Rocky’s rural residents stay connected thanks to new Caterpillar Machines

Rocky’s rural residents stay connected thanks to new Caterpillar Machines

Rockhampton Regional Council has upgraded key plant equipment in its civil operations fleet – ensuring gravel roads continue to be maintained and providing access to the whole region.

Already this financial year, Council has graded over 300kms of unsealed gravel roads.

RRC Acting Civil Operations Manager Michael O’Keeffe said with more than 1,000 km of unsealed roads in the region, Council worked hard to maintain the entire road network to the best possible condition and in the most cost-efficient manner for ratepayers.

“Council has a lot of interaction with our rural and semi-rural residents,” Mr O’Keeffe said.

“Gravel roads can become a cost to the community if they deteriorate because of rain or wear, such as pot holes, which can damage vehicles and also become a safety issue. Our Rural Team, including a roads’ inspector, ensure we set a priority to guarantee continued maintenance.”

Mr O’Keeffe said Council replaced two of its six grader fleet with state-of-the-art Caterpillar graders: including replacement of one with a larger blade providing increased efficiency.

“We have a thorough tender process with a scoring process that covers off on assessment criteria such as the ‘whole of life costs’ to quality assurance, mechanical assessment and local preference,” he said.

“The key driver in replacing the ageing machines, with new, is to maintain low operational costs. We aim to maintain a relatively new fleet to ensure we have high performance, high productivity and reliability, along with reduced operating costs – all allowing us to keep the focus on our rural roads.

“The last thing we want is a machine to be in the workshop continually being repaired.”

Hastings Deering’s Peter Kluver said while RRC employed a full maintenance team, Hastings Deering introduced a new initiative this year that allowed for remote machine health monitoring of the graders, which would complement Council’s program by providing an asset management system with online access to machine data.

“Complimentary technologies such as Product Link and Vision Link® can tell you where your assets are, how much fuel they’re burning, when they need servicing and more,” Mr Kluver said. “We can provide proactive data driven machine insights to help accurately assess the health and maintenance so you know when a machine needs attention and a “machine health event” can be around scheduled services rather than being caught out when work is at a time critical point.

“The new machines have allowed Council to upscale to be 3D ready for future projects requiring digital design plans and take advantage of the positioning and guidance technologies standard in the M series.

“Product Link helps take the guesswork out of equipment management with remote monitoring capabilities for one machine or your entire fleet. While Council can track asset location, hours, fuel usage, diagnostic codes, idle time and more through the secure Vision Link® user interface.

“As an added bonus, Council’s adopting the very latest in machinery are becoming attractive employers especially to school leavers. So, there are many and varied benefits to this purchase.”

Source: Hastings Deering