WesTrac builds the first technology training facility in Collie

WesTrac builds the first technology training facility in Collie

Leading Caterpillar dealer WesTrac has announced it will build a technology training facility in Collie focused on providing courses in autonomous operations.

The center will be the only Caterpillar Autonomous Training Facility in the world apart from Caterpillar’s own testing and training ground in Arizona, USA. The facility will be developed on land owned by Bluewaters Farm Holdings in Collie’s Coolangatta Industrial Estate.

Collie has a long mining history and an experienced workforce with the potential to help run and develop the training facility over time. Courtesy of WesTrac.

The project is supported by a grant through the Collie Futures Fund, awarded to WesTrac by the State Government’s Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science, and Innovation.

The announcement was made at a ground-turning event in Collie on January 23rd 2020 attended by WA Premier Mark McGowan, Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan, Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray and WesTrac CEO Jarvas Croome.

Mr. Croome said the investment includes a new fully autonomous Cat 789D off-highway truck, construction of an autonomous operations zone and training room facilities. The construction is scheduled to commence this month at the greenfield site near Collie’s Bluewaters Power Station.

Local contractor Piacentini & Son will carry out the earthworks and installation of key infrastructure, with training scheduled to commence in May 2020.

“The initial focus will be to provide training in fit-out and maintenance requirements for the conversion and operation of existing Caterpillar haulage vehicles,” Mr. Croome said.

“Over time, we anticipate expanding the range of courses on offer to ensure the facility caters for the recognized skills of the future that will be in demand as the resource sector evolves.”

“It’s an opportunity to position Collie and Western Australia as a world leader in advanced technology and skills development in automation and autonomous operations.”

L-R: Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC, WesTrac CEO Jarvas Croome, Hon. Mick Murray MLA, Hon. Mark McGowan MLA, Piacentini & Son Executive Director Kim Piacentini. Courtesy of WesTrac.

Mr. McGowan congratulated WesTrac and Bluewaters Farm Holdings for working with the State Government to get this groundbreaking facility off the ground.

“People will come from all over the world to utilize this facility – the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and the second worldwide for Caterpillar,”

Mr. McGowan said.

“Crucially, we expect clients to spend time in the town as they undertake their training, supporting local businesses and local jobs.”

“It will see Collie placed at the forefront of training workers – including local workers in Collie – in new technological skills for large-scale mining operations across the State.”

“This is a new industry for Collie and Western Australia that will result in new jobs and training opportunities for local people while meeting demand from around Australia and overseas.”

Mr. Croome added that while WesTrac had evaluated a number of potential locations, Collie was the ideal center for the training facility.

“The town has a long mining history and an experienced workforce with the potential to help run and develop the training facility over time,” he said.

“There’s also a vibrant community and plenty of supporting business infrastructure, plus a unique range of natural attractions and easy access to the wider South West region, which adds appeal for Australian and international training participants.”

Mr. Croome said WesTrac and Caterpillar clients across the Asia Pacific region had shown significant interest in having access to such training and strong demand was expected when the facility commenced operations.

Source: WesTrac

Nicole Portilla
Nicole Portilla
Nicolle Portilla is RTS’s Social Media Manager, and has been a valued member of the team since July 2018. She is responsible for content creation on all platforms, leveraging creative software, industry trends and research, and social media strategy to build upon the company’s online presence. Additionally, Nicolle contributes to the RTS blog, which serves to educate clients and industry players about our technology and sustainability efforts, and is responsible for the creation and dissemination of our internal and external newsletters. Prior to taking on the role of Social Media Manager, Nicolle served on the Sustainability team for nearly three years, assisting clients in achieving their sustainability goals through external communications and event organizing. Preceding Nicolle’s time on the RTS team is her work with Clean Water Action, where she promoted clean water initiatives. Nicolle graduated from Stony Brook University in 2018 with a B.A. in Sustainability.