machine or fleet is performing. You stay on top of things like:
- Real-time location
- Hours run
- Fuel usage
- Idle time
- Diagnostic codes
When you know where your equipment is, what it’s doing and how it’s performing, you can bolster productivity, reduce costs, maximize usage and manage risks. Through the VisionLink Cat online web application or a mobile equipment tracking app, you can always find your machines. Read more about it in our blog: Never Let a Caterpillar Crawl Away.
Once you have the machine data from Cat Product Link, you can see how actual performance is meeting productivity goals. Work conveniently from any mobile device without going into an office or even leaving the comfort of your own truck. Users can see the production rate of machines so action can be taken if needed.
Key data points for further analytics include:
- Fuel burn
- Idle time
- Material and truck ID
- Pass counts
- Total cycles
- And more
Targeted action from these insights results in dramatically improved machine operation and utilization, fuel efficiency and longer service intervals.
Yes, We’re Cat Lovers!
In any report of construction industry news, the future of tracking apps is no longer speculation, it’s an expectation. You just gotta have it. Caterpillar understands this. That’s why they invested in busybusy for the long-haul to put their preferred time-tracking and equipment location tool on every job site. Our app helps contractors tie their operator costs directly to their machinery. As a bonus, VisionLink Cat equipment is automatically integrated into the busybusy app.
We provide GPS time and equipment tracking software you can use with your fleet (Caterpillar equipment obviously included). It’s free, intuitive and simple to use. Go to busybusy.com to try our free mobile tracker today.